Monday, 14 November 2011

A New Ploy. Saying Yes To Everything.

"Mum!"
"Yes."
"Can I go on a bender and lose the plot?"
"Yes."
"What?"
"Yes."
"And maybe die?"
"Yes."
"You won't change your mind?"
"Yes."
"You will change your mind?"
"Yes."
"So you don't mean yes?"
"Yes."
"You do mean yes?"
"Yes."
"Oh no!  So I can't go, this is what you mean?"
"Yes."
"Damn."
"Yes."

"Oh what is happening nothing is safe any more nothing is as it was.  My mother is either too deep for her own good, or she is barking."


"Yes."


I have had a tough weekend.  It is all sorted now, and I am sitting in my studio with my fourth cup of tea on this Monday morning, and thinking over how much time I didn't spend doing nice things.  I spent a lot of time being grown up over the weekend.  I spent a lot of time wondering if instead of sending my children to the World's Strictest Parents (a TV programme I am told), I should go and pick up some tips.  I like the idea of my children kissing my hands before each meal, and washing my feet after.  And carrying me shoulder high into a bath of bubbles and scented soaps before bowing their way out backwards as per the King of Siam.  There were highlights, there was tons of lovely food cooked by my Daughter, so we may have had a fiery weekend, but we were all very full up for it.  Passions ran high, but slow, as we were all eating an awful lot.  Last night, though, the tsunamis of passion and fury had quietened down to such an extent, that everyone went to bed early and exhaled a teeny burp and a sigh of relief.  And so, this morning as I turned on my computer, an ad popped up and said with a little conspiratorial wink - Simplify Your Life!.  I will, I said to the computer, but not in the way you are suggesting. Not by taking out the insurance that you insist will simplify my life, but by finding another more personal way.  I intend I said to the ad, to narrow down my response to the word Yes.  I will, for a week, say Yes to everything. 


Many things may happen.  My children and those who deal with me may cotton on very quickly that this new tactic.  They may cleverly tailor their requests to make sure they get what they want.  "Mum?"  "Yes." "When you said that you love all your children the same and that you don't prefer me above all else, you meant something else didn't you?"  "Yes."  "You meant you like me the best didn't you?"  "Yes."  "Ha ha!  I knew it!  I am the favoured one, I am the golden child!".  Half an hour later, "Mum!" "Yes."  "I am your favourite child, aren't I?" "Yes."  "Ha ha!  You have fallen from grace, I am the one and only now!"  Ten minutes later "Mum."  "Yes."  "You are mad aren't you?" "Yes."  "You are playing with our minds, aren't you?" "Yes."  "Run your own bubble baths and wash your own feet.  Bah!  We give up."  ("Yes.")

They may not want to risk a change of mind once they get a Yes.  They may ask no more questions, and act on what they have heard me agree to.  "Madam,"  "Yes."  "We are reputable traders, and we think you need a new roof."  "Yes."  "Fine, stand aside, we will start with that bit there.  It will be fifteen million pounds.  OK?"  "Yes."  A small discussion amongst the reputable traders, and a hesitant, "no personality disorders we need to know about? "Yes."  "What?  Are you known to be unpredictable and violent?" "Yes."  "Run boys!  Save yourselves!"  ("Yes.")

And they may have seen the same advert for Simplifying Your Life, and had the same idea.  They may just leave me to it.  "Antonia?"  "Yes."  "Seen the advert for Simplifying Your Life?"  "Yes."  "Saying Yes to everything then?"  "Yes."  "Thought so. Me too."

So far, though, I am having a lovely Monday morning.  I have work to do, but I have spoken at length to my lovely cousins Maddy in Tunbridge Wells and Marlayna in Detroit, and to my splendid brother John in London, and I have facebooked witty one liners with all sorts of people who just want to have fun.  I have made a few important calls and left messages on answer phones, and very soon, the effects of the weekend will evaporate, and I will stop saying Yes to everything.

"Mum!"
"No!"
"Can't you say Yes any more?"
"No."
"Are you going to behave yourself?"
"No."
"Oh I give up.  I'm moving out!"


"Yes."

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