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  • jdettmann

Home on the Driving Range


Yesterday I had a small attack of the Can’t Helpits. That is a condition where you feel all a bit wrong, a bit down but not seriously so. You don’t want to do what you’re doing but you can’t think of a better alternative. After a week in which H had been working like a demon in the office, I was a bit babied out. May Blossom has been a dream lately, sleeping well, eating well and generally being an utter delight to be around, but that means I haven’t felt a desperate need to have a break from her at all. So we’d been in each others’ faces for over a week with no downtime except when asleep. I was ready for a bit of time to myself.

But I couldn’t think what to do. I wanted a nap, but couldn’t sleep. Leaving May Blossom with H, I shufflestomped (yes, exactly like a petulant teenager OMG SHUT UP you don’t understand me) up the road and ate a slice of pizza and drank an iced coffee. I browsed through the bookshop. I wandered into a nail bar and sat in a massage chair that felt like I was being interviewed by Roger Rogerson while a Vietnamese woman painted my finger- and toe-nails. I read four back issues of the trashiest gossip magazines I could lay my hands on.

After that I felt a little better but not great. I shufflestomped home to where H was hanging nappies on the line and whinged to him. It was four o’clock and sunny and beautiful. The weekend was RUINED. I was BORED. And behaving, shall we say, not in a manner that would make a lesser man glad to have married me. But H is not a lesser man. Instead of telling me to buck the fuck up and do something useful like the grocery shopping, H told me that my friend Richie had called an invited him to go to the driving range.

Before I even had a chance to launch into a full-scale rant about how Richie was MY FRIEND FIRST and thus this was friend theft and sexism and why should H get to go play whackaball with MY FRIEND while I drudged away at home chained to the stove and washing nappies and entertaining the baby, H said ‘Why don’t you go hit some golf balls with him?’

‘Oh. Yes. Why don’t I?’ I thought. Several reasons sprang instantly to mind, but with my very last reserves of giveashit I smacked them away like so many swarming wasps.

So I went. I put on my shoes, hopped in the car, picked up Richie and together another old friend, we passed a very pleasant hour and half smacking balls into the near, middle and far distance. I was, surprisingly, not terrible at it. I loved spending some time with these two chaps, because I don’t get to hang out with them much anymore. It felt like when we were back at uni, and we would spend hours, days — well let’s be honest, four whole years really, because we were studying for Arts degrees — just talking and doing nothing much. We ate Snickers and laughed and caught up. I hardly thought about May Blossom and no-one referred to me as Mummy.

I remembered I quite like being Jess.

When I got home May Blossom was happy, H was happy and I was happy. And that, my friends, is the magical power of aggressively hitting small white balls at a man driving a caged car around in a big field. You should try it.

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