Emotional Priorities

I’m going to chat briefly about Facebook, so to start things off I’ll just give a rough outline of my own Facebook usage and habits. I generally scroll through my feed most days, but equally some weeks I just won’t be on FB at all; if I’m sitting on the computer for any prolonged period of time, I’m likely to have FB open in the background, and am then probably more likely to post things; and I’m not a particularly prolific poster on my own wall (I’ve posted 4 things this month). I don’t have a Smartphone, so I don’t ‘check-in’ at different locations, and I don’t upload mobile photos. The things I do post on my own wall tend to fall into one of two categories. Either I’ll have had a thought and phrased it in a way that I think is particularly humorous, so I’ll post that; or I’ll have seen a meme* or something which I think is sufficiently funny/interesting/awesome/etc. to appeal or be of interest to a wide range of my FB friends. So when I do post something on my own wall, it’s therefore something I think is likely to be of interest to other people, and while I don’t attach any great importance to responses, I do enjoy getting a wee like or a comment (or lots of them). But more than that, I’m always generally curious to see who responds and I’ll ponder why that particular person would have appreciated that particular post.

I posted a Faceboook status update the other day which fell into the first category: I had a thought, phrased in such a way that I thought was sufficiently funny/interesting/witty to entertain other people. I was right. I got 12 ‘likes’ and comments from a further 2 people. What I had posted was:

I’ve never been able to decide which is more disappointing – going to take a drink of tea, to realise that you’ve already finished the mug; or having thought you’d finished your tea, picking up the mug and realising that you actually hadn’t finished it, and now the rest of it is cold.

The people that ‘liked’ or commented on this post were a combination of people who I would class as ‘frequent likers’ (i.e. people who just seem to like ‘liking’ things on FB and do so at every opportunity) and people who I wouldn’t normally receive ‘likes’ from, and I assume appreciated the post because these were situations they had experienced and could relate to.

So – that was all just a bit of rambling backchat. The real point of this story, is that I was subsequently discussing with boyfriendface** which scenario is more disappointing. One of my friends had commented that the latter scenario was worse, because it made you disappointed in yourself that you hadn’t finished the tea. She’s right – that is the reason why scenario two is upsetting. The reason that scenario one is upsetting though, is because your expectations of having tea are dashed, and I think to me that’s probably worse. I had a dream once where I put a malteser in my mouth, and the next instant I woke up and of course the malteser wasn’t there. It was very bizarre, because one minute I could feel it in my mouth, and the next it was gone; but also, it was just a very sad sad moment when I discovered that in fact I didn’t have chocolate in my mouth. So it’s the same thing – your hope, your expectation, your assumption, your absolute unconditional infinite faith in getting that next mouthful of tea is just dashed in an instant – and that split-second moment of realisation is just soul-destroying. I can’t articulate how upsetting it is. And yes, I’m being facetious, and no, I’m not going to curl up in a ball and cry because my tea being finished is that upsetting…but still – it’s just gutting.

So as I said, I was trying to articulate this to boyfriendface. He laughed at me – clearly not demonstrating true gravitas as befitted the seriousness of these situations – but he understood what I was saying, and that these occurrences are emotionally devastating for me (albeit momentarily). And then he said something along the lines of, “I just don’t know how you’d react in different situations. Half the world might be destroyed in a zombie apocalypse and I can’t tell how you’d deal with that, because I don’t know where that comes on your scale of things – I don’t know if to you that’s actually not as bad as realising you’ve no tea left.” As it happens I have a well thought-out zombie apocalypse contingency plan, which basically consists of hiding behind my friend’s girlfriend (who, armed with a purpose-bought titanium crowbar (strong, but lightweight), actively looks forward to the day where she gets to battle zombies). So, I’m not too worried about zombie apocalypses. But I think he’s right – if the zombies tricked me by promising me tea and then not actually having any… That would be awful.

I realise that this post has actually been about stuff that makes me sad, rather than stuff that makes me happy. So just to let you know, while I’ve been struggling to think of the right words for writing this post, I’ve been staring into space, entranced by the amount of steam rising out of my cuppa. It may be a sign that the air is too cold and we should think about turning the heating on in the flat, but it’s very very pretty.

*Especially for you dad – Google’s definition of the word ‘meme’.
meme: noun.
1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
2. a humorous or inspirational image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
Origin: from Greek ‘mimēma’ ‘that which is imitated’, on the pattern of ‘gene’.

**because I’m fed up writing ‘my boyfriend’, from now on you’ll be referred to as ‘boyfriendface’.


Cocktails in teapots and Cupcakes

I woke up without a hangover. This is a good start to any day. However, I am pretty tired and all my thoughts are pretty jumbled in my head, and resisting organisation into anything resembling a coherent thread. In comparison to the previous cocktail session with my flatmate though, I feel absolutely golden. The last cocktail session resulted in me spending the following day combatting headaches and nausea through being a wombat on the couch. I may or may not elaborate on the finer points of wombat-being at a later date, but as anyone who has read Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s amazing Diary of a Wombat will know, being a wombat essentially involves sleeping, eating and foraging (or ideally, getting other people to provide you with food). I make a pretty good wombat.

Just as a by-the-by – if anyone happened to follow that Diary of a Wombat link, I hope you were as excited as I was upon discovering a website called Wombania’s Wombat Information Center. This day just gets better and better.

So, the last cocktail night was just myself and flatmate drinking all the booze and all the fruit juice in a medley of French Martinis, Long Island Iced Teas, Mojitos and I can’t remember what else. I think there was also a Bloody Mary involved and a Vodka Martini or two – stirred, not shaken, as the universe, presumably in an effort to preserve our livers, has so far foiled every one of our attempts to purchase a cocktail shaker. We use a blender instead, which does make French Martinis satisfyingly frothy. We sat till about 5 in the morning drinking and talking, with music on in the background – no TV – and it was a just a lovely lovely night. However, the following day it became abundantly clear a) just how much alcohol had been consumed b) just how sticky liquor and juice are and c) just how much liquid had escaped from the blender, bottles and glasses, coating the entirety of our kitchen and living room floors and work-surfaces. It was horrific. There was one time flatmate and I, aged 14 or so, made macaroon. Her mum still talks about it to this day. ‘Messy’ doesn’t come close to describing the extent of the mashed potato, coconut and icing sugar dispersed around that kitchen. 12 years on we haven’t changed much, except that alcohol has been added into the equation. The exact specifics of the conversation are pretty blurry, but somewhere along the line we decided that it was time for another get-together of our friends from school, and that a cocktail night was a good plan.

A couple of years ago flatmate, myself and a bunch of her friends went to a bar which did afternoon tea with a twist – sandwiches, cakes, and cocktails in teapots. The theme was based on 1920s Prohibition-era America where people got creative, disguising cocktails as teas and coffees. The waiter (my cousin, as it happened) was dressed in 1920s shirt and braces and gave a chat about the background and history of the idea while serving up the drinks at the table. The whole concept is great – it’s as if someone has run around with a list of my favourite things, putting massive ticks beside them – sandwiches, cake, tea, cocktails…the only thing that would have made it cooler would have been if it was in an ACTUAL SPEAKEASY with everyone dressed up. (I love 1920s/30s guys’ suits. They’re possibly my favourite thing about gangster films.) Anyway, I think inspired by that, and because flatemate’s mum has a cupcake book including a couple of cocktail-flavoured cake recipes (strawberry daquiri and mojito), we decided to make this get-together a Cocktails in teapots and Cupcakes night.

It was a really good night – particularly as one of our friends brought Pictionary as a present – which was a great laugh. As a theme, Cocktails in Teapots is great.

1. It looks great:

cocktails in teapots

2. For £4.50 you can get 3 teapots and 12 mix-and-match cups and saucers from the charity shop. There’s an additional benefit in that, for the injury-prone, broken china is a far less frightening concept than broken glass.

3. It requires a lot of skill, balance and sobriety to drink from a cocktail glass without spilling everywhere. Teacups are much more practical. On top of that, if your teapot is a good pourer (as ours all turned out to be) you’re onto a winner.

Remembering the sticky carnage that followed the previous cocktail night, in a stroke of genius I had completely cleared our kitchen worksurfaces of everything except for the blender, drink, mixers and any additional cocktail making implements. Turns out, if you start out tidy with plenty of space it’s much easier to keep things that way. Wee tidy up and a mop – flat back to normal. No hangover, no residual stickiness, leftover cupcakes – got the kettle back on and the day has shaped up nicely.