Greg doesn't believe in ADHD. He calls it "bad parenting syndrome." I'm inclined to think he may have a point if today is anything to go by. Mrs Engleby wants more done to sort out her son, who's already on Ritalin, and she also wants more money to do it with.
She swears compulsively and with perfect enunciation, but the rest of her conversation is virtually unintelligible, partly due to being interrupted every few seconds by shouted threats presumably directed at her son. At least, I hope they were directed at him. She could just as easily have meant me, now I come to think about it. I'd be running around screaming and kicking things, too, if I was little Kevin and had to live with that woman.
I blame it on all the junk food. Blue Smarties used to send Josh completely mad when he was little. I'm starting to wonder if Greg's been eating them today, as he's certainly having trouble concentrating on anything, other than where the hell his conference pass has got to. I keep trying to reassure him that the organisers often leave it 'til the last minute to send them out, but he's getting really paranoid about it. I think he'd do better to be worrying about how on earth he's going to manage The Boss while they're there.
Johnny's not concentrating either, judging by the number of emails he sends me today. He's trying to persuade me to meet him again next month, and says he's willing to come all the way to Northwick again too, as long as I take charge of his hotel booking - so that he doesn't end up with a crummy single room this time. I am not his bloody PA! Maybe he'd like me to remember his wedding anniversary and arrange to send flowers to his wife while I'm at it. Anyway, I'm not at all sure that I want to carry on with this affair. If an affair is what it is - it probably doesn't count unless there's at least some sex involved.
I can't help feeling that maybe I should take a trip to Ann Summers instead, and buy something that Max will find impossible to resist. Maybe that would save our marriage, and then I'd know what to do about Johnny.
The trouble is that I'd feel such an idiot wearing "sexy clothing" that I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face, even if Max didn't fall over laughing. Wouldn't putting on a nurse's outfit, or something with peepholes all over the place be tantamount to wearing a sign begging for sex, as well? I don't think it would do much for my self-respect, either, though maybe I'm just losing my sense of humour.
I realise that I don't know what the hell I want from one minute to the next, so I decide that I am going to spend the evening thinking seriously about my life in an effort to sort myself out. I'd hoped to do this during last week's holiday, but what with being wobbled every five minutes, I didn't get very far. I don't make any progress tonight either, as Pat calls just after I get home - to tell me she has just been told that she may be bi-polar. Good God, another one. It must be catching.
She sounds elated, as if someone has awarded her a badge of honour - but there's nothing wrong with Pat other than what used to be called being a "moody bugger." Her behaviour is totally unlike that of the constituents I know who were diagnosed as manic depressive years ago, and whose illnesses can be both florid and highly frightening. Also, she doesn't seem worried about it at all.
When I question her reaction, it turns out that Pat really is pleased - as she says that being bi-polar finally explains why her love-life is always such a car-crash. It bloody doesn't. Illness has nothing to do with it. She is just fatally attracted to complete tossers, and acts like a doormat around them. She always has. But she's so chuffed with her putative diagnosis that it seems curmudgeonly to argue, though I have no idea what am I supposed to say in response - congratulations?
Being reminded - at length - of Pat's catastrophic relationship history makes me even less keen to buy a peephole bra and crotchless panties. I bet she owns Anne Summers' entire back catalogue, and a fat lot of good it's done her so far.
Imagine if, as soon as I've finished the washing up, I was to go and get changed into a latex dress or a French maid's outfit, and pounce on Max. He'd think I'd become bi-polar and insist on taking me to the Walk-In Centre immediately. That's if his attention could be persuaded to wander from the TV in the first place. Maybe I should try feeding him blue Smarties.