I need a wife. Even a husband would do.
I am old. Like the castle. And like the castle I just want to sit and look pretty. I want to brandish my pension book and leave big decisions to others, younger than me. I want to choose what I do, not have a course of action forced on me. Enjoyable things. I don’t want to learn new tricks or do jobs which are meant for young people. Or men. Yes, men. Nothing of the feminist about me today.
Yesterday I was hanging out of the velux on the sloping roof trying to clear the channels either side of the window from moss and debris. There’s a new seepage stain in the cupboard in the roof space, which means rainwater gets in somewhere. Three different sets of workmen have looked at the roof, scratched their heads, rearranged their boys’ bits, fiddled with tiles and sheets of some metal and gone away, leaving a big bill behind. One of these days that window will be the death of me.
I’ve been going into CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - on the internet this morning. There’s this phobia I have about driving up a particular steep lane in Valley’s End. About five years ago I lost control of the car on this lane, rolled backwards into a gate, demolished the gate and wrote off the car; nobody else was involved and nobody got hurt. Since then I have avoided this lane. Unfortunately that makes coming into Valley’s End from the Welsh side a bit of a bummer; either I have to go the long way round, two to three miles extra, or persuade Beloved to do that bit which actually takes no more than five minutes. Beloved no longer has a driving licence because of his poor eyesight. Making him drive could cause problems with the law. So you see, one way and another it would be good if I could get over this phobia.
I told my doctor and he advised CBT. Really and truly, I would prefer to sidestep the whole issue, ostrich-like (do ostriches really stick their heads into the sand? I must find out); but Knighton is where the poetry group meets and my face-girl has her treatment room. Which do I choose? Give them up or endure the inevitable panic attacks?
A competent wife or husband would take this decision off me. They’d only need to be part-time, of course. The law also frowns on bigamists.
I learned on the website of MIND - for better mental health that CBT can be an effective therapy for a number of problems:
anxiety and panic attacks *
chronic fatigue syndrome
drug or alcohol problems
eating problems *
general health problems
habits, such as facial tics
mood swings *
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) *
post-traumatic stress disorder
sexual and relationship problems
sleep problems *
The list awards me seven brownie points, that is if chocolate cravings and a mild need to arrange pills, chocolate buttons, newspapers, spoons and socks in orderly matching pairs, strictly aligned according to length, count.
What happened to those wonderful days when the aged were shoved into the inglenook, or in particularly drastic cases, pushed into a cupboard, fed when someone remembered and otherwise forgotten and left to get on with drooling and gnashing their toothless gums. They never had to make a decision. Actually, that sounds remarkably like some modern nursing homes, except there you may have the added excitement of being called names and given a slap when the carers can’t force your arthritic arms and legs into your garments quickly enough.