Monday, January 1 #HappyNewYearToMe
Did you know that you can marry yourself? How strange/brilliant is that?
It’s called sologamy, and here’s why it’s such a good idea:
The only person you need to actually like, answer to, or tolerate is you.No one is ever going to leave you, disappoint you, or hurt you.We all die alone anyway.The reason I’m considering sologamy at this point in my life is not because I was secretly hoping to marry Polly one day (ew!), but because the sudden and rather unexpected end of our friendship is teaching me all sorts of vital life lessons, and never let it be said that I’m not a fast learner.
For as long as I can remember, it’s been Phoebe and Polly, Polly and Phoebe, the two P’s in a pod.
We didn’t exist without the other; BFFs since birth.
And suddenly, ding-dong, Big Ben strikes midnight, and Tristan Can’t-Even-Ride-A-Bicycle Murphy pops the reality-altering question: Polly, will you be my girlfriend?, and just like that, I’ve been literally erased from Polly’s brain.
I’m not even angry about Polly losing her mind; I’m angry about being angry, because I knew (and I did know) it would come to this.
I knew that when she was like: “Let’s all go to Embankment and see the fireworks,” what she actually meant was: Please, Phoebe, can you come along so that it isn’t obvious I’m asking Tristan on an actual date, even though I basically am, because all I actually want is to be alone with him so that we can take whatever it is we’re doing “to the next level.”
I never should have gone.
Polly didn’t even wish me a happy new year.
Possibly because she couldn’t see me at that point, because the moment the Thames erupted into the meteor-shower-like fireworks extravaganza that must have cost the taxpayers millions, all that existed for her was Tristan’s mouth.
And you know how in films kisses are always really hot and gorgeous (mainly because the people are hot and gorgeous)? Well, Tristan looked like he was trying to swallow Polly’s entire head.
I was literally sick in my mouth.
Good thing was, though, that I fought my way back to the tube station as millions of people stood glued to the spot looking the other way, which meant that, apart from the driver, I was the only person on the District Line at 12:08.
I’m at Kate’s until tomorrow, because Mum’s at work attending a Syria crisis meeting, and when I let myself in, Kate was like: “What happened to you?”
Me: Polly’s got a boyfriend now, so she didn’t need me to stay out.
Kate: I was going to pick you up from the station.
Me: I walked.
Kate: You should’ve called me.
Me: I didn’t.
Kate: Wrong answer.
Me: Sorry. And sorry.
Kate: Better text Polly to say you’re home safe.
Me: She doesn’t care.
Kate: Text her.
Me: I’m going to bed.
Kate: Happy New Year, Phoebe. I love you. Text Polly.
I’m so not texting her.
Polly just called me from the District Line.
She was like: “I didn’t realize you’d gone.”
And then she was like: Tristan this, Tristan that, Tristan says hi, OMG, Tristan and I are so happy, and I was like: Who is this? Can you get Polly, please?
What happens to people when they fall in love?
It’s like their brain short-circuits. Like they’ve had a stroke.
It’s been the shittiest NYE in fifteen years.
It’s been even more shit than last year when Polly puked in my lap after too many Apple Sourz.
I just researched sologamy a bit more, and even though it is a brilliant idea, the people who’ve done it look like proper dicks.
PS: Polly still hasn’t wished me a happy new year.
PPS: I think people turn crazy the moment they turn sixteen. Polly was literally normal until her birthday in November.
PPPS: I swear I’m not going to fall victim to love when I turn sixteen, if it’s the last thing I do … or should that be “don’t do”?
Tuesday, January 2 #TheHappyNewYearContinues
There are seven billion people in the world.
That’s seven million million. So why, oh why, does my mother think she has to be the one helping out whenever there’s a major catastrophe?
This is how it always goes down:
Earthquake in Italy: Sorry, Phoebe, I’m off to dig some nuns out from under the rubble.
(Dumps me at Kate’s house.)
Hurricane in Haiti: Sorry, Phoebe, I’m off to help all those who didn’t get blown away.
(Dumps me at Kate’s house.)
Cholera in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Sorry, Phoebe, I’m off to rehydrate the Third World.
(Dumps me at Kate’s house.)
Ebola in Africa: Sorry, Phoebe, a deadly disease that may or may not be airborne just broke out, and I simply must be there.
(Dumps me at Kate’s house.)
So guess what happened when Mum collected me from Kate’s this morning?
I knew what was going on as soon as I got into the car, but I didn’t say anything, because I was like: If you think I’m going to make this easy for you, you’ve never been more wrong. And when we got home, Mum was all awkward, like: “Sit down with me for a minute, Phoebe.”
Mum: Look, I have the opportunity to go to Syria for six months and help build a medical center at a refugee camp.
Mum: I know six months is a long time, but I promise I’ll be back for your birthday.
Mum: I’ve spoken to Kate, and she can’t wait to have you.
Mum: Phoebe, talk to me.
Me: What about? You’ve already decided you’re going, so go. Bye.
Mum: Phoebe, I … The people in Syria need help, and … I’m a doctor. I help.
Me: When do I have to be packed?
Mum: I’m flying to Ankara tomorrow.
Me (leaving the room):…
Me: What? I said it’s fine, so it’s fine.
Mum: I’m sorry, Phoebe.
Sorry? Oh, LOL.
We’re way past sorry.
When I tell people Mum works for Médecins Internationale, they’re always like: Wow, that’s so amazing, you must be so proud, but no one’s ever like: That must really suck when your mum goes away for MONTHS at a time ALL THE TIME to places where BOMBS ARE DROPPING and EVERYONE’S DYING.
No one cares about what it’s like for me.
I grew up literally without a mother or a father, although Dad’s dead, which is a much better excuse for being absent than Mum’s constant Mother Teresa complex.
Why have a child if you don’t want to spend time with it?
It totally runs in the family, too. Nan and Granddad moved back to Hong Kong where they grew up when Mum started university because: “We’ll always be expats, toodle-oo, and God save the Queen.”
I’m never having children.
I wish I could call Polly, but I’m definitely not speaking to her after last night.
And she still hasn’t wished me a happy new year.
Wednesday, January 3 #SeeYouOrNot
Mum dropped me off at Kate’s this morning.
In the car she was all like: “Phoebe, I know the timing of this is terrible. I know you’ve got GCSEs coming up, and I know how stressful that is, and please, if you need me to stay, I’ll stay. Please, can you just talk to me?” But I was just like: “I don’t need you to stay. In fact, I don’t need anyone to do anything,” and then I pretended to be doing something important on my phone.
At Kate’s I took my things up to my room (I’m the only person I’ve ever known to have their own room at their godmother’s house) and shut the door behind me.
I didn’t even say goodbye to Mum, but she clearly didn’t care, because she never
a) knocked or
b) tried to kick the door in.
Mum’s a doctor first and a mum second.
I’ve always known that.
And I stopped doing goodbyes a long time ago.
Thursday, January 4 #FurballCentral
I don’t actually mind staying at Kate’s house. The positives outweigh the negatives as follows:
Positive things about staying at Kate’s house:
Unlike Mum, Kate no longer works for Médecins Internationale, and is therefore able to provide me with food, shelter, and emotional support.She treats me like a flatmate, not like a five-year-old.When she goes off on me, I struggle to be offended because she turns so Scottish that I basically can’t understand what she’s saying.Negative things about staying at Kate’s:
I have to take the bus to school.The designer cats.How is it possible that I’ve known those cats forever, but I still can’t tell which is which? I can only ever tell them apart when they’re sitting right next to each other. Just like Kayleigh and Melody Sessions (school uniforms do nothing for identical twins).
The designer cats are going to be a bigger pain in the arse than usual, too, because they are currently
a) in heat and
b) under strict house arrest (and therefore going nuts) because Kate has scheduled a shagfest in High Barnet for them so they can have designer kittens at the same time.
And because the cats think my room is actually their room, they’re continuously scratching the door trying to get in now and whining because they can’t.
This place is like a mental asylum run by a bonkers Scottish woman.
Cat 1: Meow, meow, whine, whine, scratch, scratch.
Kate: Mimi, Mimi, leave Phoebe alone. Mimi, Mimi, good girl. Who’s a good girl?
Cat 2: Meow, hiss, scratch, whine.
Kate: Sassy, Sassy, come to Mama. Good girl, Sassy. Who’s a good girl?
Cat 1 (throws massive tantrum, knocking over everything that’s not glued to a surface):…
Kate: Fer goodness’ sake, ye total crazy fuckwit, do I need to put ye in yer carrier?
Mum always jokes about Kate ending up as a crazy cat lady, but hello, newsflash, it’s already happened.
Who drives their cats all the way to High Barnet to get shagged?
There’s a designer boy cat up there (also Persian, obvs) who’s going to shag the designer cats all weekend, and then Kate is going to sell the designer kittens for like £500 each.
Imagine there are eight of them. That’s £4,000.
This place is going to be furball central.
Oh, and FYI, the creepiest thing is that the cats are mother and daughter. Imagine a sex orgy with your mother, and then think about this: If you had a baby with your mum’s boyfriend, and your mum had a baby with him, too, then your child would have the same dad as your brother/sister, and basically, how gross is that?
Friday, January 5 #Family
Mum sent an email from Ankara telling me about all the fabulous people on her team. How nice for her to be surrounded by such a great bunch. And how equally wonderful for them to be spending so much time with my mother. Maybe they can tell me everything about her one day.
Still nothing from Polly.
This is the longest we’ve gone without speaking to each other. Maybe I should check if Training Wheels is holding her against her will.
Saturday, January 6 #HormonalCocktailFromHell
I never texted Polly.
I was thinking of asking her to go to Starbucks, but then I thought I’d feel even worse if she was like: Oh, sorry, Phoebe, I’m already going to Starbucks with Tristan, because Tristan’s my boyfriend now, which means life’s all about Tristan.
I found Kate’s old medical books, and they’re changing my life.
Turns out Polly is the victim of a chemical shitstorm in her brain.
Out-of-control levels of phenylethylamine are basically giving her a personality change. Before her brain chemicals started boiling over, she was a normal person who saw someone like Tristan for what he was/is: a sixteen-year-old loser who can’t ride a bike.
But suddenly: crash, bang, wallop. Love hormones are being released, and now she’s like: OMG, Tristan’s so hot, Tristan’s so wise, Tristan’s everything.
So here’s what I’m thinking: It’s obviously too late for Polly (may her hilarity, her gorgeous mind, and her infinitely stunning personality RIP), but I can totally prevent myself from becoming a victim of this unfortunate condition, because I’ll recognize the chemical process in my own brain and therefore will be able to react accordingly.
Sunday, January 7 #DisprovingTheTheoryOfEvolution
Polly’s attraction to Tristan Training Wheels Murphy makes no biological sense.
Apparently we subconsciously fancy people we can make superior babies with so the gene pool can be enriched and the human race can grow stronger and better.
But Tristan can’t even ride a bike.
Now, this wouldn’t be bad/questionable/problematic if he could, for example, fly a plane. But he can’t. So what’s going on?
And how has Polly not called me in a week?
Maybe her brain is actually broken.
PS: Back to school tomorrow, and I’m sure all will be revealed.
PPS: I hate that I have to take the bus, because I have to get up an hour earlier than usual.
Copyright © 2020 by Wibke Brueggemann