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Why Am I Like This?

Why can’t I stop doing things I don’t like?

I don’t mean the necessary stuff like household chores (such as digging the swollen macaroni and soggy, disintegrating broccoli out of the plughole because, apparently, no one else in my house can cope with the feel of it). I don’t mean going to ASDA on a Saturday or watching TV shows with my children that I secretly hate or following my dogs round the park with a poo bag on my hand, eyes zeroed-in on their bumholes, alert to the slightest pucker.

No... I mean stuff like, why can’t I give up on books I am not enjoying? Just because I know how hard it is to bloody write one doesn’t mean I owe it all authors across the globe to read their work. There are some topics, some tropes that I just do not like, or understand! But still I persevere, all the while looking longingly at spines of books I have loved. I feel like the writer knows that my mind is wandering off to cheese and cracker-based daydreams. Pickle or piccalilli? Cheddar or red Leicester. Mmmm. Stop it, Ericka. Bad Ericka. Concentrate on this book that feels like a chore, as a break from all your chores. Why can’t I be like my husband, who replies to emails over a paragraph with ‘TLDR’ (too long, didn't read). Not just ones I have sent him either. Actual work stuff. When I ask him if he feels bad about it, he says 'no, why would I?' Why do I bother trying to keep my Labrador off the sofa all day? As soon as I go out or up to bed, guess what he does? I spend hours making intricate booby traps out of jigsaw puzzle boxes and laundry baskets before I leave the house. I can’t even enjoy wherever it is I’ve gone because I’m imagining him dismantling and removing them piece by piece (which he does) and getting back on the sofa (which he does). I don’t even sit on the sofa. I’m too busy digging crud out of the sink. I am seriously considering a pet-cam just so I can spy on him and shout through the speaker. Why do I leave my sliders outside when I know the neighbourhood fox is going to come and crap in them? Poor old Buddy left his white fluffy bunny outside the other night and the fox crapped on that too, then peed in his food bowl. What have we done to deserve such dirty protests? Why do I keep giving that fox another chance to let me down? Why do I buy plants for outside the front door when I know I am going to forget to water them? Why do I still try and like olives? If I had an olive for every time someone told me that they used to hate olives and now ‘can’t live without them’ I’d have a mountain of foul olives that I still don’t bloody like. Don’t even start me on people who say ‘I used to take sugar in my tea…’ Obviously I have an immature palate.

Why do I say yes when I mean no? Why do I watch Facebook videos of singing donkeys when I am supposed to be writing? Why did I ask that good looking man for a poo bag and then hastily explain it wasn’t for me? Why do I write things on to do lists when I know I won’t do them? (NB: Water plants, bring in sliders, try and like olives).

Why am I actually me and not someone who can enjoy things? Why can’t I go and lie in the garden and read a book instead of finding jobs to do? Why do I say no to anything that might be good and yes to anything that sounds shit?

Have you ever just wanted to hijack someone’s brain? To give them your glitchy, bug-ridden grey matter and take their high-speed fibre-optic broadband version instead? I want my husband's. His brain never notices mess. He can toss things into rubbish bins from far away and it makes him deliriously happy. I’m talking pure undiluted joy, fist-punch in the air. He gets pleasure from being asked geography quiz questions. He can fall asleep in a SHELLSUIT jacket and shoes, just like he’s been shot. I can’t go to bed until I’ve done a three-hour preparation ritual and roasted myself for the things I didn’t do. The things I could have done better. Then I like to have a good old finger-picking worry about stuff entirely out of my control, compare myself unfavourably to my peers and decide I need to move to a croft in Scotland and only talk to animals.

Meanwhile, next to me, my husband sniggers like Mutley as he sleeps, in the midst of another ‘best-dream ever!’

Please... Tell me it’s not just me. Tell me that you're like this as well and can’t quite function like a normal person.


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