Do you ever have one of those weeks where you go: Well, that was a week and a half? Where it was actually just a week in length but felt like longer? Like a half a week added on top. Or a month. Or a century.
I had one of those weeks last week. I blame the stars.
My friend, Jules, before she moved to England, got an astrological chart done for me. I was really excited about it because I thought that surely there had to be a bit of good news in there. I tend towards the skeptical with astrology but occasionally am staggered by the accuracy of the readings I have received.
Anyway, the chart Jules got done for me was like the lost chapters from the Book Of Revelation that have been lying in the Dead Sea for the past three thousand years crystallising and festering. There couldn’t have been more omens and portents and coming across people all dark and moody if I had picked up the latest vampire novel on the market and started reading. I think there was actually mention of a raven or two. Watching me.
I tried to laugh it off. I mean, everyone knows astrology is a load of baloney, right? Just because some astrologer who is high on too much elderberry wine and frankincense sticks says one or maybe two of the lords of the underworld are going to come knocking on your door at some stage during the year doesn’t mean it will happen. Does it?
It’s like those talk radio pyschics who say they are channelling your Uncle Arthur and that he has a message for you. They can see him wearing the green cardigan you knitted for him with the tortoiseshell buttons. He is saying : Watch your eyes, Watch your eyes and you have a few brief moments of panic thinking you are going to go blind; a panic that is reinforced by the ravens that appeared in your astrological chart which might pluck out your eyes as you are going to the shops.
You start to hyperventilate, reaching for a paper bag until you realise that you don’t have an Uncle Arthur, there is nothing wrong with your eyesight and that in actual fact, you don’t even know how to knit anything, let alone green cardigans.
Talk radio psychics are one thing. Apocalyptic astrological charts are another, particularly when they say that for the past fifteen years – FIFTEEN years – you have been in a cycle of bad luck and that you have been thwarted at every turn with regard to achieving your aims.
Fifteen years is a long time. You only get seven years for breaking a mirror. The gods alone know what I must have broken to get 15 years of misfortune.
I must admit I was a bit shaken up by that chart. I couldn’t take a step without hearing the soundtrack from The Omen in my head. I got in trouble a few times from irate mothers when I came across pale-faced dark-haired kids and started checking their scalps for the mark of the beast.
And then I read the final paragraph in the chart. Your 15 year cycle will end in January 2011. After a few bumpy weeks things will settle down and you will enter a period of stability and personal and financial success where long term aims will be achieved.
Well, hooley dooley.
Last week was bumpy and this week things are already looking better. So maybe, just maybe that astrological chart was halfway right. Maybe the 15 years of bad luck is about to end.
Cases in point –
* Last Wednesday I celebrated my 20 year wedding anniversary. As many of you know I hit a rocky patch last year. As it turned out the infidelity I thought happened, didn’t.
However, there were floozies involved. Floozies in their 40s who really are the worst floozies of all because they are mad at the world for turning them into floozies. And single men in their 40s who I should probably call boozies because what else would you be if you can drink 12 alcoholic drinks in an hour? And the boozies are mad at the world for turning them into boozies.
So the boozies and the floozies hang out together and occasionally drag along a few of the married people they know. And try as hard as they can to behave inappropriately. Boozing and floozing.
Boozies and floozies piss me off because you know what bruthas and sistahs? I am mad at the world too. Everyone is. We all have something that we wish was different. We all search through the mire of existence day after day with a magnifying glass and a sterilised swab looking for a sign that all is not lost. And most of us – the grown up ones, at least – try not to take our mad-at-the-worldness out on everyone else.
So the law was laid down. The boozies and the floozies were told to grow up and shut up. And I celebrated my 20th anniversary in peace.
* One of the things that can crucify small business owners in Sydney (and probably everywhere else in the world) is the exorbitant rent charged for commercial sites. In the CBD a space as small as 90 square metres can cost you up to $3,000 per week. That is a big commitment under normal circumstances but when the economy starts to tank and you have 50% less people going by your door you can very quickly find yourself in trouble.
Two and a half years ago my husband negotiated a reduction in his shop rent. It was a verbal agreement later confirmed by email. We have since learned that the age of chivalry is indeed, dead because in the business world such an agreement counts for nothing.
My husband has been paying the reduced rent for 2 and a half years. The rent has been accepted every month without question. Nothing has been said. He has not missed a payment. He is not in arrears.
Last week he got a bill for $100,000 (yes, that is five zeros) for back rent. For the balance between the reduced rent and the original rent. Apparently, it is perfectly legal to do this because an email agreement is not legally binding. I pushed and pushed to get a hard copy of the agreement but the owner said it wasn’t necesary. And he accepted the reduced rent for over two years without saying anything so I thought it was OK.
How stupid am I?
Obviously, we don’t have that kind of money. We don’t have ANY money. The good thing about not having any money is that when someone threatens to sue you for paying reduced rent they actually agreed to you can say :Go for it, mate. Go for it. I am poorer than that guy washing windscreens at the traffic lights.
So we have to dissolve our company. And move to different premises. Without telling the owner. Desperate times, desperate measures. Sounds like the opening line for a novel, right?
Desperate times, desperate measures.
Melinda knew she would look back in a year and know she had learned from this. She also knew that a poker face and strategic cunning did nothing for you if your legal representation was inadequate. She also knew that in spite of the crush of her disillusion and the last few relationships she’d had ending up in a trip to the emergency room that she would find love again. And it would be real.
Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.
* My final point is that on Friday I had a major fight with my neighbour. I called him all sorts of names. He is obsessed with the birds in our garden. Last week we had a whole family of lorikeets in our jacaranda tree and he went on and on about it saying we are encouraging them to be there blah blah blah. What a dickhead. I really abused him. It was really bad. I completely lost my temper. There are some things I probably shouldn’t have said. Like how I was going to beat the crap out of him if he didn’t start minding his own business. Now he has said he is going to get us evicted for abusing him. Of course, he can’t do that but it is stress I didn’t need after a very stressful week. Some people really need to get a life. Desperately. And that is the truth.
When you’ve had a week and a half there is only one thing that helps.
These guys really cheered me up last week.
Took me back to my youth.
Hope you are all having a non-week-and-a-half week.