Friday, 29 January 2010

The Odd Couple

I have written about Tamsin and Nathan before.

Since that entry, we managed to persuade her to see her doctor and she is now receiving psychiatric help although I have to say that from what she describes, her sessions are very much like mine with the therapist. She just talks to him. There’s no couch, no ink spots, no word recognition ! The difference is of course is that she is on medication too, which I think is really what has been helping. So much so that her marriage is completely different. Once she was calm and back to the old Tamsin again, Nathan seemed to rediscover her and it was all very magical and she was on cloud nine. At Christmas, they renewed their wedding vows and took themselves off for a week without the children for a second honeymoon.

It should have been happy ever after but of course, it’s not. Life rarely is.

Last week, Nathan called me at work to say that almost overnight Tamsin seems to have gone back to how she was – moody, uncommunicative and full of rage and anger towards him. She says she wants him out of the house as he is responsible for her poor mental health. He insists he has done nothing wrong and can only think that she has stopped taking her tablets. The trouble is he sounded really fed up and said that he feels cheated and that he too wants out. He asked if I would speak to her to find out what’s going on but that actually he has already started looking at flats to rent.

So yesterday, I went round for coffee. She seemed fine. Very calm but very insistent that she doesn’t want to be married to Nathan anymore. She had no reason other than she feels he has held her back. There was nothing I could do but listen.

As I was leaving, I told her how sorry I was because they had looked so happy recently and then suddenly , she was crying hysterically and begging me not to go because she didn’t know how she was going to cope without Nathan and that she knew he’d had enough of her and so she was trying to end things before he did. I told her that was not how he’d felt until she had changed again but she was pulling on my sleeve and pleading with me to make everything OK. To be honest I was a bit frightened. This was such a different woman from the bubbly, bright Tamsin who moved into our street.

Anyway, we talked a bit more and she calmed down and somehow I agreed to act as a mediator between them so they could talk properly. I have done this sort of thing before, years ago, when I took up counselling as part of some youth work I was doing at the time. I was trying to do my bit for the community when I dreamt I could make the world right. It interested me a lot and so I did further courses working with adult issues with a view to maybe leaving PR and talking it up full time but it never happened. PR was too easy for me to abandon.

I never forgot those skills though and I think it’s why so many of my friends find me easy to talk to. It’s also the reason I believe my sessions with my therapist are not particularly productive. I keep thinking I know what he’s doing rather than letting him get on with the job of doing it. I am my own worst enemy.

Back to Tamsin and Nathan though, it’s precisely because of my own therapy that something says I shouldn’t be stepping in for them. I do think they need to talk things through with a third party but I don’t think that should be me. But then maybe I’m being terribly selfish because it was only when I agreed to do it that Tamsin calmed down. Oh! Something tells me I mustn’t do it.

I don’t know what to do for the best.

Friday, 15 January 2010

I Dare You

In a bid to get myself more organised, I was clearing out my emails this morning and I found this one that was doing the rounds a couple of years ago. You may have seen this before too but when I read it again today, it rendered me helpless with laughter. I bet you can’t get to the end without laughing.

Here are a list of dares that you are invited to take on at your place of work. The one with the most points wins ……

For one point:
1. Ignore the first five people who say 'good morning' to you.

2. To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.

3. Leave your fly open for one hour. If anyone points it out say, "Sorry, I really prefer it this way".

4. Walk sideways to the photocopier.

5. While riding in an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.

6. When in elevator with one other person, tap them on the shoulder and pretend it wasn't you.

7. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy..."

8. Don't use any punctuation.

9. Interrupt your conversation with someone by giving a huge dejected sigh.

10. Use your highlighter pen on the computer screen.

Three Point Dares
1. Say to your boss, "I like your style", wink, and shoot him with double-barreled fingers.

2. Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle.

3. Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

4. Every time you get an email, shout ''email''.

5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has got over his or her caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

6. Keep hole punching your finger. Each time you do, shout, "dagnamit, it's happened again!". Then do it again.

7. Introduce yourself to a new colleague as "the office bicycle". Then wink and pout.

8. Call I.T. helpdesk and tell them that you can't seem to access any pornography web sites.

Five Point Dares
1. At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (extra points if you actually launch into it yourself).

2. Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.

3. For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as "Dave".

4. Announce to everyone in a meeting that you need to go as you "really have to go do a number two".

5. Dry hump the photocopier. When someone spots you, stop and cough embarrassingly, then lean in to the machine and whisper loudly, "I'll see you tonight".

6. After every sentence, say 'Mon' in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in: "The report's on your desk, Mon." Keep this up for one hour.

7. In a meeting or crowded situation, slap your forehead repeatedly and mutter, "Shut up, damn it, all of you just shut up!"

8. At lunchtime, get down on your knees and announce, "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again!"

9. Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now."

10. Present meeting attendees with a cup of coffee and biscuit; smash each biscuit with your fist.

11. During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.

12. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

13. Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.

Go on, it's a Friday - have fun !!

Monday, 11 January 2010

What The Stars Foretell

I started this New Year with a cold…..again. I seem to have been ill a lot lately which is most unlike me as I am not normally prone to bad health, which in turn, makes me a very bad patient!
Anyway, even though I'm still sniffing and coughing and sneezing all over the place, I'm back in the swing and ready to write my first blog post of the New Year…..

I met a celebrity astrologer at an event last week. He was a name in the Eighties and seems to be making a bit of a comeback. He was very full of himself but we got on really well and he was very friendly, if slightly barking! I thought he was just being nice because he thought I might be able to help him with his career by introducing him to various television execs etc - not that I know any particularly well apart from on a professional basis. However, later that same evening he texted me to say how lovely it was to meet me and hoped that we could keep in touch, which was quite unexpected but very sweet.

Then this morning, I came into an email from him telling me again how much he hoped we would become friends and, as a little gift, he had prepared my forecast for the coming year! I'm not into astrology at all and never read my stars but I thought it was a lovely gesture. Of course, I'd rather he'd have predicted this week's correct lottery numbers for me but I appreciate that is a tad ungrateful! I have decided to record his predictions here so that I can check at the end of the year to see just how good he is!

He started off by telling me that many Aquarians work in the media and that we all tend to have two sides to our personality. On the one hand shy, withdrawn, passive and sensitive and yet also extremely dynamic, active and extrovert. And in my case, he says I am attractive, magnetic and pleasing to my friends and colleagues even though I can be extremely demanding.
I'm quite intrigued by that as I have always maintained that I developed my outgoing side in order to cover up that shy side of me. Whenever I say that though, people laugh !!

He says that my New Year will start with a big bang, possibly with a pay rise before my birthday in February.
Highly unlikely in the current climate!

He predicts my hard work will bring rich dividends but that I may change jobs and even move home in the search for a better position.
I really can't see that happening given that I've been with the same company for a quarter of a century and have no desire to go anywhere else.

Travelling abroad is a distinct possibility.
But then it is every year, even though it has to be said I didn't get further than Glasgow in 2009!

According to him, my marriage will continue to be problem-free and we will work well as a couple although my desire to relocate may cause some discussion.
I thought his use of the word "continue" was interesting!

Apparently I need to be careful about my health, as I will be prone to a number of common ailments like flu and stomach problems.
Given that I sneezed over him a number of times at that do, it was a pretty safe bet to include that one.

He warned that although I have a good network of friends, I should nurture my friendships more as I could fall out with a few this year, if I am not careful.

He wrote a lot more bumph that I didn't understand about my house being in Uranus or something and Jupiter doing something which means this, that or the other but he ended with an interesting observation that the cluttered thoughts that had been filling my head towards the end of last year are unlikely to go away or become any easier to manage. That I had to handle mental and emotional issues that have been troubling me recently with a lot of care and composure as this transient episode in my life still has a way to go before things will settle enough for me to start unravelling the knots.

That seems a bit deep - I have no cynical, smart-arse comment for that one.