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November: A To-Do List


Me, making a to-d0 list. Sketch by H. 

  1. Attend My 20th High School Reunion

This weekend I’m going my 20th high school reunion, an event that simultaneously makes me very excited and want to fake a bad case of gastro.

I’m curious about what the women I went to school with for six years have done with their lives, although a lot of it I already know because of the massive spoiler factory that is Facebook. For many people, the only revelations left will be what everyone looks like without several filters and when viewed front on, and not from an artfully high selfie angle. Speaking for myself, I’d recommend people come to the reunion in extremely high heels, or perhaps stilts, and with one of two extra pairs of contact lenses in, so I will look as svelte and dewy of chops as I look on the Internet. Related to the school reunion is the second item on my to-do list:

  1. Tart Up CV. 

At present, my CV is as follows:

1997: City of Sydney Christmas Angel. Sat on top of Town Hall and waved.

2001: Graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts, with Second Class Honours in persuading professors to mark generously.

2002-2010: Book editor

2010-2016: Zombie-like fugue of childrearing, interspersed with blogging about same.

2016: Panicked Flurry of What is Actually a Very Small Amount of Activity on the Performing Funny Stories Before Live Audiences Front, But You Wouldn’t Know It From The Way I’ve Carried On.

Yesterday: Started Writing A Novel (so I can tell classmates I am writing a novel).

This CV clearly needs work. Especially if I’m going to this reunion, with all the CEOs and doctors and lawyers and architects and teachers and physiotherapists and people who have job titles that I don’t understand which must mean they are quite difficult and important jobs. If I can’t impress them with how I’ve spent the past 20 years, I shall have to impress them with my…

  1. Eyebrows

This situation needs sorting. They need corralling into the shape of eyebrows and then they need drawing on with paint so as to be less invisible. This needs to happen before Saturday so I have a few days to scrub them back from the inevitable three-shades-too-dark, Groucho-Marx look I always start off with when leaving the beautician. I have only myself to blame for this, as I have a tendency to lie there, drunk with power, barking ‘Darker. Darker!’ against the advice of the poor eyebrow artist. Anyway, my old friends will be astonished and impressed by my eyebrows, since I did not have any at school. They will forget to ask me what I’m doing with myself these days, which is lucky because I will not them bore them by talking about…

  1. Moving into our newly renovated house

First, we have to clean the newly renovated house, then unpack all the poorly packed possessions into newly renovated house that I sort of suspect we have renovated to have a better flow and significantly less storage.

This could prove a problem as we do have, to quote the painter, ‘a LOT of stuff’. I thought his air capitals were judgier than they needed to be, so I intentionally misinterpreted his tone and replied ‘Thank you! We do try to have a lot of things. We don’t have them all, but we aren’t dead yet!’ He looked baffled.

Baffling tradesmen is my new hobby. I’ve baffled quite a lot of the people involved in our renovation, actually. I baffle many of them with my ignorance, by nodding along sagely as they explain something for fifteen minutes and then saying, ‘I’m going to stop you there, Jeremy, because I don’t know what a mortise is, so the rest of what you’ve been saying hasn’t made any sense.’ I’ve baffled floorboard installers with comments about how the tiny gaps between the boards don’t matter because they will soon fill up with crumbs and sick. Although to be fair, that man baffled me with the suggestion that an antique tile hearth would look nice with a bag of tiny white pebbles poured over it.

Anyway, we’re moving back in in two weeks, and then we have to send the builders round to Mum and Dad’s place for a while to repair all the things we have damaged while living here.

  1. Write a Novel

This is a little task I have assigned myself, as alluded to in point 2, because there didn’t seem like much else happening this month. There is a thing called NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, and November is that very month, so I’ve signed up for it and am supposed to write some improbable number of words every day. At the end of the month I will have a novel and that will be that, apparently. So far I have written 2600 words, and most of them sound like me having a conversation with me. It is blissfully uninterrupted by anything like a plot. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any good plots. Secondhand plots are fine.

  1. Finish Couch to 5K running program. 

This works in perfectly with point 5, because running is an absolutely top-notch procrastination tool.

So, by December 1 I will either be a world-famous novelist living in a glorious new home, the envy of all my classmates, with my perfectly arched brows and my lean runner’s figure, and the pride of my parents after leaving their home in even better condition than we found it . . . or I’ll be the proud owner of 2800 unpublishable words that sound like me having a conversation with me, living under a pile of packing boxes in a dusty, still unfinished house, cut out of the will, nursing a knee injury, with eyebrows like scorched millipedes and 85 fewer Facebook friends after terrifying my old cohort at the reunion with what’s become of me.

Only time will tell.

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