Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Got grip?

Having spent a few days wandering around extorting myself under my breath to "Get a grip, get a grip," I think I finally have. Got one. A grip, that is.

Part of this comes from the scale of the tsunami disaster in South East Asia. Really, how can that not give me at least some sense of perspective? However, having said that, while it's well and good that I should be able to recognise this, I'd probably be tempted to punch out the lights of anybody who would actually dare suggest it to me. Perspective of that kind seems best when processed through one's own filter, you know what I am saying?

As it happened, I found my grip again at a family Christmas gathering a couple days ago. These events are always something of a pain in the neck, since it involves getting ourselves to an island off the coast of Scotland. Now, before you start sighing at the charming quaintness of such a notion, let me just point out that taking a ferry across choppy, open water in gale force winds in December is NOT a happy folk song of an event. No, no, no. It wasn't too bad going out as long as I stood in the biting cold air looking at the horizon. But then, horror of horrors, the evening service back to the mainland was abruptly cancelled, leaving us stranded at said family members' tiny flat for the night. Other people were already having the sofa bed, which left us with the sub-sofa bed. Groan.

I confess that this did not uplift my mood. For starters, I hadn't packed an overnight bag. No toothbrush, no face wash, nada. As an aside I should comment that I don't know when I turned into such a big weenie about that kind of thing. Once upon a time I used to be quite happy to rough it. I've slept in a number of very odd places during my travels- bus shelter alcoves, garden sheds, graveyards, you name it.

But somewhere along the way that kind of thing has really lost its allure. Along with whatever remnants of natural beauty I might have ever possessed. Trust me, there's a reason I wear stuff like eyeliner and foundation. And it would be different if we were staying somewhere random amongst strangers, who would never have to see my visage again. But not quite such a treat to have to appear bare-faced in front of say, my sister-in-law. Luckily, on this occasion I had some emergency slap to hand in my purse, so I knew all would not be lost, but it still wasn't pretty.

Then there is the small matter of having one's period. I am no shrinking violet, and this is generally no big deal. But eight people sharing one small bathroom, which incidentally has no bin or trash disposal of any kind?

Flushing down the delicate loo pipes is not an option- the horror, if it clogged, would be unthinkable. But what the hell do you do with the discarded, um, product? Wrap it up and try to sneak it into the kitchen trash bag when no one is looking? Oh wait, everyone is milling around outside the kitchen. Throw it out the window? Hide it somewhere and come back for it later? Stash it in one's handbag?


Finally I decided that I would have to accept that the whole situation was simply going to be generally less than ideal, so I might as well just suck it up. Another mince pie while we watch the news? Oh yes, why the fuck not, thanks. Yes, go on, pour on some of that there cream. More. More cream. I said MORE. Thank you. Another large brandy? Sure. That would be lovely. Oh lookie here, there is my grip, floating in the bottom of the glass.

Having found it, I just hope I can hold onto it for awhile.


At 7:05 PM, Blogger Queenie said...

So I'm dying to know which option you chose! I think I personally would have gone for "wrap in immense, bizarre amounts of toilet paper and hide in handbag," although "throw out of window" is also tempting. I would prefer to use so much toilet paper that people think I have a bowel disorder rather than admit to my family members that I'm on the rag.

At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep losing my grip. I tried putting it on a leash, but it seems to always get way from me.

--->>Having found it, I just hope I can hold onto it for awhile.

I hope so too, Mare.

Middle way

At 9:47 AM, Blogger usako said...

i've had to hide the used products in my purse or backpack (at school)... wrapped in tissue, of course. the worst is when you forget it's in there, and the bag is sitting out in the hot sun and your boyfriend goes in there for something... ugh. sorry, just nice to know i'm not the only maniac putting waste into weird places.

happy new year!

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done the whole 'wrap it up and place it in your handbag' thing often enough to know that if it were an olympic event, I'd score close to a 10 for deftness ;)

I've never been a rough it kind of girl, but have a friend who is a frequent traveler and real party girl. When I did my first trip to Europe, my DH and I had to sleep in a train station in France because we weren't familiar enough with the how the schedules worked. When I told my friend this she was thrilled, like I had just passed initiation into some kind of secret club ;)

Here's to keeping our grip.


At 5:08 PM, Blogger E. said...

Hoo, boy. Yep, you're right -- it sounds romantic until you describe the nitty-gritty. Good luck, have a big brandy for all of us, and grip hard. Love you, Mare (ew, mushy) -- happy new year!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Having once watched a plumber drag a maxi responsible for flooding my hall & den out of the bathroom pipes, I have to agree with you. Even wadding it in the purse and forgetting about it for a few days would be better. I didn't do it, so now my home boasts not one but TWO trash cans in the bathroom along with a neatly printed note advising all vistors of the perils that await them less they obey the rules of the house.

Yuck. And again. Yuck.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Janet said...

After a few more drinks, then you don't give a hoot and you just come out of the bathroom with the goodies and say "make way, comin' through" as you stumble your way to the rubish can.

I hope that this grip does not involve white knuckles, but more of a relaxed, confident grasp on things.

Oh, how I hope.

Here is to a brand new, shiny 2005. I hope it brings more good things than just a firm grip.

*bottoms up*


At 8:24 PM, Blogger Barren Mare said...

Y'all crack me up. As it happens, I employed a combination of several of the above. I hid said item in the bathroom until I was able to go & retrieve my handbag without anyone noticing- as I didn't want everyone wondering why I was making a specific trip in and out of loo to get handbag. As it was, I had to wait until we'd all had a few festive beverages and nobody was paying attention. Then the old "wrap & stash". De-lightful. The joys of womanhood, no?

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Adelphae said...

Posting this very late, but I have to commiserate about the ferry. I got violently ill on a ferry to the Aran Islands two years ago and queasy on one in the Caribbean this past December. "No more fucking ferries," I told my husband.


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