When I took time off work to write, I committed myself to writing an interesting blog three days a week. As you can see, I haven’t yet managed to deliver on this yet (but I have been writing behind the scenes, I swear-the results will be ready in twenty years’ time). When I’m not writing or doing laundry (seriously, there are only three people in this house – where does it all come from?!) I spend my time dossing around, window shopping or doing some errands. And it is rarely mundane, because invariably somebody comes over to me and asks questions that are inappropriate, strange or just plain rude. Recently I’ve started to wonder how people would react if I actually answered these questions with the first thing that popped into my head. I’m sure I would not be popular at all, at all, at all.
Question/statement 1: Are you on your own?
My answer: Yes
What I’d like to answer: No, I’m not on my own. This is my friend Mary, behind me. Say hello to Mary. What do you mean you can’t see her? Mary, come on introduce yourself, don’t be shy.
Question/statement 2: Is that your daughter?
My answer: Yes. Isn’t she lovely?
What I’d like to answer: Oh my God did you not see us on the telly? What was the point? I’m mortally offended. And believe me, I’m just as shocked that I’ve managed to get her to three-and-a-half, you’re not alone there.
Question/statement 3: Will I get your purse out of your bag for you?
My answer: Ah no, I can manage, thanks.
What I’d like to answer: Sorry I’m holding up the people behind me, I have misunderstood the definition of ‘queue’. Please feel free to rummage through my bag. Here, do you have a pen? I’ll write down my PIN code.
Question/statement 4: Do you ever wish you didn’t have a disability?
My answer: No, I’m happy the way I am.
What I’d like to answer: (?!@#’\) No, but I could do without these annoying questions. Now go away, I’m trying to eat my dinner.
Question/Statement 5: I think you’re great, a real inspiration.
My answer: Trust me there’s nothing great about me.
What I’d like to answer: Here is my dad’s number and my husband’s number. They’ve seen me at my laziest. They’ll soon set you straight
Question/Statement 6: It must be horrible, having to use a wheelchair all the time.
My answer: Ah it’s not all the time. It’s just for energy conservation purposes. I still walk sometimes.
What I’d like to answer: Nah, at least I can beat my toddler in a race. Ready, Steady, Go! WEEEEEEEE!
Question/Statement 7: So did you conceive naturally, or did you get help?
My answer: I was just lucky, thank God.
What I’d like to answer: Here is a forty-eight page questionnaire about your sex life. Don’t worry, your information will be kept private to myself only. I’m just curious, is all.
Question/Statement 8: Do you wash and dress yourself in the morning?
Me: I do indeed.
What I’d like to answer: Yes I do wash and dress myself, do you? Oh yay, we both deserve medals! Because obviously the ability to wash and dress oneself is the most accurate way of measuring one’s value to society, and Stephen Hawking ain’t all that.
Question/Statement 9: Can you cook yourself?
Me: I can, and I’m a good cook.
What I’d like to answer: When I’m not running around with a fire extinguisher or nursing first degree burns, I make a mean microwave lasagne.
Question/Statement 10: Do you live alone?
Me: Well ..no… I live with my husband and child.
What I’d like to answer: Here is my address, and a map of how to get there. I’ll be out between the hours of nine and five.
I’m a pussycat really. But sometimes I show my claws.