Dear Dottie,

Saturday, 27 August 2011

My tennis playing days are definitively over. Went to the club last night with dr. Veltman – not that he plays, of course. Dr. Veltman has never touched a ball in his life.
Oh, untrue – he informs me that he played soft ball in grammar school, as an unfit 15 year old. He was awful at it, but did once score a homerun. There was strangely little opposition, he noticed, as he ran his round of glory around the bases. When he arrived, triumphantly, at home base, he saw a group of people standing around something. They turned angrily to him. In their midst lay, on the ground, a girl. Turned out that after he had struck the ball – in itself a most unexpected event – and thrown the bat away to start his run, the bat had hit a classmate in the head. She was unconscious. He doesn’t know what became of her.
At the club, dr. Veltman drinks wine and smokes small cigars, staring at the players in an off-putting way. Now and then he shakes his head slowly and sadly, which can put less confident tennis players right off their service..
I happened to watch a women’s game (no men playing, or I wouldn’t have, of course) and it was not pretty. These women have no sense of dress or dignity. A huge girl, fairly young, carried frightening amounts of fat on her stomach. As I’ve always said: all women should watch their figure, but tall girls should subside on dry salt crackers entirely. If there’s too much of you on one axis, you can’t afford branching out on another axis.
Not only was this girl huge, she wore her t shirt tucked into her shorts. I wouldn’t have dreamed of showing up in anything but a stylish tailor made skirt, in my day – mind you, nothing so extravagant as these Williams girls wear on the tour. Flashy and vulgar. But shorts on a woman are just horrifying. This girl’s looked to be made of nylon, and very tightly followed her giant thighs. 
And as she stood there, labouring away at her service, sweat glistening on that big forehead, I realized at once that I can never play again. How could I try to beat such a girl, whose day depends on a win in these silly club championships? She has nothing else in her life!
I know I’m famous for saying plain girls have it easy, and on the whole that is true – any moderately confident plain girl has the world as her oyster. But there are of course limits as to how far you can push being plain. And she pushed the envelope. I would have been unable to muster the will to beat this girl. As I’d look at that desperate, red face, and the large, awkward, labouring body, I would have been frightened lest the last bit of light would depart from those lifeless, tragic eyes.
So I shall play no more. Oh, a little mixed double now and then, purely for recreational purposes – but no competition. Truly, if I weren’t so soft hearted, I would probably have been a formidable player. I have fabulous technique, my teacher always told me (and not only at tennis, he said, but that’s another subject.) I suppose I might have made it to Wimbledon.
Bought a book called “Controlling People” by Patricia Evans. What do you think – there’s no instructions in it, whatever! False advertising I call that. I will toss it into the bin.

Dear Joanie,

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Burke may have had a little point about cleaning surfaces. But only for high gloss paints. With latex, you can successfully clean every surface with your paint brush, and you never have to touch water and detergent again. But today I painted over a door, and I must say, high gloss paint does not take at all, on greasy surfaces. A bit of a disappointment.
And a little warning: directly after painting a door, open that door. Because if you paint over locks and hinges, you may never have the chance, again.

Dear Candace,

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Did you know you can not only wash, but sculpt, with a paint brush?
I don’t know why working people always make such a Big Fuss about menial labour. Yes, it is tiring, and should not be done for long spells on end. But it can be quite riveting. It’s all in one’s attitude, I always say.
I’ve learned a few things, along the line. Of course Burke keeps admonishing me about cleaning surfaces first, before you paint on them, and then adding anti-mold layers and primer and all that nonsense.
Well, between you and me, none of that is necessary! You can paint right over the filth. At first, I gingerly covered only very small specks of crummy matter, but as I went along, my confidence grew, and ultimately I ‘washed’ entire doors and wall panelings.
It’s so easy! Oh, how they keep telling one it can’t be done – that the surface must be cleaned.Pfff! And nobody ever tells you why, do they? It’s just a dogma. Like socialism and communism. And they hold to it so religiously! Well, it’s poppycock. You can paint right over anything, provided it doesn’t stick out too much, and if it’s something still wet or moist, you’ve got to watch out in case you accidentally ‘paint’ other areas with that very stuff – which has happened to me, and set me back half an hour, as I had to wait for it to dry and then apply some more paint.
Sculpting: same thing. Any cracks in the wall, or between the door and the wall, can be filled if you apply the paint very generously, and set to work with confidence. You must make bold strokes, or it won’t work. It really is a confidence game, painting one’s house.
My hallway looks like new. Now I just need to get Burke up the ladder to do the higher bits. He has a fear of heights, so I’ll have to be forceful.
Do come over and see my work, soon!

Dear Joanie,

Friday, 12 August 2011

I gave up on the bedroom windows, after my little mishap yesterday. Painting, I decided, was going to be much more fun.
The wall across from my bed looked grey and filthy, so I thought I’d paint it a merry blue. Burke told me I should first clean the wall, then apply an anti-mold layer, then an undercoat, and then finally the merry blue paint. I tried it, on about 1 square foot, and it was awful. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. So I simply painted one layer, didn’t bother to clean the wall, then decided the radiator would also look prettier if you couldn’t see the dirt on it, so I painted over the dirt, and by God it looks great. Turns out you don’t need special radiator paint, at all!
As for the wall, I can positively say now that cleaning it first, let alone all the mold and undercoat nonsense, is utterly unnecessary, and only done by people who like to punish themselves. I just removed some spider webs with my hand, and brushed off a little soot here and there. Didactually fill little holes in the wall with some stuff from a tube, which one is supposed to leave drying for hours – nonsense, again, you can paint over it within a few minutes.
But even without all the masochistic primer and mold and other obsessive-compulsive stuff, it was exhausting. I broke out in a most unpleasant sweat, and you know how I always pride myself on never sweating.
I suppose I will call this my Year of Living Rough, and write a book about it, later. I do think I am reaching interesting insights, that others could benefit from. But how long will I be able to go on like this? I am very fond of Burke, but I’m slowly losing the will to live.

Dear Joanie,

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I’m just not made for household work. Oh, what a curse it is to be with a fascinating and highly attractive, but penniless man. Not sure I’ll ever go that road again.
It is a tribulation, this cleaning. I decided to do some work around the bedroom, because Burke complained about “inches of dust” and dirty windows. I thought I might clean the window sills and who knows, if I had time, maybe the windows. So I got a big bucket from the garden, which I had once planned to grow plants in. These buckets seem to deteriorate with time, don’t they. It was strangely filthy, with a kind of disgusting grey jelly both on the outside and the inside. Dozens of woodlice sped off as I lifted the bucket, afraid lest the sunlight might turn them into something pretty.
I cleaned the inside, almost gagging, and then filled it up to its rim with hot water – I don’t like to bend down too much to reach in, when I start the actual work. That is such a drag. It was still disgusting on the outside, so I put it on the kitchen counter for further cleaning, balancing it precariously on the narrow ledge next to the sink.
They say everything happens for a reason, but I cannot fathom why that bucket had to fall down. Even as it went to to the ground, seemingly in slow-motion, I was in denial. I remember very clearly thinking, and meaning it: “This is not happening.” But it was, apparently.
I sat on my couch for a while, then a longer while. Ultimately I resigned myself to the fact that the filthy flood had to be dealt with. So I got a few tea towels, which weren’t remotely enough, then decided to use t shirts that were dusty anyway, and which I  decided on the spot I’d probably never wear again. I tossed the shirts on the floor at regular intervals, and hoped they would soak up the sea of slush.
Then, I head Burke at the door. I quickly gathered together the t shirts and tried to look heavily involved. “Just mopping the floor!” I said in happy sing-song tones, when he came in. He looked so happy. “That’s my girl. You’re really making headway, aren’t you?” Burke likes it when I apply myself; he’s old-fashioned, that way.
I didn’t tell him I’d actually made zero headway, apart from mopping the floor with filthy slick. It will only show once the moisture dries completely.

Dear Helen,

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Took dr. Veltman with me to the famous Bronovo hospital in The Hague, where they treat the Queen. When she is ill, that is – otherwise not.
Aunt Eunice was in there for some vague complaint – one of the countless things she always seems to have wrong with her. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. I think it’s simply an excuse to make me come visit her. And dr. Veltman jumps at the chance to drive me there, so we can spend some time together. Looks like he’s getting a little tired of the Floozy, already – not that I’m surprised.
I won’t repeat Eunice’s conversation to you as it is so dull, and usually centers on either teapot cleaning or unsavoury physical ailments. What was it this time? Kidneys not functioning or something, I’m sure there’s a technical term for it. She seemed perfectly fine to me. Pale and thin, I suppose, but she always is. Never eats much; not much use worrying about her figure at her age, but some women are irredeemably vain, aren’t they. Wouldn’t be surprised if she goes to these teenage anorexia sites, where they learn how to get through life on three bread crumbs a day.
Enough about Eunice. Dr. Veltman was very trying, the entire afternoon. He gets nervous and hectic, when he can’t smoke, even for 15 minutes. The low point came just after our tedious visit with Eunice, when he insisted on helping a sick gentleman in a wheelchair into the elevator. The elderly gentleman – not much more elderly than dr. Veltman, by the way – protested loudly, but it’s as if he doesn’t hear things, isn’t it. He just pushed the fellow into the elevator, until the poor old thing positively shrieked in dismay. No wonder – his IV on wheels was still outside. The elevator doors closed on the IV line, but before gentleman and IV were separated by gentleman going down and IV staying on the third floor, a helpful passer-by managed to open the doors, and save the situation. The patient was quite upset.
Most exhausting. No attractive physicians around, by the way. Might as well not have spent 1.5 hours doing my make-up. I thought the Bronovo was the best, but by God I’ve seen better looking doctors even in that horrid poor man’s hospital Lucas-Andreas in Amsterdam. So, darling, I suppose I’d say, in summary – there’s little joy in falling ill, these days. Perhaps I should eat healthy food, after all.

Dear Joanie,

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Remind me never to set my high heels in a health food store, again.

These places don’t agree with me anyway. I suppose Candace is right and one should eat vegetables and wheat grass and sea urchins and fermented horse spittle, but so long as these things aren’t sold in luxury shops I think I’d rather die young.

However, just to humor her (she’s coming over and will not eat anything less ‘sensible’) I dropped in to the Lotus Health Food Store to get her profiterolles made out of old newspapers, or something very much like that.

A lad of perhaps 16 years of age stood in my way, in the middle of the aisle I was traversing, in the way that irritates one tremendously if it’s a woman, and makes one tenderly forgiving if it’s a young male. I gently put my hand on his shoulder, almost caressing it. You know how I like to be kind. I bent over to him and whispered in his ear “My dear, would you mind awfully…-” when suddenly I noticed… it wasn’t a lad at all! It was a middle aged woman with closely cropped hair, military style. I withdrew my hand as if it was on fire, completely flustered and disgusted.

How could such a thing happen? How could my natural instincts, otherwise so robust, have let me down? I felt dirty and shamed. It’s a bit like the times (happened on two occasions!) I patted a little child on the head only to be faced by an angry dwarf turning around and glaring at me. But those times, there were no sexual overtones and an immediate crisis of gender identity.

I mean, do consider – I have never touched a woman as tenderly as I did this one, and never would in a million years. When a woman stands in my way in a shop aisle, I don’t touch her at all, or if I do, it’s to push her out of the way. I can’t stand ill-mannered women with no perception of where their bodies are located in space, and deal with them accordingly. I think that’s only fair.

And it’s been such a dreary day, already…It’s raining, and Aunt Eunice had to share with me that she cleans her teapot by leaving denture tablets in it overnight.

There really is no hope for humankind, is there?




Copyright © 2009 Grunge Girl Blogger Template Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template
Girl Vector Copyrighted to Dapino Colada