As some of you know (because you are dear friends who visit largely to boost my site stats…), I work in a charity shop on thursday afternoons. It is honestly some of my favourite four hours spent each week. Grammatically, that last sentence was atrocious, but I’m tired, and you catch my drift. Basically, I drink a lot of tea (and occasionally wine, yay for shop-drinking!), get fed things with chocolate on, and gossip, while rummaging through bags of donated items. It’s the same sort of covert, nosey joy one might experience when going through someone’s bathroom cabinets after popping to the loo. Very, very pleasing for someone who loves to tidy and organise shit, so long as it isn’t theirs.
I was happily munching on a chocolate digestive, balancing a cup of tea in one hand and upending a carrier bag with the other, when a woman a few years older than myself brings in a fresh batch of donations. While I was merrily rummaging through her cast-offs out the back, she told my colleague they were her boyfriend’s old things. He had just died, in a hospice, aged 32. She explained she was having to have a clear-out; she had to move from the flat they had shared as it now belonged to his father – his default next-of-kin – and he wanted it. They were unmarried, and he hadn’t made a will to protect her, because he genuinely didn’t think he would die. The poor woman was obviously very distressed, and by the time she left we were all having a bit of a cry into the digestives.
I was devastated when my nan died at just 62, but to be taken half a century before you should is such a waste. While I finished what was by now a very maudlin cup of tea, I figured that, were I to die in 9 years time, I would feel slightly less cheated by the situation if I had actually made the effort to enjoy my life up until that point. I am not really one for new years resolutions, goals and things; my life’s ambitions are modest: I would like to get married to the person I love, have her babies and one day live in a house that we own. I am learning to be more patient; to know that it may be a long time before I finally find work, but not to freak myself out over it. I have a nice house to live in, a loving partner, a family not too far away, and enough money to keep me going. And I’m going to try to make that be OK.
And now, to lighten the mood, I shall inform you of my latest, ground-breaking discovery: it is, indeed, entirely possible to give someone a love-bite on their nose. I’ll leave you with that thought.