19 December 2004

She lives! She lives!

And she now has a fully working computer too (well, apart from the dead broadband bit. This dial-up is making her want to bang her head against the desk). Which she is very grateful for because she had been going slightly insane. Especially as she has sort of become a proper grown-up writer and she had a deadline and a computer that crashed every ten minutes. She didn't enjoy that combination. She also appears to have begun referring to herself in the third person. She is slightly confused by this and doesn't know where it came from. So now she will stop.

The other day I got asked for the first time this year that question I dread every December, though of course, some years it comes around as early as September. That question that's on a par with elderly relatives saying "So, when are you going to settle down and get married then?", yes, I was asked:

"What are you doing for New Years Eve then?"

"Um, nothing." Was of course my answer. Because, contrary to popular belief; I don't actually have a life.

New Years Eve has to be the most depressing night of the year. And the months of anxiety leading up to it. I've given up on the whole "I must have someone to kiss at midnight" idea, because, like me spending Valentine's Day with anyone's company other than my own - it's never going to happen. But, still, the pressure of having to find something to do and not be sitting alone in front of the TV is unbearable.

Of course, New Years Eve isn't without it's joys. I'd especially like to congratulate those who were driving along Golders Green Road on December 31st last year at about 10pm as they got to see one of my best friends jumping up and down on a traffic island wearing just her underwear. Those congratulation aren't particularly because they got to see her in her underwear, no. They were just lucky that I'd simply not had enough wine by that point to go and join her. In fact, last year I managed to keep my clothes on for the whole of the New Years Celebrations which I was very proud of (I still don't know what I'd been up to that year I woke up on a friends kitchen floor on Jan 1st without my attire).

It's been a month of social pressure. Not only do I have to dread spending New Years Eve with just Jaffa Cakes and my rodent roomie (yes, he's still here. He did get caught in a trap, but unlike Elvis, he could walk out. Apparently using his own faeces as lubrication to free himself) for company; I went to An Engagment Party. It was a lovely evening and I saw loads of amazing people that I don't see that often (either because they live somewhere random like Singapore, or they live in Kentish Town and I'm just rubbish at keeping in touch with people). I couldn't help but feel like the least grown-up and least accomplished person there though. Champagne soon brightened my mood though. God bless alcohol for removing my social inadequacy.

The evening did also provide me with an opportunity for momentary smugness, before I'd even entered the pub (and crashed straight into a chair in front of me courtesy of immediate steaming up of the specs). I popped into Paperchase in Waterloo station to pick up an engagement card for the newly promised couple. I tried to enter via both available doors, but from neither could I spot a route via which I could access the card section at the back of the store.

"Excuse me. Which way is your wheelchair accessible route to the cards at the back?" I said to the girl behind the counter.

"What?" She replied, looking at me as if I'd just asked 'On which platform is the train to Mars?'

"Which way is your wheelchair accessible route to the cards at the back of the shop? I've tried coming in through both doors and can't see a gangway wide enough to get through." I said.

"Erm..." She answered, making herself seem less attractive by the second.

"There isn't one..." interupted the man standing behind me. A look of relief flooded over the girl at the counter as she realised she was no longer going to have to deal with the lady in the wheelchair who had the audacity to assume she should be able to shop there - because her colleague had taken over.

"... but I'll help you with anything you need," he continued.

"Are you going to bring me your entire engagement card selection?"

"OK, sure." I probably looked a bit disappointed by how unflustered he was at my request. He brought me cards, and I chose my preferred one.

"Do you need any stamps?"

"No. But I do need a pen." I suddenly remembered that someone had borrowed the one I used to carry in my bag, and they'd never returned it. I didn't really want to fill in a card with a pink, barely working, highlighter.

"What kind? Black? Blue?"

"Gel ink. Purple preferably..."

Again, to my disappointment, he bought me a choice of three. And even a note pad to try them out on.

Inaccessible shops just aren't the fun they used to be. And, I've still got nothing to do on New Years Eve. Talk about disappointing.

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