24/11/2010

What is it they say about mixing business and pleasure?

My mum is almost done sorting  the paperwork  but last week she called to ask me to get some documents from her and my dad’s house and give it to her friend from work – who had the remaining half of these documents – who would then send them to her. I did as instructed. Found the documents, put them in an envelope and labelled them, then since I didn’t know where her friend lived – I also didn’t have any money to go anywhere that day – I called her to ask if she would come to where I live and pick them up. She said she was at work, but that I should send them by post, she would get them the next day anyway. Right, I hanged up and as I was preparing to leave for the post office my mum called. She said since I’m giving the documents to her friend I might as well also give her some money to send the documents with because she didn’t want to give the impression that we were just using her when really I could go and get the rest of the documents myself and send them. Fair enough, but I told her the only money left in my account was the money I was saving for food. She assured me that it’s OK to use it because she would send me some to spend anyway. Great. And off I went.

I sent the documents, deposited the money in mum’s friend account (FedEx rates are disgusting) and sent her a text to say it was all done. She didn’t reply for a week. In fact, since we started communicating and essentially since I was introduced to her on the phone by my mum she sent me only three texts. One to say yes it was OK for her to have the documents, two to ask me which documents were they exactly because her house was in a mess so she needed to know which ones to find them quickly, three to give me her account details. Now I do understand that she was doing us a favour, but my mum says she’s her best friend from work. Meaning, favour or not she would go out of her way to do this for her good friend, no? So why was she acting like I needed to do everything and she needed to be spoon fed every little detail about the favour? She came off to me as the kind of person who says they’re your very good friend but uses it to manipulate you, since after all you can’t do anything because she’s your very good friend. Am I making sense?

A week later my mum sends me email to thank me and say the documents have arrived, and that I should also thank her  friend. But why didn’t the friend send me a text to say she’s sent them? Attached with the email was a copy of the FedEx receipt. I looked at it and saw that the she spent less money than I had calculated. Seeing that at exactly that time I had £0.37 in my account and was not feeling well after catching a cold I decided to give her a text to ask if she could put the remaining amount in my account. I was desperate, there was no food in the house, I was ill and my mum’s transactions to my account would take a day or two at best – that is if she got the time to get off her busy schedule at all. So I sent mum’s friend a text, said thanks and asked very nicely about the rest of the money. She didn’t reply. Three days later I sent another text. No reply. Another two days, text from me, nothing from her. At this point I’m feeling awfully ill. I wait a further three days. Nothing. A week, I’m literally starving and livid, I decided to send her a text every single day until she does something about the money. I do this for four days. No reply, then on the fifth day she sends a very short text saying not to worry, she’ll put the money in my account when she goes ‘there’. This was a very incoherent text, it took me ages to decipher what exactly she typed – mainly because I don’t use text speak and she does. When she goes there? Where? To the bank? Home? Where the fuck?

So I thought, woman, not to worry? It’s been almost two weeks! And you didn’t even bother replying! I mean had she replied and told me of any difficulties she was having then I would have understood, but she went silent on me. Again, as above, acting along the lines of since I’m a very good friend then it’s alright. No it’s not alright. It’s not alright because it’s not your money and you don’t communicate. You are also just assuming that everything is well on the other side. I mean I don’t expect her to know that I didn’t have any money but in these financial times  why take for granted what people are going through? I was really angry especially because I wasn’t eating at all and was ill at the same time. Fever, headaches, period, the lot.  So I was just walking around feeling like every bit of energy being drained out of me.

On the same day that she sent me this text, she sent my mum email. I knew about this because I was the first to read it – I have my mother’s password, she gave it to me for when she is very busy, yeah I don’t know, my mum just likes things done for her sometimes but these are the perks. Anyway in the email this woman went to town with the ranting. She kept on reminding my mum of  all the things she’d ever done for her, how good friends they were and then kept reminding her wether she had ever asked for money from her? I don’t like your daughter’s messages she went on. Why would I steal your money? I don’t want your money. Have I ever taken money from you and never given it back? She continues and then goes on to say how she didn’t like the situation at all, that she was not happy with the way I was going about things.

Now I knew I was dealing with something else. My texts did not mention anywhere the words steal, stealing, keep or even took and want. My texts were basic polite requests along the lines of ‘could you please,’  ‘it would be great if you could,’  ‘is it possible’, ‘just wondering,’…I was essentially begging this woman, so where did she get this thought that I wa accusing her of stealing money? She also reminds my mum about their good friendship and how she’s never taken any money from her. Yes, that’s her, my mum. Now you are dealing with me, her daughter, two different people and I’m not your good friend. So don’t apply the same rules because you’ve never met me and we have never had to deal with money or other issues between us, we don’t have that history. That alone should make you deal with me differently. You are not happy, so am I, in fact my blood is boiling because you are taking things for granted.

With the powers bestowed upon me by my mum to be in receipt of her email password, I sent a generic ‘I’m sorry about my daughter’s behaviour’ email. I know my mum, this is exactly what she would have done. I then went to my phone and sent another generic text saying my mum just called me and I’m sorry if I caused any offence. I backtracked on my initial stance of asking for the money every single day until she gave in because a.) I was very poorly and didn’t want any more stress b.) I figured this is how she wanted to play the game, with her very good friend syndrome, maybe she wanted to be begged and cajoled?

Five days now, still no money or a text from her. I’ve heard it’s going to snow later in the week, I hope it won’t in these parts because if it gets too cold and I don’t have any food? Argh…I want to smash some windows or cut my hair or something. These are the so-called friends people have. I boggle at her behaviour. Why do people do this? So they can have a hold on their friends? I’ve never held on to my friends’ money even though we were good friends. Money is money, I treat it like it is. I’m of the opinion that you never know what people need to do with money, so if you owe a friend some money, give it back as soon as you can and if you can’t tell them early on why you can’t, chances are even though they need it very much, they’ll understand. What’s so difficult about that? But when someone goes about testing a friendship with these cheap money tactics it becomes irritating.

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15/11/2010

Things I’m  learning about myself from this  ‘thing’ with BB:

  • I think about sex too much.
  • But I’m congenitally incapable of doing casual sex very well.
  • Because I’m too emotional a person. I need to feel I belong with a man. I need to be acknowledged on an emotional level. I also care too much. I wake up in the morning and wonder if he had a good night. I sit at home having lunch and wonder if he’s having lunch with his friends, alone? What is he having? Is he enjoying it? I listen to travel updates and ask myself whether he’s stuck in traffic somewhere bored out of his brain. When he gets home, is he happy to see his baby? Does he spend his weekends making funny faces and making him laugh?
  • Also because my PCOS drives me mad. Immediately after my period, unless I really trust someone  it can be quite an effort for me to have sex. Too many true and false PMS-esque symptoms during that time. And I just can’t sit someone down – someone who is essentially still not close to me and start explaining all my reproductive woes. I’d rather pass the sex itself at that time. So I worry a lot instead, mostly about him, not me. Mostly about how I seem not to be in the mood.
  • And what does that say about me? I’m pathetic. End of story. But of course I want  a very healthy relationship.  That I’m sure of. I may suffer from a terrible and great deal of low self-esteem and other great crazy but that’s one thing I’m sure of. That’s why I said no to Fish. I’m not at my best emotionally and if I said yes I would lose him – something I don’t want to do because I want him in my life. If he still wants me when I’m ‘healed’ then I think I will say yes. At the moment it’s ok for any other woman to have him, although there isn’t any yet.
  • I like and prefer intelligent men. I mean,  BB isn’t dim, but God knows we don’t have any mentally stimulating conversations. Of course I’m aware life is about compromise so I can compromise if a man brought something else to the table, like kindness, unconditional love, streetwiseness and money, yes money – don’t get me wrong but I’m a woman, I don’t just lay with anyone, there are consequences to think of, it’s nature. And I won’t be PC about it, in fact all women shouldn’t be PC about it. All women who pretend to be PC about money in regards to relationships want to have the good life to themselves and leave you out to dry. True story. So where was I? Yes, intelligence. An intelligent man is powerful to me. A powerful man turns me on. I have respect for a powerful man and in order for me to love a man I have to respect him. Money = Power too, that’s why I can compromise. A powerful man also makes me feel protected and taken care of. I feel safe in the company of a powerful man. I feel my future children will be safe with a powerful father. A powerful man doesn’t worry about his position in society so he doesn’t have time to have ‘issues’, instead he has the time to love me.
  • I need to be more kind to myself.
  • Unmasking myself and allowing myself to be vulnerable is actually good for me. Allowing people to see the real me and being honest about my situation is good for my personal growth. BB is the only person in a long time who has actually seen how bad my financial situation is. Most of the times I feel ashamed by what is essentially a situation that is not my fault, but what can I do? He still insists on seeing me, so that’s what he’ll see.
  • I am beautiful – I know this but I needed a reminder after a very long time. From the first day that he met me, BB told me that I was beautiful every single time we met. Every single time. He’s never stopped. No faffing around with words, he just says these exact words every single time: You are beautiful.
  • I like kissing men’s noses.

10/11/2010

I went to the bank  last Friday. I was in a queue behind a middle-aged blonde woman. She was dressed in all black, spotted a deep red lipstick and was carrying a  big black gold-embroidered handbag  I don’t know why but her image made me think of   madams  – not that I’ve met any but after too much tv, books and being a general Billy no-mates, you tend to build a picture. She also made me think of perpetual jet-setters or the ‘it’s-my-sole-purpose-in-life-to-keep-up-with-the-joneses’ types. I waited for my turn, after a few minutes I heard:

“Alright, that’s sorted,”  then the girl behind the counter handed her a slip. I thought she was done, so I made a few steps forwards, leaning and readying myself to be served. But she wasn’t done,  for the girl behind the counter went back to punching something into the computer. The woman noticed my move, I noticed that she noticed me too, so I swiftly looked away, to a poster on the wall.  She then moved to block my view of the counter and put a big arm around the side of the counter that I was standing near to. Then I got the picture. She thought I was looking at her details! Wow. She continued throwing cautious glances at me whilst guarding this space even more. I decided to move a further steps back. Give her the piece of mind that she so desperately wanted. When it was my turn, the girl behind the counter said hello then immediately added:

“Just to say, you were standing very close to my last customer there.”

“Was I? I…”

“Just telling you because people can be funny with these things.”

Of course they can. I saw it. But I wasn’t standing too close, I only moved closer because I thought she was done and when I realised she wasn’t, I retreated, but hey. Now think about that, and then think trust, mistrust, security.

Why those word? Because coincidentally I was reading this highly insightful and thought-provoking book: The Spirit Level, Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. There is a chapter on community life and social relations. Here they discuss how in unequal societies (focusing on income inequality, which essentially affects things such as social status) people tend not to trust each other more compared to egalitarian societies. They live in fear and are constantly trying to either a.) protect what they have or b.) keep away from those people they considered out of their social circles, which ultimately is not good of all of us. For those higher in the ladder, they live with constant fear, for those lower in the ladder they live with the worry of lacking in something and not belong, so everyone is affected.

This  incident could not be more apt. Here are some illuminating quotes:

Inequality , not surprisingly, is a powerful social divider, perhaps because we all tend to use differences in living standards as markers of status differences. We tend to choose our friends from among our near equals and have little to do with those much richer or much poorer. And when  we have less to do with other kinds of people, it’s harder for us to trust them. Our position in the social hierarchy affects who we see as part of the in-group and who as out-group – us and them – so affecting our ability to identify with and empathize with other people.

(…)

With greater inequality, people are less caring of one another, there is less mutuality in relationships, people have to fend for themselves and get what they can – so, inevitably, there is less trust. Mistrust and inequality reinforce each other.

03/11/2010

It’s 3:40 pm, I turn over in my duvet-heavy bed and sluggishly glance towards the door of my room. BB is standing there. Am I dreaming? I ask myself and try to sit up. No I’m not. Oh dear God. Panic. That is BB standing at the door.

Then it hits me. What???? No, no, no, no!  This man did not just ambush me in my place? I did not remember any talk of  meeting him today. He’s appeared unannounced, to find me at my most undignified. A stinking room, dirty bowl and spoon with dried weetabix bits on them,  on the bed beside my head, a packet of sainsbury’s basics sultanas next to it,  bits of used tissue and dirty clothes all over the floor and my menses stained knickers hanging at the corner of my bed. I’m ashamed. I want to die. Oh the humiliation! It’s unbearable. I want to get up but I’m incapacitated with self loathing.

“Hello, I wasn’t expecting you, how did you get in?”

“The woman opened the  door for me”

“Oh, eerrm…I was reading then I fell asleep”

“I can see that, is it warm in there? I’ll join you”

No, please no. You wouldn’t like the smell in here. At this point I’m thinking…hide the dirty stuff on display…hide that bit of the second duvet that’s worn out…do something…save yourself from this shame. But I can’t. He’s already removed his clothes and has jumped next to me. Feelings of rage start to creep up within me. He has no right! He can’t just turn up. He has no right to turn up like this and make me feel less of a human being due to the conditions I live in. In times like these I want to be alone. I don’t want anyone to see the crazy state I’m in. When I’m alone, I don’t have to pretend. I can wallow in my depression and continue fighting a loosing battle with my insomnia whilst indulging and entertaining my glorious disturbed sleep patterns. Then he comes in like this. This is not a part of me I want him to see. Then I calm down – it’s not my fault after all, I didn’t ask him to turn up impromptu.

Up until now he had only been to my place once – after I had done a massive clear out and cleaned the place up and now. And of course after apologising profusely for the state of it – most of which wasn’t my poor self’s fault – the stained and discoloured roof for starters. Ugh. On that occasion it went well though. He didn’t seem to mind and even helped me take out some rubbish that The Witch thought convenient to tell me off about in front of him. But this was different.

One hour after he got naked, I put my hand over his torso  and a few minutes later I hear:

“We should stop doing this”

“What?”

“Having sex”

Oh dear me. This is it.

“I don’t spend quality time with you”

So why the hell did you fucking come over today? How about you should have told me this via earlier and not turned up. Or how about you should have turned up and NOT got naked, but just you know…tell me this and then go?

I remain silent. I play with his hair a little, he tells me to stop then gets up to dress. He notices the sultanas and makes a comment about how good sultanas are. All I can think of is that they are just sainsbury’s basics. Cheap. I’m a total and massive contrast to his comfortable middle class existence. No wonder he wants out? He also mentions something about how warm my bed is. Do I like to keep warm he asks? I pull a duvet over me as he says:

“We should stop because it’s not fair to you. I don’t make enough time for you”

He leans over to kiss me. Tears start forming. God please no, I can’t start crying now. Not for this man. Please.

“But you are funny, you don’t care”

I do. I fucking care. I fucking care so much. I fucking care so much that I’ve had to suppress my tears. He said I didn’t care because two weeks ago, while apologising for yet another flying visit I told him it doesn’t matter when he sees me. It was his life I said and I will not force him to see him. It’s not like I was married to him or was his girlfriend, I continued, matter of factly. I didn’t mean that. I was hurting and angry…and needy so I just said this to appear ‘cool with it’. He remembered it.

“It’s not that I don’t care”, I smiled faintly and swallowed a huge lump in my throat. He stood up to put on his jumper and said that it wasn’t fair that he couldn’t see me enough but would make sure to find sometime for us to do something ‘more’. So what is it? Is that it or do I have to wait and see if he has found the time to do ‘more’ things together?

He blew me a kiss and left. I lay in bed  thinking of that scene in Bille August’s The House of the Spirits, where Esteban visits a prostitute and asks her  to be tender with him and pretend to care for him, just for that day. Substitute  the prostitute with BB.

I wish I’d never met him.

**An hour letter I check my emails and see one from him, sent at 2:32 pm, without a body, titled ‘Hello are yyou home at 3.30pm?’ I wasn’t online so I couldn’t reply, but why would he just turn up? If you don’t get a reply you wait for one!

01/11/2010

Text from unknown number on 12/10/2010 at 08:40:

Morning 🙂 seen you gumtree add! Wondered if you would be interested in massage ? £60 per hour’ im cleam professional guy from [omitted town]

What??? I put an ad on gumtree looking for work and some perv thinks he can score some? For a girl who has only £10/week to spend, that offer is tantalizing but I don’t fancy my name appearing on Crimewatch. Neither does the thought of selling my body give me comfort.