Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Viscous courage

Viscous liquids are thick but nevertheless run down hill don't they?

I've been thinking about all the things I have quit. I thought about calling it an anti-CV. A backwards cv is a VC though and in New Zealand that is linked to being very good and earning the Victoria Cross for extreme bravery in war. When I was eleven, the deputy principal read us a book about Charles Upham who received the Victoria Cross for escaping from prisoner of war camps - twice I think. Twice for the escapes and probably for the reading of the book by the deputy principal. The same man who once advised me to count to ten before opening my mouth. Ten!

Anway I settled on the idea of viscuous courage, a VC which is a sort of slow downhill descent of good intentions into a run, an escape.

I was brought up properly. Clean teeth, lots of church, mashed spud, cabbage and sausages every week with carrots cooked for 45 minutes as well some times. Quitting was not discussed. Occasionally I attempted to quit my responsibilities by losing things. A beige jersey once and then on another occasion I managed to lose all twenty-something punishment sheets meted out for me to copy as a punishment for talking too much. Losing things was not an effective way of quitting though. Not with vigilance and a proper upbringing. I could try and mete out the same stuff to my children, but my son has observed more than once that I am hopeless at remembering things. Maybe they will escape propriety.

When I was at intermediate, an odd term for being 11 or 12 and at school in New Zealand, my piano teacher forgot to enter me into the theory examination. Hmmph. We all knew he only took lessons for the money. What carelessness. Anyway he rang and apologised to my mother, a feat of some strength in itself, and offered to pay himself for me to sit the examination at the next opportunity.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was given the opportunity to further myself, to advance the credentials on this vital document known as my CV and talked about even when I was eleven, and I declined. The rot had set in, fermented by wild yeasts from outside of my proper home.

From then on and for ages, memories of quitting are a bit blurry. Frankly I should have quit a few more things, like unsuitable boyfriends.

But since we moved to smallwettown, I have taken up quitting with renewed enthusiasm. First, some things to quit. Playcentre was first up. I fancied myself as a bit of an earth mother and all that consensus sharing and loving for the benefit of our little darlings might be right up my alley. Might. Might indeed. In just a few months, I managed to quit not one but two playcentres. Consensus my foot. A wavering wandering waddle of women who vaguely want to do something good for their children lead by women who should have been in the army. I hear Jenny Shipley started out her entry into public life and organisation through playcentre. I can well believe it.

So I got out of playcentre. But there was more to get out of. Gymnastics was easy. I sneezed through the entire first session and cried for the lovely one in London where us mums sat and yakked while we watched the children. This kiwi version involved walking round with your child constantly and there was no music. No second time for us.

Next up Parents Centre. Who needs church when earnestness is available elsewhere? I guess the truly good like a bit of earnestness and then a bit more. After the meeting where someone groomed and ever so nice from Wellington carefully explained how to set up a charter of rules for the meeting before we even had the meeting, I knew I was dead in the water. How could I possibly find the drive to leave the house and go to another parents centre meeting ever again?

I went back to work again after a while but that was easy to quit because I was about to have a baby. Babies are permission to quit a few things.

I stuck it out at kindy, mostly because I found that if I played around being librarian, then I could avoid wielding a broom at the end of sessions and not lose points on viurtuosity. There is a lot I'll do to avoid a broom.

I know these things are supposedly all about the child, not the mother. Well for the good mother, they are all about the child. That is not what you are reading about. Go find a plunket book if you want goodness.

I have another thing to quit. Book group. A very rude man I know told me that book group was a bourgouis activity last year. Naturally I told him he was wrong. Unnaturally, it turned out that he was possibly right. We used to have it at the pub. Wine, gin, chippies, peanuts, beer. A bit of talk about the book and rather a lot of talk about everything else. This year, we are to have it at our homes and provide nibbles. Sweet and savoury. The etiquette of providing drink has been discussed, decided upon.

Do you know what this means?

It means cleaning. Behind doors and including the chair in the lounge where everything goes during the other big cleanups we have. Cleaning the entire house as there are ten women in the book group and the odds of none of them needing the toilet is rather high. The toilet is at the other end of the house to the lounge. This is beyond my realm of ability. Book group ladies, it was lovely and now I must depart.

My first little opportunity

1 comment:

cesca said...

I haven't quit our book group yet, but our book group is a "book group". We sit around, get drunk, and talk about whatever article caught our eye in the Woman's Weekly that week (or whatever book anyone is reading at the time, we're easy to please). We don't worry about messy houses.

As for quitting, I am the queen of quitting. In fact, I'm starting to have bad dreams where all my former bosses gang up on me and harangue about WHY I quit all those "perfect" part time jobs...