While my life hasn’t all been bad, it can indeed be summed up by a series of unfortunate events.
Hello. I am Lemony Snickets.
Why was my friend so nervous after I joked that I might fall on the kids (husbands) Lego Death Star? Because she is fully aware that I am Lemony Snickets and the likelihood of Death Star destruction fuelled by Prosecco and very high stilettos was quite high.
Events of this unfortunate nature seem to gravitate towards me or is it me that gravitates towards them? Either way I am Calamity, I am Anomaly, I am Haphazard.
I suffer dreadfully from spontaneous speech or serial blurting so I am constantly at risk of putting my Adidas Superstars in it. Somehow over the years my filter malfunctioned and like so many other things I never quite got around to replacing it. People often can’t tell if I’m joking or not and I can be that honest that people think I couldn’t possibly be serious. A quick chat at the school gates has been known to result in a full synopsis of my financial and health history.
And then there’s the sheer disorganisation that I suffer from. The only thing in my life that is organised is my roladex of outfits that lies deep within my brain and constantly spins when someone mentions drinks. Other than that I rely heavily on various people (thank you Death Star wife) to ensure I make various events / school meetings /deadlines.
You can see where this is going, I have the qualities that magnetize disaster.
I can’t pin point exactly the start of the cycle of unfortunate events but I’m almost sure it chiefly originated with the chicken pox.
Prior to this however, I definitely demonstrated some ‘oh mother of Jesus’ moments. In fact there is one that still strikes fear into my soul when I think of it, the mother of all ‘you have got to be kidding me’ moments that took place when I was in college.
Oh God I am cringing even thinking about it and my teeth are gritted together so I look like that emoji that makes you think ‘FUUUUUCKKKKK.’
Picture it if you will…
The S.O and I had been out of a Thursday night, as you do, and feeling high on life, The S.O had come back to my house to sleep on the couch, as he often did. Off I went to the alphabetically organised hotpress to obtain a fitted sheet, valance, top sheet, duvet, throw and pillows (The Mothership has impeccable linen standards) and as we made up the couch like a 1st Year nurse in St. Vincent’s, well… one thing led to another and you get the picture.
Oh God I am dying here…
Suddenly I look up and The Mothership is standing there ashen faced, clutching the dressing gown around her throat.
‘GET UPSTAIRS NOW.’
Heart in my mouth and knicks on the floor, I grabbed the duvet and slunk out of the room leaving The poor S.O there with it all hanging out. This was pre-mobile phone days so I am upstairs unable to breathe as my mum hands The S.O the Golden Pages, the portable telephone that crackles terribly when out of range from the cradle and a £20 note.
Before I proceed I would just quickly like to pay dividends to The Mothership for her conscientious behaviour. You’ve just caught your daughter in a lewd act and you are ejecting The Perp while simultaneously ensuring safe delivery of said Perp back to Mammy’s house. I commend you.
The shame of it all.
The next day an uneasy air swept through the household as I was frozen out by my family and made feel like Pretty Woman without the thigh highs or the bundle of notes balled into her fist. Even the brother who I could always rely on to make me look good was disgusted,
That evening The S.O proved his worth and called to the house to personally apologise to the parents and take the punishment on the chin. We were summoned to the kitchen by Dad (you deal with the brazen hussy, John) for the lecture and I will never forget the moment that my own father looked at The S.O and said,
‘Look son, these things happen, women tempt you and it’s hard to not react’.
‘WHAT THE FUCK?’
I was a heathen temptress and the poor innocent male had been pardoned and almost comforted for being subjected to my sinful behaviour. I knew in that moment that my Dad clearly preferred The S.O to me and I would never receive any airtime in future disagreements.
In time the whole sorry incident was forgotten, until it was brought up at every single Sunday dinner for the rest of time and not a Christmas has slipped by without the words ‘couch’ and ‘caught’ thrown out. I did laugh though when my brother moved into his 1st house and my folks gave him ‘THE COUCH’ and I did end up marrying The S.O so actually, NOT a slut, am pious girl. See it was ok Mum, moving swiftly on…
Yes, I know you must be thinking I surely brought that one on myself but I am convinced that misfortune follows me. None of you could deny that the blasted chicken pox on the honeymoon was a huge misfortune as was nearly killing 26 people at my first grown up entertaining event.
Oh God, the emoji face is back and I am feeling very ill at ease revisiting this moment.
Before I proceed I must apologise as I didn’t intend to speak only about The Sex but here it goes…again picture it if you will, it is the 10 month of unsuccessfully falling pregnant. (Don’t you love that phrase.)
Anyway fertilisation was not going to plan. We have already had our first child, managed to maintain life source to her and have rationally discussed and agreed that we will now add to the family.
What a horrible time it was. There is nothing that will take the passion out of a relationship than trying to ‘fall’ pregnant and all those years of trying NOT to get pregnant and not once did they mention in the sex education talk in sixth class that it would be easier to make it in Hollywood than to make babies.
After 9 months of NOTHING and the doctor telling us to keep doing what we were doing (please God no more sex) we had reached the point that I would impatiently say, just quickly stick it in there while I do the ironing, then I’ll lie with my legs in the air, hold my breath, chant an incantation and you put your willy back in the freezer to keep it cool for tomorrows episode of ‘I’d rather be doing anything else.’
I had become obsessed with temperatures and counting ovulation days and supplements and telling The S.O to concentrate more and doing tests that can tell you before you’ve even had The Sex if you are pregnant. So to take my mind off it I decided to host a party.
‘I shall cook for 26 people’, said no one ever. The Mothership agreed to make dessert and I perused the Avoca book and selected a chicken parmesan with rice. The S.O bought salads so it was literally just one dish I had to do. How hard could it be?
Apparently very hard as the night in question I watched the faces of 25 people fall as they cut into the chicken and it was totally raw. MORTIFIED. I could see glances and heads shaking around me as I spooned great big dollops of chicken RAWmesan onto their plates.
‘Eh Judy…I think the chicken might be…’ ah man really….the word chicken was set to destroy my life. It was all made worse as some bright spark had the idea to scoop the chicken bit back into the pot accompanied by hundreds of grains of rice and various salad items and give it another boil.
Apparently no one was sick the next day, but my cooking career was over. Nowadays I am the queen of drinks and nibbles. Food just makes you fat, have some guacamole!
After Chicken Gate I was left devastated, I couldn’t cook, there was no bun in my oven and I was convinced that my Dubai debacle had cursed me. Not one to sit on my laurels, I would break the curse.
Early that Saturday morning, when The S.O was golfing (I must face this ritual alone), Buster and I purposefully set off to the beach to do just that. Tucked inside my pocket was the gift that the hotel in Dubai had given us on our departure from honeymoon hell. It was a wooden rosary bead thingy that I had decided carried the curse of Lemony Snickets. I took a deep breath and threw those beads with all my might into the sea. I had failed to notice the man swimming a few feet away from us but Buster had not and starting leaping about barking uncontrollably.
‘Control your animal,’ he shouted at me, breaking the momentous ceremony that I was conducting. Buster obviously unimpressed with his tone, trotted into the sea, circled a few time, before assuming squat positon and unashamedly took a big dump in front of him.
‘Oh crap’, I thought as I abandoned my curse breaking ceremony and ran away as Michael Phelps shouted, ‘Come back here’ after me.
So the curse lives on.
Lately it comes in waves and peaks before it goes away for a while and awaits its next strike.
There’s far too many Snickets to reveal but I’ll give you a quick taster..
The time I was having coffee with group of mums and told them I believed I’d make a great GP. I had been Google trained after all and was a pro at self-diagnosis. Sure any eejit could be a GP nowadays. Why is Mary kicking me under the table? Ah shite! Yer one opposite me husband is a GP. And a super one at that!
The time I told the very attractive lady I met that she was the image of her daughter, ‘you mean my sister’, she replied.
The time I was trying to explain what a burpee was at a school event and fuelled by prosecco demonstrated one and fell flat on my face in front of the very austere school principal. ROUND OFF!
The time I crashed the confirmation and thought it would be only hilarious to jump into load of family photos that then ended up in the local paper. (The Smith Family and Judy in the Middle) (The O’Briens and the random girl in the florescent orange top.)
Oh Holy Spirit.
The time I announced on a message group to my friends that I had just tried Botox but in fact sent it to the school mums group and then had to endure people staring at my forehead for weeks. (It wasn’t for me. I was gifted with a flexible face and I carried a blank stare until it wore off.)
The time we moved house and Wilbur headed in and attacked the new neighbour’s chickens and I had to pole vault the fence to catch him, dropped my phone and had to go back for it and then call to explain and apologise. Only for him to go back in a few days later for another go. MORTO.
I HATE CHICKEN.
The time I took a pair of boots out of a buggy in Zara. The poor woman went off to attend to her toddler and I saw they were my size and Oh God I know, I am so ashamed. I paid for them so fast and ran from the shop. I did return them the next day out of guilt and I hope she is strutting about in them now.
Yes I know, mostly self-inflicted misfortune.
There has of course been more serious misfortune that I always took well enough, until last year when everything went wrong at exactly the same moment, my lemonyness was at an all-time high and suddenly I didn’t manage so well. But after the initial shock wore off and I had time to reflect, I thought, in the words of Mr. Snickets himself,
‘What might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey…’
And I started to write.
We all face a journey in life and without the lows there can be no highs. No one has a life without trials, or mishaps or disaster and I hope no one has a life without some fun, hope and calm.
So what if I attract disaster, I also attract miracles; like the three I finally made with The S.O, like the way he loves me, like the family who finally accept me for who I am, like the friends who I laugh with when they say, ‘what have you done now’, like the outfit combos I pull together on a budget, like the way I love life and fun and laughter, like the way it’s never boring, like the joy I feel when I am writing, like the dream I have of someday being published, like the way I never give up and the way I choose to keep trying and well…if things don’t go right, go left.
This blog is dedicated to all the people in my life that turn my misfortune to fortune, who love my disastrous ways and who see the things about me that I don’t see.
And to my Mum and Dad, I’m having a blast, thank you.