Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Friday, 30 July 2010

Drink and dreams and shame.

Here I sit, full of hangover and self-loathing. Does everyone get those together or is it just me? Alcohol in regular doses can contribute to depression, but is a single dose - or overdose - of alcohol able to make you feel like you'd like to crawl under the carpet and die of embarrassment? Who knows.

As far as I know, I have done nothing to be so badly ashamed of, drunken or otherwise, or at least nothing more shaming than any socially-inept person might usually do during a night on the tiles. (If you know otherwise then please don't go out of your way to correct me.

Last night I went to see a reading by the lovely and talented Belgian Waffle in Kilburn and while it is true that I went charging up to her to introduce myself without realising that she was in the middle of a conversation with someone else, I was not actually drunk at that stage, so my embarrassment is modified by the knowledge that this was behaviour of which I was in complete cognitive control. Now that I embrace my awkwardness as just another personal flaw, I don't mind it so much. (I feel foolish for being thoughtless and goofy though. Definitely one of my social loser moments.)

I also chatted with The Harridan, who, like Mary Archer, was a vision of elegance, fragrance and radiance. And despite her assertion that she is the Typhoid Mary of vomiting bugs, I remain unmolested. For now, anyway.

I think it's only fair to state for the record that, though all three of us have asserted that we are unwashed, unkempt and socially useless, they lie! They were both beautifully washed and, um, very kempt. Gracious in company as well.

My thoughtful gesture of the evening was to try to keep my beery breath to myself during conversation, and I'm not even sure if that was a success. 

Possibly owing to the beer, plus the cheesy snack I ate before bed, I had a funny dream (she said as everyone instantly glazed over) in which I had a chaste, romantic boyfriend who wooed me with hand-holding and eyeball-gazing and caring and sharing. He resembled a rough-looking version of Robert Pattinson with imperfect teeth. (I should point out that the Twilight phenomenon has barely touched the periphery of my consciousness, and really only in two ways: the part of my brain that hates ugly pervy crap about passive girls in peril and the ubiquity of this bloke when I am perusing Mail Online. How his close facsimile ended up in my dream is a mystery.)

So in the dream, I realised that the lovely man had come home and was downstairs as I sat chastely with the in-dream boyfriend upstairs at our in-dream beach house. There were some stabs at silent Hollywood melodrama as I ran up and down the stairs hoping to prevent either of them from discovering each other, but eventually the in-dream boyfriend told me he knew about the lovely man and agreed to discreetly depart in haste. I awoke and gratefully realised it had been a dream and I hadn't cheated (however lamely) on the lovely man and, to paraphrase John and Olivia, he's the one that I want.

In this uncharacteristic spirit of gratitude, I have compiled a brief and partial list of things for which I am very grateful: Radio 4, tea, the two little dogs, modern dentistry and The River Cafe.

And you?


  1. I can empathize, I've found that the more I blog, the more like my teenage self I become. I just waltz up to complete strangers and start talking to them. I can get quite giddy, and this is not attractive in a forty-something year old woman.

    PS Perhaps you should stick to white wine!

  2. i am grateful for mr. monkey, good friends, wine, living here in paradise, having full fledged working limbs (something i need to remind myself of every time i get too filled with self hatred about the spare tire i am carrying about my otherwise reasonably attractive person), my brain (less so for my mouth, which does tend to run on ahead of said brain), this peaceful moment in our lives.

  3. TNMA - Oh dear, the white wine situation being what it is (colossal sinus headache in aftermath), I daren't risk it! Also, am in the midst of a teeth-straightening exercise which makes drinking quite complicated. No staining (eg red wine)! No acid (eg white wine, gin and tonic)! May stick to weak bourbon and soda in future.

    I think giddy sounds rather nice! Wish I was as ebullient as you sound; alas, I'm just strangely self-absorbed and socialising often sort of takes me by surprise when I suddenly have to be outside my own head.

    PC: Your list is lovely! I especially like 'this peaceful moment in our lives.' It's such a gift when you have no current crises but can enjoy your breathing space. Can I also have that one?

  4. I think I might need to give up drinking because I feel unwell after a few mouthfuls of anything other than G&T.

    Add a martini into this mix and you will need to peel me off the chandeliers. But, I am usually talking into the Big Porcelain Telephone long before I can wreak damage on polite society.

    I am also shockingly bad at just going up and talking to people when they are right in the middle of a conversation. I put it down to being slightly deaf...and probably partly hammered too.

    I bet you are as fragrant and kempt as The Harridan and Belgian Waffle.

    you're lucky that you got to meet them!

    Ali x

  5. Fragrant in the wrong way I fear, but thanks for that! And yes, I too struggle with that slight deafness in noisy places, and Thursday had to repeatedly lean in with my hand functioning as ear trumpet. Mortifying.

  6. this is why i despise get-togethers in loud watering holes and parties of more than 6 people - i get exhausted just trying to hear what it is that everyone is saying. give me a dinner party for 4 at home and i'm a happy (if slightly inebriated) girl.

  7. Dear punctured bicycle,

    It really was lovely meeting you on Thursday night. You certainly did keep your beer breath to yourself in the most thoughtful manner. Thanks too for calling me elegant and fragrant. That is too, too kind, and perhaps a bit beer-goggles-esque, but i shall take the compliment nonetheless.
    Gratitude list:
    baby wipes
    my cleaner who comes on saturdays
    my credit card

  8. PC, I admire the way you embrace your inner homebody. So do I, but sometimes I must leave the house/neighbourhood and sometimes it is fun, even thought I spend the evening cupping my ear and nodding vaguely. (That used to come in handy when chatting with lovely men, who would then be enticed to come closer. Now it just flags up my decrepitude.)

    Harridan, 'twas my pleasure. Hope your knees are feeling better (unless, like me, you were just after an excuse to sit, in which case, good for you).

    I once thought the universe had delivered me the perfect skincare solution with wipes (not the baby sort, but more or less the same); after using them every day to lazily remove makeup I began to look grey-faced and haggard and the dream died.

  9. I, too, get cringey after a night out, even when I've only imbibed a single drink. (I used the word "imbibed" just then because I'm never sure which form of the verb "to drink" to use. But now I just sound like an asshole.)

    Now, after blogging terribly inappropriate and personal things for over a year, I've lost all sense of social boundaries in real life. My filter is gone. As least when I drink I can blame it on that.

    Also, one of your fish up there just swam down into the corner of my screen and back up out of sight, and I screamed and threw my laptop onto the floor. Too much coffee today perhaps.

    Thankful: Salted caramel ice cream, happy dog breath, aspen and birch tree leaves in the breeze, tweezers.

  10. Ooh, tweezers! Such a simple tool, but indispensable. There isn't really anything you can use instead is there?

    I'm glad it's not just me with the cringey aftermath. Back in the day when I was likely to have something to regret, I assumed it was a proportional response to my bad behaviour but now, like you, I find it happens even after a really modest intake.

    Sorry about the fish. I have never known them to be menacing, but perhaps when I'm not around they harass people for fun.

  11. I am grateful for having an appalling memory and thus avoiding constant remonstration over my ability to repeat those actions I regret.

  12. Damn! My terrible memory must be selective, by which I mean it only manages to retain and regurgitate the unsavoury stuff. Yours sounds better. I need some amnesia, stat.

  13. Hangover, selfloathing well not so much as you see I rarely drink anymore to inebriation, but there are those cringy moments in my memory of hitting on boys outside my circle shall we say strengthened by drink as I was...but a few times it actually paid off, but it's the cringy bits that come back.

    So nice to meet some of your readers!

    I am at present grateful for gorgeous silver, my goddaughter and the coming Fall TV season.

    I recently had a dream that I was Joan Rivers assistant and we had to fly to Paris on a jewelry emergency and we stayed at the Georges Cinq...if only could...