The people we bought our house from were rather slapdash in their change of address cards. Every now and then a letter drops through the door addressed to the previous occupants and I love nothing more than to settle down with a cup of tea to read their latest correspondence. I know it’s faintly illegal, but I like to live on the edge. Anyway, nobody writes to me nowadays except the Inland Revenue so I live vicariously through my house’s previous occupants.
Yesterday I opened a satisfyingly fat card from America, quivering in anticipation (me, not the card) of the annual round robin letter from Bill and Jenny, and their exceptionally talented children Ned, Ashley and Brianna. The Spackmans have been writing to us – sorry, I mean to the previous owners of our house – for five years and there’s no question about it, they’re going from strength to strength. What with Bill’s promotion (“it’s a shame he’s on the road so much, but we sure love that paycheck!”) and Jenny’s graduation as a Naturopath (“the energy passing through my hands is just awesome” blimey, lucky old Bill…) it’s as though nothing can go wrong for them. Granted, poor Ned missed out on his grades last year, but he’s made the soccer team this year and certainly seems happy in the obligatory cheesy photo, which shows poor Ashley (or it might be Brianna) with an unfortunate eighties-inspired hairdo she’d do well to move on from. Still, bad hair or not, the Spackman daughters are finding their way in the world (“both girls have the guys running around after them…” really, with that hair? “…and of course come home each weekend to see Mom. We’re truly blessed with perfect kids” Vomit).
Tempted though I am to take the Spackman’s up on their apparently unqualified offer to “drop in if you’re ever in Texas,” I’m not sure I could compete with such paragons of perfection. My own round robin newsletter – were I to produce one – would look something like this. Happy New Year.
Dear person I met once and regret exchanging addresses with,
2011 was a blast.
The Husband is well, I think. Married for nearly eight years and never a cross word – in fact, we hardly talk to each other at all nowadays.
J is now five, can you believe it?! He played a shepherd in the school nativity and he was absolutely shit.
The twins will be four next month and are still as badly behaved as ever. G has decided she wants to be a boy and keeps asking me to shave her head. She wears J’s clothes and wants to grow a willy by planting a seed in her vagina. I knew I’d regret giving the sex talk so early. E’s tantrums have reached epic proportions. The local police have an ASBO in draft form; the neighbours have only got to give the nod, especially since that incident with the cat.
I left work in the summer of 2011 to work from home and take on the childcare full-time. It’s been hugely rewarding and really just one long party. At least, that’s how I justify the litre of gin I get through each week. Obviously the three months of stress-related cystitis and the temporary alopecia was a challenge, but the doctors say the accompanying amnesia is really a blessing. I live for the holidays, when I get to be with the children every second of every single day. Such fun. Next week I’m being committed to a lunatic asylum for assessment. I’ll miss the family but I’m looking forward to the break.
Yours till next year,