The last 24 hours have been utterly shit.
I got stood up, I discovered I have to work an extra 30 hours a week for no extra compensation, I found someone perfect to replace me as an au pair who decided at the last minute she didn’t want the job, and I’m in the middle of a day that began at 8am and won’t finish until 6am tomorrow.
But as my mother reminded me when I called her to winge, I did write in my last blog that I enjoyed making my way through rocky couloirs. Well, I am bloody well wedged in the middle of one right now.
It began yesterday evening, when I was due to go on a date with a guy I met online. We’d been talking for a while and I was actually feeling moderately hopeful about this one. “I’ll text you when I’m on way so you know when to leave and you don’t have to wait for me!” he said at 7.15, when we were due to meet at 7.30. Then nothing. All night.
Ok, he fell asleep. And I didn’t actually go to our arranged meeting place, so it isn’t like he saw me and ran or anything awful like that. But still, I’ve never been stood up before and knowing that he could fall asleep 15 minutes before we were due to meet makes me think he wasn’t all that excited to see me… My ego is a little bruised!
The rest of the mayhem surrounds the fact that I have decided to leave my job as an au pair. My little box of a room just isn’t allowing me the life I want, and while I do enjoy the occasional cuddle with small children, I am far off wanting to be around them all the time.
So I handed in my notice with the family, which they originally took very well. But then, today, they told me that for the last three months, they haven’t been asking enough hours of me (the original agreement was more than I have been doing) so before I leave, I must make up the missing time. Which is more than 60 hours. So for the foreseeable future, I am not going out. I am not having weekends. I am babysitting.
And just when I thought I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, having found a replacement who seemed perfect, she backed out 12 hours before she was supposed to meet the family. Delightful.
I would be seeing red and dreading the 9 hour shift I’m about to begin at the bar, having only just finished a 10 hour shift with the family, if it weren’t for one little 30 minute slither of this afternoon.
It involved me, a 2 year old, and The Spice Girls.
When everyone else went out for half an hour, the littlest and I put on Spice World at full volume and had a dance party.
I can’t express the ridiculousness of the scene. Me, dressed nicely, in a chic flat in the poshest part of Paris, dancing like an idiot with a squealing toddler to Wannabe. (Yes, I can still remember all the words…) The people in the building opposite must have got quite a show.
And then I realized why I like my life to be variable – why I’m doing all of this to myself, instead of settling into comfortable stability. It’s because in those moments between everything being rubbish, when something marvelous happens, or I do something really silly, I am suddenly confronted with the totally nonsensical ridiculousness of the universe. “How hysterically funny is it that I ever took this all seriously!” I think to myself.
It is in moments like the one this afternoon, as I slid across the parquet flooring in my tights singing “I really really really wanna zigazig ha”, when I remember that life doesn’t mean anything, and that, fortunately, it doesn’t have to. And I feel wholly alive and totally free.
Thank God for those moments.
No, actually, thank The Spice Girls.