My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (51)

August 22nd, 2010




Have I ever told you about my flasher?

Everyone reacts different to trauma. I experienced this once more this week. As the teachers striked and became a bit aggressive, my kids got in the way of their goal. Thursday while I was doing training, my kid’s schools were invaded by masses of teachers, wanting to force everyone to do the same.

When I picked them up that evening a few interesting stories unfolded. My son – to my surprise – seems to approach life like me. His reaction was: ‘Isn’t it wonderful, I experienced my first strike!’ After ten minutes he was bored with the subject and moved on to the road he thinks the municipality should widen.

My daughter on the other hand was traumatized to some extent and was like a rag doll in my arms that evening. She had some interesting stories to share; one boy left the class breaking all the rules to check on his younger sibling. Another girl got under the table even before the strikers arrived, called her mother and was swept away instantly. The most surprising thing to my daughter was that the boys didn’t care to be called sissies for once and comforted all the crying girls as the masses of adults passed their classroom door and banged on the doors and windows, screaming and tipping dustbins over.

One of my most surprising reactions to trauma was when I had this one boyfriend, let’s call him Ronnie, when I was very young. Please take note, I was very young! So it happened that on one beautiful day many police cars came with their sirens on, turned into our driveway and …… took my brother into custody. My poor brother, incorrectly mistaken based on the description they received; yes you guessed it, for Ronnie. Then the story came out. Ronnie would lock himself in my sister’s room (I would knock on the door, get no answer and very naively choose to believe something like he must be praying, don’t want to be disturbed.) But no, dear Ronnie made sure he was in time to catch all the primary school children passing our house; he would lift up the curtains and masturbate. (Yes I know, bad choice of men from the very beginning, should have seen the danger signs then and locked myself in a cupboard until I turned forty.) And yes even I could see the low intelligence that had to play a role in that act, I mean, don’t do it at a place where it is easy for them to find you, if you really can’t help yourself do it at a place where you don’t need to go back to, talk about a sitting duck… or would that be a standing crane?

My reaction to the shock was that I totally forgot him, I remember sitting in our kitchen months after the incident and I couldn’t for the love of me even remember his name.

Today I can laugh about it and when my kids go through trauma, as bad as it may be, I know no-one is safeguard from it, so rather here and now where I can have an input and help them to learn to deal with it. 

Viva to survival and bums up old chap!

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (50)

August 19th, 2010




I want to invite you to join me. If you want to sign up for a year of celibacy and self growth (a celi-batical), let me know and as I share my experiences and learning curve I invite you to share yours as well.

To work in the wedding industry is to sell dreams.

I was with a couple that works in the wedding industry, they are involved in different aspects of the process from photography to music, they work the dream, they sell the dream but they don’t live the dream. I am not sure if I would have liked to be painfully reminded on a daily basis of how my dreams crumbled whilst smiling with and for others that still believe in theirs.

While I was there a wedding was performed; very informal, in the garden with only one group of parents as guests and witnesses. They even casually moved the time by an hour, not sure what could have held them up as it definitely wasn’t the hairdresser.

Neither of my weddings was the dream it was made out to be. With number one I was denied to have it my way, I wanted a reception in the garden but it was not to be. From the peaceful, relaxed and loving atmosphere one hope for right through to the confidence in your decision, I had none of that.

My second wedding was very low budget; my dress was made between my mother-in-law-to-be and myself for only R100, she was very kind, just for me to find out that she was actually vigorously against the wedding. (And no I don’t blame her but I didn’t feel comfortable with the double messages I got.)

My third wedding was also low budget, the only thing that was new was a blouse; it was very informal in a garden with the main feature that more children were in attendance than adults.

There weren’t with any of the weddings the expensive and elaborate things you normally associate with a wedding and none of the normal traditions were followed, as well as not a proper honeymoon. (Now I understand, maybe that is why the marriages didn’t last, what was I thinking, starting a marriage that way?)

My art therapy students have to make three masks, each of the masks represents their past, their present or their future and they have to be painted accordingly. I was looking at their work and I couldn’t help but notice that most of them had something in common. Most of the masks that represented the past were painted with symbols that represented hurt, darkness, confusion and lost. The ‘present’-masks weren’t as bad but still reflected feelings of being lost. The future masks were beautiful, it had music and flowers and symbols of love and peace. I couldn’t help but feel that we all start with so much hope and we keep on hoping but reality gives us a sucker.

When I left the wedding-people I was left with one overwhelming feeling, I didn’t think of the wedding, I didn’t feel excited for the new couple, I left carrying my wedding-friends pain and lost dreams with me.

We shouldn’t loose the hopes and the dreams, but sometimes the hurt of never finding those dreams can be overwhelming.

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (49)

August 15th, 2010




I went to an information evening about climbing Kilimanjaro.

Unfortunately I turned off too early, twice, and missed the first nine tips, and there were only ten (no, just joking), I’m sure I got the most important parts. I probably missed the tip about wearing thermal underwear and now my booty is going to freeze off. As it is I think I will turn into an ice monument when the temperature drops to 11°C and now they talk about – 15°C and even less. Did you see the minus? I know many people will laugh at me but trust me, I don’t think it is a laughing matter. I’ve never experienced anything with a minus. Above all you are suppose to force yourself to drink at least four liters of water per day, you won’t be thirsty but apparently that doesn’t matter, you’ll just have to force it down because apparently it increases your changes to summit. Then of course you need to use the toilet more often, not that you can count on much that looks like a toilet, but you get my drift. Please remember I am a woman; that means that every time I need to go, (that is now behind the small ice rock and you must hope you don’t slip and fall because you’re off the so-called track) I have to expose all my assets to the elements. Thus, thermal underwear or not, I think my booty had it.

It gets worse; you need to take a little brown bag for all your used toilet paper, I personally recommend that you don’t put anything else in a little brown bag, wouldn’t want to get confused. Especially I, with my slight dyslexia, the little brown bag on the left might become the little brown bag on the right in my mind, don’t want that.

But I am strong and fearless and won’t allow small problems to stop me from reaching my goals! I will just approach it the way I did when I wanted to overcome, or at least lessen, my fear for heights and believe me one step on a ladder have me shaking. I went sky diving.

In those days there were no tandem jumping, but your first jumps were static line. So I booked, paid, closed my eyes and my mind and just pushed forward. I went through the training and it was actually getting dusky already by the time we jumped. So there I was, in the small airplane, white as a sheet, checking and re-checking all my straps and buckles and of course the static line. At some point they opened the door and my o my, it is high. When it was my turn I had to sit in the door, my legs hanging over the side felt like two rags on a washing line on a windy day, I was surprised to find out later that they survived the onslaught. Then they counted me down, my mind didn’t want to function, it just stopped completely, I think they more pushed me out on the count of 3000 than I actually jumped. (If jumping is at all possible from a sitting position) but be as it may, I would probably still be sitting there today if they didn’t help me a bit. At the end everything went smoothly, I can even say I enjoyed it very much. At some point I prepared for the landing, getting into position, when a bird past below me, so I relaxed a bit longer. It actually helped some for my fear of heights although it returned (maybe it is time for a little jump again!)

My point being, you can live life choosing the comfortable route or you can put yourself out there, challenging yourself. I choose the latter. Why not join me?

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (48)

August 12th, 2010




One of my biggest hurts is my oldest daughter. She is an absolute darling and if you ever meet her I hope you can see her though my eyes.

From the very beginning she presented a challenge to me; I so badly wanted to be a good mother and through the years she’s given me the greatest compliments I could hope for, to give you an example, recently she said that she won’t ever be able to be as wonderful a mother as I was and am (of course I disagreed), she also said that I seem to always know exactly the right thing to say.

For you to understand how amazing these compliments are you need some background. I divorced her father when she was only three years old. I gave her three fathers and I gave her none. Today she longs for a father but there is no-one. I can still live with it that I’ve made bad choices when it came to partners, it is my consequences to carry, I can do that. But I can’t live with the fact that I chose a bad father for my daughter. 

You see her biological father sexually molested her. The one thing I wanted to protect her from, I was unable to. I can still see the two year old who would climb under a table, covering her head with her hands and trying to get under there as far as she possibly can when her father entered the room, at the time I couldn’t understand it. His reaction was to say what a stupid child she was. I can still see myself sitting on a bed with her screaming uncontrollably, unstoppable, when she returned from a visit from her father after the divorce. She would just scream and scream and I would be unable to console her. I still see her as a four year old shortly after I got remarried, me forcing her to go to her father because I had no choice, she clinging to me and crying and then the words that spilled over her lips, words a four year old little girl should never know or need to say.

The pain of that moment is indescribable and then there was the pain of the fight. A two year court case and every step I took felt as if I was walking into a wall. In this time my psychological tests showed that I was molested as a child and they couldn’t use the tests in court for fear the opposition would say I projected my experience and fears on her. Every time I was forced to let her go to him I fell apart and found it impossible to function; I failed her, again and again.

To a big extent I think this has cost me my second marriage. I couldn’t back down; I had to fight for her even if it seemed as if there was no hope. My husband never had any big trauma in his life and he was in over his head. He sold his sport car that he loved to pay part of the costs and the things that were said in an effort to discredit me, hurt him emotionally. Sometimes I think he not so much ignored me as that he withdrew; he became extremely depressed.

Then there was the aftermath of trauma; my daughter was in her own world, restless and never easy, especially among people. She distrusted men and adults in general, no matter what I did or say; she wouldn’t greet adults or look at them. She was quick to gear up to fend for herself aggressively. Another thing she did was to say something or act in an unacceptable way to test people, normally they immediately disliked her. She was fighting to find solid ground again and believe me it was years of struggling.

When I got married for the third time he could only see her faults while I could only see how far we came, she was finally becoming a human being, finding her own place in this world.

Recently, being in her first serious relationship, she was confronted with the consequential emotions of the molestation unexpectedly. She came and talked to me, my heart broke into a million pieces.

Today, if you meet her, you might still find that she tests you or that she distrusts you and even rejects conventional expectations but if you look through my eyes you would see an eagle. I see in her the strength of an eagle, I see wisdom and an insight in people that astonish me and if you can break through her barriers you will find the softness and caring of a mother eagle. One of her strongest points is that she is loyal and she isn’t afraid, she will fight for you till the end and like an eagle, if she put her mind to something she will accomplish it. She is a dreamer high in the clouds, but she also has one foot solidly on the ground. She is that person that quietly, like an eagle, will do her thing and one day she surprises you by what she has accomplished.

She is beautiful. She is my darling daughter.

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (47)

August 9th, 2010




And then you stand up again and you count your blessings.

I had a visit from a friend that had very much a similar – and devastating week – like I had last week. First we spend our time to complain about it together and shared our moments of devastation; we even shared how we complained to God.

Of course it addressed the age old question of the reasons for suffering and why things aren’t always easy and straight forward; I mean don’t our own plans look so much better than how reality sometimes work out?

At some point our conversation turned towards how ridiculous we are that we allow these things to get us down; although it might feel very difficult to us, in the bigger picture it is not so terrible and there are many blessings we have in our lives. We came to the conclusion that God is in control even if it doesn’t feel like it and that we only need to keep our eyes on Him.

A while ago I had an earth leakage problem and I didn’t know how to solve it. Once more I was faced with the problem that I don’t have anyone that I can ask to help me. Eventually – and by change – I had people from Escom that tested it for me and told me what the problem was. Next step was to buy the necessary part, what I did.

Unfortunately – or is it fortunately – it was such a small job that no-one would come out to solve it and so it happened that I got up yesterday, after my bad week, and decided that today was the day; I made solving the problem my only goal for the day. I definitely needed to take some control even if it was in a very small way. I got everything I anticipated I would need together, called the children to help me and learn something. (Yes, I know, learning from someone that doesn’t know what she is doing can be a learning experience in the wrong direction.) I told them not to do anything if I got shocked as they don’t need to worry, it isn’t my time yet and after a brief conversation with God I will be back. (Luckily they took the joke well since they know my wayward sense of humor.)

Then I tackled it; I put off all the possible switches and you will be impressed with me because next I used my own home-made tester (like I’ve seen my father do) to make sure there was no power anywhere and that I could work safely. Then, with success, I replaced the broken part.

I think that sometimes we are tested to make sure that we will be able to do whatever lies ahead for us. The key is to pass that test – hopefully with flying colors – not get discouraged, stand up and count our blessings.

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (46)

August 6th, 2010




Sometimes there are things in life that can completely floor you.

What can cause this is different for everyone. General speaking there are times that I am stunned that my life is at the place where it is. And then there are moments that something happens that underline and emphasize what causes you pain and hurt in life and that is the moments that put you at a zero. That is also the times that you aren’t hundred percent sure if you are going to get through it.

One of the consequences of being single is that you have to do things that can be perceived as dangerous on your own. Not that it necessarily makes a difference if you have a partner. I remember driving on my own eleven o’ clock at night to go and pick up my daughter after a function. My husband was in front of the TV under a nice warm, blanket. So for me, nothing has really changed, except that now I don’t have a back-up plan if I run into trouble, I wouldn’t know who to call.

And so it came about a while ago that I was in Joburg for business. It was nine o’ clock at night when I left with one hour of driving back home that lay ahead of me. I didn’t get far when there was a loud noise and the car didn’t feel the same anymore.

Now to appreciate the situation I was in you have to understand the road I was on. There was nothing! It was pitch dark with only the occasional car or truck passing by. All the way between Joburg and my home was flat grassland, with only farms along the way and let’s not forget; this is South Africa!   

I took a change – because what was a girl to do – and jumped out to try and see what was going on. I felt my way around in the dark, not really able to see anything, and came to the conclusion that part of my car has descended on the one wheel. I jumped back in and picked up my phone; it was dead, there was no plan B.

I sat there in the dark and I knew I was faced by limited choices. (As we are very often in life, we can choose between bad or worse.) Staying there just seemed like the worse possible thing I could do, so I was left with moving forward and so I did. I didn’t know how far the car would take me, I didn’t know what the outcome would be and I surely didn’t know what extra damage I was doing to the car. But still I had to try. The noise was over powering and all that the car and I could manage was 20km/hour. Do you know how slow 20km/hour is? It is dreading and dreadful. The 80km that was still ahead of me and the noise I had to endure stressed me. I asked questions like what if the car comes to a complete stand still and what if someone picks up I am a bit helpless and stop, someone with bad intentions. (You know, what if… that question that only causes anxiety and bring no answers.)

Then I made two decisions: one I am going to pretend I am driving to Durban; then it won’t feel so horrible that it is taking me forever and two I am going to praise God in this situation and not focus on the circumstances. I have to admit, I had to put my radio very loud just to hear something above the noise the car was producing.

And so I moved forward; I passed a board with the same small town’s name on it three times; I didn’t even realize before that you can choose between three off ramps and that for such a small far-off town. The minutes passed by, everyone felt like an hour and eventually it was hours; still I moved at my snails pace, my loud noise and my singing and praising God.

Finally the only garage on the road came into sight, but even having a possible end in sight didn’t make it easy, it felt like another hour that I was crawling towards that beacon of light in the middle of nowhere.

When I finally reached them, they did help me and it was a smaller problem than I created in my mind. The remainder of the road felt like just a moment. It was half past eleven when I finally reached my home.

And now, when a time comes when I feel as if I have reached the end of my rope, when I feel something is just too hard and I don’t know what the outcome is going to be, I remember that night; I remember that every turn of the wheel is taking me closer to a better place, I remember that even if it doesn’t feel like it I will make it. I also remember that many times things aren’t as terrible as we perceive them to be and I remember that it makes a huge difference if I take my eyes off the circumstances and turn them to God.

There is always an end and there’s always a beginning; never give up because you can be very close to the end of whatever it is that is difficult for you.

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (45)

August 3rd, 2010




I want to invite you to join me. If you want to sign up for a year of celibacy and self growth (a celi-batical), let me know and as I share my experiences and learning curve I invite you to share yours as well.

‘Being single sucks’, is some of the comments I get, and yes over the weekend there was a moment or two that I felt like that.

Sunday I woke up early (that for a night person) and I felt extremely happy and excited for no apparent reason. Eight o’ clock I was in the gym, overdoing things as I tried to get rid of all the excess energy I had. By half past ten I have showered and was all dressed up with nowhere to go. As it turned out no-one was available to share this day with me; I felt so happy I wanted to talk someone’s head off, I wanted to allow everything that was bottled up inside of me to just bubble over, I wanted to be silly and laugh about everything and about nothing, but it is a bit difficult to do with and by yourself.

As it was I couldn’t get first prize, but I still decided to make the best of it. I decided to take myself to Millies. Millies is a beautiful place, it is an hour away from me between somewhere and nowhere. You are still on the highway rushing towards the next town when you go over a little hill and there it lies in front of you. The first thing you see is a vast piece of land with the yellow grass bended in the onslaught of the wind. At the same time a big dam catch your eye, you can’t miss it, the water –from this angle- seems to be still; the reflection of the sun makes it look like a massive shining mirror and out of the water there seems to rises an old-style building, the walls white-washed and the high roof from grass.

When I step inside I know I can be certain to find a fire in the fireplace that will crackle and throw the flames upwards to make me feel warm and cozy. If it is not so cold I know I can sit on the veranda in the sun and gaze at the water, maybe there will be a cow or two on the other side or someone that are fishing, the yellow grass will look from here more brownish and the water will have a dark, brewing quantity that makes you ponder on what lies beneath. I can buy fish food and feed the fish; the massive, lazy trout will pitch for the party in their hordes, going round and round in circles hoping for the next pellet to fall right in front of their noses. When the whole packet is shared, I can sit baking in the sun reading my book and eat the divine food of Millies like oxtail or lamb curry and drink a glass of wine. Afterwards I can browse the little shops and maybe even buy something decadent. That is just what I did and it was highly enjoyable.

The bad part was when I realized that the couple at the table next to mine was discussing my sorry state of being alone. Of course there and then I decided that I disliked them.

On my way back I thought about everything and I came to the conclusion that being single isn’t always nice but then again I just need to let my mind go back to the bad times when I was in a relationship and I will choose being single any day.

Maybe I didn’t have someone whom I could talk drunk but I had so much beauty around me. I choose to find what is good in this time of being single, I choose to be positive and believe in myself. I choose to embrace every moment and every nuance of my life as it is.

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (44)

July 31st, 2010




I am changing my mind about what I said before, but let’s start at how it happened.

I took out some dvd’s, wanting to watch something relaxing, but I don’t seem to have the ability to choose well, I ended up crying through half of the first one and the whole of the second one. (Luckily with no-one there to laugh at me or put me on the spot.) It was really sad (or maybe I am just a bit fragile at this point.) Be as it may, I realized a few things and had a profound light bulb moment.

Three things stood out. The second movie was P.S. I love you. For those that have seen it, I am convinced that you would back me up that it is utterly sad. The first thing that touched me was when the mother (being a divorcee) asked the daughter (who lost her husband to death) if she thinks that it is easier to be abandoned by choice. When she said it I wept. Someone that dies doesn’t choose to leave you but someone that divorce you choose to leave you. I have to admit that there were many times that I thought that death might be easier than divorce. (That of course depends on the nature and the state of the relationship.) But for me when I was faced with that moment when divorce became a reality, I felt as if death would have been more kind. I also realized that although I made the final decision every time I made it to avoid any further abandonment. You see in all my relationships I did feel as if I was abandoned and rejected repeatedly until I felt extremely bad about myself. The moment I finally walked away was when I felt that I won’t be able to face another rejection.   

The second thing was when the girl’s husband (when he just met her) said that he saves his kisses for the one that he thinks is going to have such a profound impact on him that the moment or person will change his live as he knows it forever. In his last letter he also wrote that he is worried that she will forget the girl she was when he met her. That brings me to the light bulb moment and what I want to change of the things I said before. You see I am a big advocate for finding yourself, knowing yourself before you enter into a relationship and not losing yourself in a relationship and I still stand for it. But as I watched this movie I realized that I (based on my previous experiences) am so focused on that, it is like a shield I am holding up, that I am not willing and open to be ‘changed forever’. It hit me like a bomb; of course you can’t enter into a relationship without being influenced by the other person and without being changed. I also realized that I might have entered into previous relationships holding on for dear life to what I perceived to be my self; not wanting to loose that girl with the stars in her eyes that I was at the beginning, but my efforts aside, I still did. I now realize that whilst it is important to know yourself, it is just as important to embrace change. You can’t be fully in a relationship unless you are willing to change and be changed. I use to say that a relationship either causes you to build your walls or it will make you break down your walls, but I think sometimes we start out with nice thick walls already in place. I don’t want to be that person, I want to be the one that are open and willing to learn, I want to be a partner that will embrace change. Bottom line; choose someone that you can look up to and respect, someone you are willing to allow to rock your world as you know it.  

The last thing was when the mom said to the girl that even if we are alone, we are in it together. To everyone out there that are reading this and are alone, be comforted by this thought, you are not alone in it, there are many people out there tonight that share your feelings, your hopes, your hurt. We are in this together!

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (43)

July 28th, 2010




I want to invite you to join me. If you want to sign up for a year of celibacy and self growth (a celi-batical), let me know and as I share my experiences and learning curve I invite you to share yours as well.

Lets talk about patience some more.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people that are single react to it in three different ways. Some jump from date to date, flirting with everyone and trying their luck around every corner, they go home feeling very lonely, getting out of there as quickly as possible to look for their next ‘fix’.

Others give up and resolve themselves to being single –probably for ever- and find a new rhythm to their lives. In their hearts they keep on hoping someone will come and be their hero, will rescue them but they’ve actually given up. They have little routines that help them get through the day.

The third group’s whole being is focused on finding that illusive someone; they are drastic and needy. Most of the time they are angry because they are alone and they work towards finding someone… anyone.

I was listening to a TV show with half an ear and someone said that years ago people married the girl or boy next door. They grew up together, played together and visited each other; they had some kind of knowledge of each other when they got married. Nowadays we marry strangers; we marry, based on lust, someone we don’t know. I think there is some truth in it. We call it love and we declare how important someone is to us and we are very disappointed if they aren’t who we thought they are, but truth is: we can only be surprised by what we find if we actually didn’t know that person well.

You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a better way, actually that there is only one way. When you are single, calm down, settle; use the time to figure out who you are, what you want and what your goals are. You can’t expect anyone to like you and like being with you if you don’t even like yourself! Whilst you are doing it, ask God to give you the correct partner and then be patient. You see, after all is said and done; we are not that intelligent, we – surprise, surprise – don’t know it all! We try with our limited knowledge to make good choices, but only God knows everything. I recommend that you trust Him!

My year of celibacy: A love affair with myself (42)

July 25th, 2010




Sometimes live is lived at high pace and under high pressure and then small things can become big things.

As much as I try not to allow small things to become big in my mind and in my action, it happens when I least expect it.

One of the things, that are actually a small thing, but which I really don’t like is… shopping.

I know, I know, women are supposed to like, even love it. Well I don’t and there are a few reasons for that.

For one, I am not good at spending money on small things; I have a mental block or something. It is so bad that I constantly run into a lack of –not so expensive-small necessities like toilet paper and tooth paste. Every few months my children want to use my tooth brush to clean something as they can’t believe that I still use it. To my shame I have to admit that I then normally allow them to take it and find an old one of theirs that still seems perfectly usable to me for my personal use (beats shopping any day!)

Secondly I don’t like walking from shop to shop, having to compare prizes and being bumped into and having to adapt my pace constantly. It feels like a waste of good time to me. I use to be so bad that when I finally decided to, lets say, buy my daughter shoes, I would walk into the first shop and we will walk out with shoes, it was irrelevant if she liked it or if it fit, I’ve done my duty! Luckily me x intervened and taught me something about shopping and nowadays I try, but I will still give up very easily if I don’t find it at the first stop.

Thirdly I like to stay ‘balanced’; I want that feeling of ‘I am relaxed and happy’. I loose all that when ending up in the hustle and bustle. My equilibrium is thrown and it is highly not enjoyable.

Last but not least –and not so enjoyable to admit- I can be impatient. I believe you can learn a lot about a person from how he drives. (Take note ladies, next time you meet someone watch carefully how he drives. I am willing to bet on this, looking back at my past relationships, I should have known after I’ve been in a car with them; it reflected to the miniscule detail their true character.) Truth is I am an impatient driver. With my children I am very patient, with my partners I am very patient, but it might be learned or my love for people, maybe because I want to be and see myself as patient, but unfortunately the impatience ever so often comes to the forefront and it happens mostly in traffic and –yes you quest it- when I try to shop.

That happened once more today, I –after forgetting to buy toothpaste for almost a week- had to stand in line to pay for it and as you can imagine I really didn’t feel as if I had an option. The row was right to the door of the shop and there was four cashiers, one cashier opened and the next client didn’t see, he (the cashier) said softly ‘next’ and then gave up. The impatient me got the better of me and I screamed ‘Next, can’t you hear?” and then turning to the cashier “How can you just sit there, it is your job to call the next customer.” Luckily I didn’t swear but my poor kids gave one step back looking a bit embarrassed. No-one reacted, everyone has gone dead silent, looking to the floor but even the customers was quick after that, and no one let anyone wait. When we left my son said: “Once more I ask you not to do that when we are with you, do it when we aren’t there!”

The problem is I really don’t want to offend people but I think that I might. I also need to be more patient, people operate differently and I can’t expect everyone to operate on my speed. Then of course I have the problem that people sometimes recognize me and one small incident like that can actually shape their perception of me. (You know it comes back to the social responsibility thing.)

Then on the other hand, and I get tired just thinking of it; do we really need to be so decent and in control, ALL THE TIME?