Friday, 10 December 2010

Stress-Related Dyspraxia And A New-Found Empathy For Camilla.

God, I'm knackered, and I look like shit. I got so distracted by Question Time and then by reports of the attack on Charles and Camilla's car last night, that I forgot I'd left the entire contents of my wardrobe strewn all over the bed earlier in the evening.

At bedtime, Max took one look at the state of our room, and decided to sleep in Connie's. Again. Even after I'd stopped worrying about what that signified, I couldn't go to bed until I'd tried everything on, and put it away again, and I still didn't find anything I didn't look bloody awful in anyway.

Things don't get any better this morning when I oversleep as, by the time I get to work, The Boss is already there.

This is really bad news, as I like to prepare myself for our Friday encounters with plenty of coffee and some deep breathing, so I'm already feeling quite agitated as I tiptoe towards the Oprah Room, where he's sitting on the sofa and talking to someone on the phone.

Andrew's back is turned, and he doesn't seem to have heard me come in, so I stand in the doorway, waiting for him to finish.

"Well, I just think it would be easier to handle if you weren't here," he says. "I reckon she'll drop in again today."

Then he glances up at the window, spots my reflection in it, and almost drops the receiver. It's not very flattering, as he looks absolutely horrified to see me - though it is pretty much the same reaction as I get when I look in a mirror.

"Got to go," he says, to whoever he's talking to. "I'll call you later."

Then he hangs up, turns round, and glares at me.

"Problem?" I say. "Do you need me?"

"No," he says. "Haven't you got any work to be getting on with, instead of sneaking up on people?"

I pretend not to have heard him, and then stay out of his way for the rest of the morning. Greg doesn't follow my lead, but wishes he had when he takes Andrew a cup of coffee and gets no thanks for it.

"Ungrateful sod," he says. "Hope he burns his tongue. He's sulking because bloody Vicky's working from home, I suppose."

"Oh, so that's where she is," I say. "I did wonder. Every cloud has a silver lining, then."

Mind you, Vicky couldn't have been any less helpful than Greg is, when I ask him what he thinks I should wear to Max's works "do" this evening.

"You always look okay, Mol," he says. "And, anyway, the restaurant won't be brightly-lit. Just hide in the shadows and then you won't put people off their food."

"Very funny," I say, though I don't mean it.

God knows what has happened to me. I used to look forward to social occasions, but now they make me so anxious that I'm a mess for days beforehand. Today, I can't concentrate at all, and seem to have completely lost my ability to open the mail without shredding it with the letter-opener.

The incompetence doesn't end there and, by late afternoon, I'm covered in paper cuts, have managed to jam the printer three times, and shut my fingers in the filing cabinet. I'm still swearing about that when Trish comes into the office.

"Hi, Molly. Oh, and hello Greg," she says. "Isn't Victoria here?" I notice that her hands are clenched into fists.

I shake my head, but there's no time to explain as, at the sound of Trish's distinctive voice, Andrew comes hurtling out of the Oprah Room, and does a very exaggerated double-take at the sight of his wife.

"Trish!" he says."What a lovely surprise. Wasn't expecting to see you here."

Honestly, if there was an Oscar for hamming it up, he'd win hands down. Trish looks almost as unconvinced by it as I do, but neither of us says anything.

She perches on my desk while she waits for Andrew to get ready to leave.

"You okay, Molly?" she says. "You look awfully pale."

"Yes," I say. "It's just that I've got to go to Max's work Christmas dinner this evening, and I haven't got a clue what to wear."

Greg rolls his eyes in disgust, but Trish gets it straight away.

"Oh, God," she says, sympathetically. "I know exactly how you feel. Max works with almost as many young women as Andrew, doesn't he?"

"Yes," I say. " More. Though I've never thought about it like that before."

I'm still trying to stop thinking about the similarities when I get home from work, and now I've got less than half an hour to shower and get ready. Aargh. Can it be normal to be dreading a night out as much as this?

At the risk of sounding like Camilla before she quit, I think I need a quick gin and a cigarette. Especially as Max has just asked me what I think he should wear.

No comments:

Post a Comment