Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Christmas Round-Robin Arrives

Since the invention of email, it's been so much easier to send out the traditional Christmas Round-Robin messages. And I've been receiving an annual missive from my old school-friend Tracey ever since her marriage - nearly twenty years ago now. But this year's email was slightly different to the previous communications.

"Dear All 
Well, we've come to the end of another exciting year!
You may remember that last year I gave you the good news that Jasmine had been promoted to a Scholarship after her first year at King's, that Raughri was predicted to receive straight A grades at "A" Level (Ofqual last-minute decisions permitting!!) and that our lovely Springer bitch, Snorri, had produced a litter of seven lovely pedigree  puppies - two boys, four girls, and the most delightful "runt" girl called Angie, whom we were hoping to keep ourselves!  Meanwhile, after Karl's promotion to Executive Vice-President for Sales Development, we had finally been able to buy that converted 18th Century rectory in a Cotswold village. I was worrying, if you remember, that Karl might struggle to adjust to the commute, although he expected to be able to work from home on Mondays and Fridays! And of course - would Snorri pine for her "daddy" when he was away in the big scary City?!
 And I realise that you're all wondering how we all got on. Those of you who've always cared about my well-being might have been hoping it had all worked out fine - while those who've been an eensy-teensy bit jealous over the years(!) might have been hoping that Karl was a bit tired after his long midweek journeys - you rascals!!!
Well, there's something I need to tell you. 
It's all been a lie. In some respects, the marriage breakdown was my fault for having that "fling" with a waiter on our honeymoon (but you know how those Mediterranean nights are, eh girls!) - But Karl took badly to it, as I suppose was reasonable. On our return home he took to heading for the pub every night, going out with the "lads" - and eventually left me for a Personal Assistant called Barbara. 
I stumbled from one broken relationship to another - increasingly hating myself for my failing, and Karl for his. Eventually I could trust nobody. I turned to the comforts of religion, but my anger kept coming to the fore. I was banned from the PCC in the end, after that incident with the curate and the wheelie-bin. Meanwhile, I could hardly be said to have had a career. I went from one short-term job to another, often wrecking my chances with ill-thought-out affairs and, on one occasion, a badly-thought-through leveraged buyout of a waste disposal company. 
I have finally achieved some kind of stability, working in the admin department of an import company. Every night I go home to my cold flat, above a dry-cleaner's in the Finchley Road. My cat is my only friend - that and the Hardy's Crest. I'll be glad when the conviction for threatening the neighbours is spent, as I might have a chance of getting a better job. 
I've hidden behind this lie for so long. But because I've barely dared to meet anyone, I'm lonely. I can't keep making things up on Facebook any more - having to keep inventing wonderful things to update my status is doing my head. There's only so many times a year my imaginary husband can bring me home a bunch of imaginary flowers, or whisk me off to a pretend holiday in the Bahamas. People were starting to ask just how many days' annual leave Karl had, and whether I owned a florist's. 
So there you go. This is it - the real me. The lies have all gone. I'm just a middle-aged divorcee, struggling to make a living in a lonely, heartless world. Can you still be my friends after this? I pray, whether you can or not, that you have a happy Christmas. And I'm glad to be able to tell you the truth. I feel free at last.
With love and kisses   

Do you know what, I wish I'd not un-friended her now. She sounds much nicer than I remembered.

1 comment :

  1. One year one of my relatives sent around something fairly similar except she was married and had children. It started with an account of the barn burning down and went on from there.


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