This is Why I Hate Surprises….

Any of you who read my post from yesterday will have realised that  I have teeny problem with thought separation inasmuch as I can’t stop the little buggers taking sides and beating the crap out of each other. One the one hand we have Captain Positive and his little band of perky cheerleaders and on the other Captain Doubt who is constantly throw a spanner in the works or, failing that, beating cheerleaders over the head with them.

Any of you who read my post from yesterday will have realised that  I have teeny problem with thought separation inasmuch as I can’t stop the little buggers taking sides and beating the crap out of each other. One the one hand we have Captain Positive and his little band of perky cheerleaders and on the other Captain Doubt who is constantly throw a spanner in the works or, failing that, beating cheerleaders over the head with it.

Anyway,  I was promised a big surprise last week which led to an inevitable 3 day battle between the two Captains who have set up opposing camps somewhere in my cerebral spaghetti. The surprise giver was my best friend who is the kindest and most well intentioned person in the world. Unfortunately, he seems to think that I am far more well-adjusted than I actually am and dismissed all my pitiful whimperings about hating surprises as well as my increasingly hysterical demands to know what we would be doing, where we would be going, who with etc etc. All he would reveal was that we were going on his motorbike, it would be a new experience and I would have a great time……

Yesterday duly arrived and my friend arrived with his bike and a very large rucksack.

“So I’m carrying the rucksack then?” I was eyeing it suspiciously and it was glaring back.

I tried to pick it up with one hand and then put it back down.

“What the bloody hell have you got in here?????” I was convinced that it was full of rocks.

We argued for a while about the weight of the thing (I thought at least 30kg while he insisted no more than 10!)

“So how far is this place” I asked to try and smother the temptation to find a set of scales

“Just under 200km……..here I’ll help you with the bag”

Panic 2My first thought was ‘just hand the bag back, say thank you very politely and go back indoors’ but then I thought ‘no! stop being such a wussy, your best friend has arranged a lovely surprise for you so suck it up’.

I handed over my sunglasses to be put in the rucksack (fortunately they don’t weight very much) and spotted two things which looked very much like cycling helmets or the helmets you wear to climb mountains…….or jump off bridges attached to giant elastic bands…….

Captains Positive and Doubt were barged out of the way by Sergeant Panic who was  screaming at the top of his lungs and banging frantically on the back of my eyeballs trying to get my attention. The Team Positive cheerleaders pushed him over, sat on him and jammed a pom pom in his mouth…..

I put my foot on the foot peg which is roughly the size of bourbon biscuit and hoisted myself up. The rucksack ensured that my first attempt failed and my second, although successful was anything but elegant.

“By the way [person he knows I don’t like] is coming with us…….” my friend said casually

Sergeant Panic had poked cheerleader 1 in the eye, spat out the pom pom and now had Captain Doubt by the lapels, was shaking him violently and demanding to know why he wasn’t doing anything…….

An hour into the journey and the good Captain and his Sergeant had stuffed all members of Team Positive into the broom cupboard and were sitting down with a number of distant cousins including Paranoia and Anxiety. There is not much to do on the back of a motorbike other than look at the view and listen to the voices in your head; as it was motorway for almost the whole damn journey it was standing room only for negative thoughts after….well, not very long at all really.

I swear I did my best. Captain Positive made a bid for freedom when I saw a sign for an Outdoor Activity Park but he was rugby tackled by Disappointment when I realised where we were actually going.

A race track. To watch a race. With thousands of other bikers.

This was not a new experience at all, there would be no adrenaline rush (which I was desperately praying for by this point as, in my experience, an adrenaline rush can kick the arse of pretty much any negative emotion) and I had worried myself sick for 3 days, for what? Captain Positive chose this moment to point out that that’s exactly why worrying is a waste of time but Corporal Anger kicked him in the crotch and he shut up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love motorbikes, I especially love watching my friends race as it’s exciting watching someone you know hurtle round a track at breakneck speeds but it’s something I’d done many times before. Why give me all this nervous anticipation for an Endurance Race I’d never heard of full of riders I didn’t know??

tantrumI’d like to say that I took all this in my stride, thanked my very kind friend and had a lovely day. I’d like to be able to say that but I can’t because it didn’t happen. Team negative seemed to have taken control of my facial muscles (forcing them into a frown) and my vocal cords (which they’d somehow manipulated so that all I was capable of was hhhmphhh).

Captain Positive, no doubt holed up somewhere with an ice pack on his balls, refused to take part in anything all day so it was party time for Team Negative. All I could focus on was the pain in my back (from the rucksack which would still be heavy on the return 200km journey), the guilt I felt for not appreciating the surprise day out, the unbearable, unrelenting noise, the heat and the masses and masses of people. I tried, I honestly did, not least because I was feeling bad about the way I was treating my best friend but the day just went from bad to worse….

Somehow Team Negative grabbed Granny Agoraphobia from the Sunnydale Retirement Home for Old Neuroses and I started to really panic. I tried to explain to my friend but he was justifiably pissed off with me, because I ‘d been a miserable git all day, and wasn’t really in an understanding mood. In the end, I was in floods of tears and insisted that we go home; I just couldn’t cope any longer. The day had been ruined, Team Negative had won and, as a result, I think I may have lost my best friend……

Lisa

x

 

Fighting Amongst Yourself

Have you ever had a fight with yourself? I don’t mean taking yourself by the scruff of the neck and throwing yourself over the back of the sofa, more a fight within the confines of your own mind. I believe the technical term is ‘internal dialogue’, when the exchange is calm and productive, this is more of an ‘internal slanging match’. It’s as though your thoughts suddenly take against each other……

Have you ever had a fight with yourself? I don’t mean taking yourself by the scruff of the neck and throwing yourself over the back of the sofa, more a fight within the confines of your own mind. I believe the technical term is ‘internal dialogue’, when the exchange is calm and productive, this is more of an ‘internal slanging match’. It’s as though your thoughts suddenly take against each other……

Usually it begins with a single, simple phrase that runs through your mind, dragging a negative, but all too willing, emotion along with it

“I can’t do this!”  says the Captain of team doubt, accompanied by Sergeant Anxiety.

“Of course you can, it’s a wonderful opportunity”

The Captain of team positive thinking takes centre stage flanked by a couple of pom pom waving cheer leaders from Camp self-esteem

“I can’t, it’s too much pressure, I know it’s going to be a disaster”

Team doubt have been joined by Fear (always a big player) and a couple of rejects from Camp self-esteem who were kicked out for ‘not playing well with others’.

“We’ve talked about this. You cannot know what will happen; let go of control and just go where life takes you”

cheerleadersTeam positive thinking have recruited self-confidence (who did not come willingly) The cheerleaders are busy chanting motivational quotes and trying to work out how to build a human pyramid with just the two of them.

 

“Oh bugger off you bloody hippy, what do you know about it”

The rejects from Camp self-esteem take this opportunity to wrestle the pom poms from the cheerleaders and start hitting self-confidence over the head with them; not an eager participant in the first place, he makes a run for it.

“I’m you, you blithering idiot!”

At this point both sides will realise what a nonsense their battle really is or they’ll both take serious offence and launch an all out attack on each other, which results in the owner of the warring thoughts having to lie down in a darkened room for a couple of days.

Viewing my inner dialogue scraps like this is the only way that I can keep them from drawing battle lines and really wrecking my life. Today, I enlisted the help of Common Sense who is currently standing in the middle of the two protagonists with his arms folded and a stern ‘don’t mess with me you bastards’ look on his face.

Why is all this necessary? Well, a couple of my closest friends have organised a surprise for me today.

“I don’t like surprises”

“How do you know, you don’t know what it is, that’s the point of surprises”

“Oh, sod off with your bloody logic, I know what I don’t like”

Sorry, guys, I need to go and give Common Sense a hand, they seem to be giving him a wedgie……..

See you later

Lisa x

 

 

Loins Girded……

Do you find that, when you’re really not looking forward to something, you have a mental process which allows you to pull up your big girl (or boy) panties and just get out there and do it? It’s the mental equivalent of a kick up the arse. It could involve deep breathing or visualizing a positive rather than negative experience, a quick shot of vodka, who knows, it’s different for everyone.

Do you find that, when you’re really not looking forward to something, you have a mental process which allows you to pull up your big girl (or boy) panties and just get out there and do it? It’s the mental equivalent of a kick up the arse. It could involve deep breathing or visualizing a positive rather than negative experience, a quick shot of vodka, who knows, it’s different for everyone.

Well that was me yesterday morning before I set off for the chamber of psychological torture hairdressers. If you read my post from yesterday (a big thank you if you did by the way) you’ll know that this is not exactly a pleasurable experience for me. If you can imagine how it would feel to have Torquemada turning up on your porch and telling you he’d like a quick chat……it’s a bit like that.

Anyway, loins suitably girded, I set off. The salon is in a hotel in Monaco so the first job was finding it (never an easy task for me); luckily a very nice chap offered to show me the way :O) He left me at the lift and said

“It’s the first door on your left”

“Great thanks!”

“The other left Madam”

“……………!!!”

So I entered the salon slightly flushed and silently cursing my ability to differentiate my left from my right when I’m stressed. Thankfully, despite being 10 minutes early,  I did not have to wait so there was no temptation to bury my nose in glossy hair magazines which would give me unrealistic expectations as to what could actually be achieved during my visit.

I popped my arms into a straight jacket gown and was then deposited, with a bottle of chilled Evian (nice touch) in front of a…..WTF!!!!! Not your usual head and shoulders sized mirror, oh no, this was a full floor to ceiling, show every flaw in every part of your body and make you seriously question why you chose to wear those pink shorts mirror. Mwiffle!

Next shock was the arrival of a man.

“Hi! I’m going to be looking after you today”

What? A bloke was going to be doing my hair????”

“Um right, ok, great thanks. I should tell you, I’m English and my French really isn’t very good” (I said in French – don’t be impressed, it’s a well practiced line)

“Don’t worry Madam I speak almost no English”

I think he thought that this would make me feel better. It didn’t.

Some words in French that I did not understand

“I’m sorry I don’t understand” (very useful phrase learned very early on!)

After several minutes of rephrasing and Gallic gesticulations I worked out that he was asking me how my hair had been blonded at my last hairdressers

“No idea really, she just sort of painted some stuff on my hair and voila!”

peas up noseHe gave me the sort of look usually reserved for young children trying to shove peas up their nose and launched into an explanation of the countless options that were available to me.

“Look, I really think it would be best if I just left it to you, you’re the expert after all. However I think I should tell you that I hate my hair and I always hope that hairdressers will perform miracles with it”

At this point I expected him to pale slightly and mutter something about doing his best as had always happened in the past but he didn’t..

“And what would the miracle look like?”

Oh shit! How do I answer that?

“Um, I’m not really sure to be honest…”

I went back to being the pea stuffing toddler.

Anyway, except for a brief discussion about the football (brief because I have no interest in and know nothing about football) and the weather (well, I am English), I let him get on with things.

My hair was painted (30 minutes in front of the mirror trying to avoid eye contact with my reflection), rinsed, painted again (further 45 minutes trying to understand articles in Marie Claire – French version), rinsed, conditioned and rinsed again.

Finally I was ready for THE CUT.

Edward ScissorhandsThere was no discussion. I think he’d realised that it was futile by this point so he set about doing terribly creative things with several different pairs of scissors. However, he did tell me that he’d spent 15 years working in a salon in Paris, the style capital of the World. I was somewhat comforted by this revelation but still found myself gripping the arms of the chair very hard; I think you could probably see the nail  marks if you looked hard enough.

He finished cutting, ignored the rising panic in my eyes and armed himself with a small tub of some blue goo and a hairdryer. 10 minutes later and he was done.

“You can open your eyes now Madame”

“Mmm?”

“Open your eyes”

I did. One at a time. Slowly.

“Wow! It looks great” Big smile of relief….and that was just from him!

So, there you have it, all that worrying and loin girding and for what? Honestly why do I make such a fuss about these stupid little things?

“So with the hair serum (what, it smelt nice!) that will be an astronomical amount of Euros”

hair meResigning myself to living on baguettes and cheese for the next couple of weeks I handed over my card and made another appointment for 6 weeks time. I sincerely hope that I will remember this experience and have no need to gird my loins in the future……….I probably won’t.

Oh yes, I knew there was something else. I saw my best friend later in the day; I opened the door to him grinning proudly, his comment:

“I thought you said you were going to the hairdressers today” Men!

Please do let me know about the last time you needed to do a spot of loin girding, I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

 

 

If That’s All You’ve Got to Worry About..

Morning :O) I’d really like your opinion on something if you’ve got a minute. Do you ever listen to someone telling you about their woes in life and have to stop yourself rolling your eyes at them or sit on your hands so that you’re not tempted to cuff them round the back of their head? Maybe you’re the serene and understanding type that never judges? Either way, what’s your take on this:

Morning :O) If you’ve got a minute, I’d really like your opinion on something. Do you ever listen to someone telling you about their woes in life and have to stop yourself rolling your eyes at them or sit on your hands so that you’re not tempted to cuff them round the back of their head? Maybe you’re the serene and understanding type that never judges? Either way, what’s your take on this:

A woman writing on a popular website for mothers was complaining that her parents always bought her cheap gifts for her birthday and that made her feel ‘not valued’ and ‘hurt’. This was what she wrote:

Cheap gifts

I realise that we can never really know how someone else is feeling and there may be more to this story than meets the eye but my first thought when reading this was “If that’s all you’ve got to worry about, I am so happy for you”.

What do you think?

Lisa

x