Life is Mostly One Big Colossal Misunderstanding
“I’d had a rough week” I said. “But there was a silver lining… I had to take Beast to have his anal sacks squeezed and the vet gave me sympathy discount based on my lack of (read no, none, nothing, shiny head) hair. Cancer does have some benefits.”
“Wait, what?” said my friends. There were kids running around and the only thing these two good mates heard was “anal sex.” Huge misunderstandings flew between us for about ten minutes. We laughed and laughed and laughed. But really, that is life, not so? It usually is just one massive, colossal, fuckup of a huge misunderstanding.
Moments before I wrote this: …. I’m crawling around on all fours on my lounge carpet, trying to find the location of the poop smell. My fat arm is leading the search, it’s the boss (for now). It’s literally dragging the rest of me with it like a drill sergeant who takes no prisoners, it has a life of its own, I need to name the arm. Anyway, I can’t find it, the smudge or smear or droplet of pooh. We (baby daddy and I) are gripped in the soul destroying frustration of potty training the third child. Some days are good; he does it in the garden (does not always tell us so we don’t always know that there is a bum to be wiped, until we learn the hard way, when he lovingly climbs into your lap for example. Just before that important meeting and so on). On other days he chooses a corner in the lounge and proudly pees against the wall like a dog marking its territory. What can I say, it’s a typical misunderstanding. A miscommunication of sorts between an adult and a toddler. ’So not being in a nappy is good’ he thinks, ‘it brings high fives and hugs and songs and the dogs absolutely love it. I don’t think my parents feed them. Logically then, doing my business not in a nappy brings good results, no? That corner is hidden away, the carpet is soft and I can still see the TV if I want to. The dogs love this spot too. Parents save on the cost of nappies. Win-Win all the way’, Classic misunderstanding, and I hope you can also see this as an analogy for the workplace?
It’s somewhat iike that one time when Kai was volcano obsessed and asked Siri to tell him about volcano lava. I was in the kitchen and he was in the lounge. Siri (that bitch), said: “here is what I found for vagina labia.” I high jumped over our beautiful chef’s block that Claire gave us (that thing is high) and sprinted to the lounge to snatch the phone from Kai before he could open any videos. We are not yet ready to have that conversation. But yes, thanks a lot Siri, get a fucking hearing aid.
And then my arm…. it does not yet understand the angry-sadness of women (I’ve developed Lymphedema because of the lymph nodes having being removed from my arm, it cannot drain toxins and fluid (yet) (super gross) and so, it is horrendously swollen. It’s behaving like a toddler who just had three cokes and four boxes of Smarties, has ADHD and just attended the Barney show. “I will cut you off dude”, I used to say. ”I’m not precious or attached to how I look. I really love writing, old school, on paper with a pen, but I’m sure my left arm can be taught to do that”. But this, also, was a misunderstanding. I imagine my arm and I going out to dinner together. We Uber, but separately, because arm is so big it needs its own bed, study, car, garage boobs and so on. We get a table for six at Mamas. Arm says: “I’m here to teach you patience.”
I say: “Fuck off, I hope you have Zapper as I’m not paying for your pizza and wine.”
Arm says: “you walk fast, you talk fast, you are too busy. Cancer came to slow you down. I was an innocent bystander. I want to write on flip charts and write letters and corny cards to Kev and significant mails to the kids. I want to help you pick up your youngest’s waste matter in the garden before the dogs get to it. You used to have nice handwriting, Idele always said that, Kev too. Get your shit together and love me.”
I say: “I don’t even know when he poo’s in the garden! The dogs can have it! When their dad travels the kids eat cereal for every meal. I SUCK at being a parent sometimes, but they know I love them. I want to bring the joy into every breath. And George (my asshole cancer) sucked, and my family and friends have had enough. What is the lesson already? My loved ones have suffered enough.”
Smugly the arm replies: “The answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, is 42. Douglas Adams said so.”
“Obviously Douglas knows very little about real life”, I say. “The answer to everything is Flings. It’s how you bribe your kids, its what you eat as you sob, uncontrollably, in the (locked) bathroom, hiding from them. It’s what can be found in your car at any given day of the year, stuck in car seats, on the floor, and also at home – mostly inside your couches that you re-upholstered last year. And also it’s yoga. Flings and Yoga, Fokkit.” (I always switch to Afrikaans when I’m particularly upset).
“When the end of the world comes, Flings is what will save us. If we had to escape fast we could survive for at least three weeks on all the sticky, hard, dust covered Flings left by my kids, in my car. Only Gen likes you, go to hell. I need to tumble backwards into shavasana as it looks so deliciously fun and relaxing. If you want to see, go to Tumble into Shavasana (Just forward to 2:16 where the actual action is, life is short). “Fuck off already”, I say. “Shavasana is corpse pose and in Aerial yoga teacher training I almost got to experience this as a way to connect with the child in me, but you were being a bit of an asshole, weren’t you, fat arm?”
But the arm will stay. Because the arm is my lesson. What seems like a misunderstanding, a big mistake, a colossal shit show, betrayal, self loathing for how bad we are, hating your neighbour because they suck, being a bad mom because you forgot to send money for the cake sale, not arranging that sleep over, killing thousands of ants as you try, desperately, to build an ant farm late at night, not understanding when your girl child asks for a twisty sideways, curled pony like a princess same as what so and so had the other day and not feeding your entire family organic probiotics with a count of 37 million million live bacteria. ALL of these things are simply misunderstandings. And often it is us misunderstanding ourselves.
I’m learning to be patient. Ironically enough, this will take me a long time. Can we hurry up this process please?? It’s like walking behind window shoppers at Gateway on a Sunday afternoon, like waiting at home affairs, like kicking dead whales down the beach, like waiting for the doctor to call. 2027 life goals: walk slowly, talk slowly, find my yoga voice, until then can we just keep left and fucking pass right in malls please? And don’t ram into my ankles with your trolley because my fat arm will break your knees.
All jokes aside, while going through these misunderstandings, I hope that you can see the humour, I hope that you can feel the fun, and I hope that you are able to smooth out those misunderstandings.