8am Alarm goes off. It’s a new week and time to be productive.
9am Urghhhh. Worst period pains ever. Am curled up on my side moaning rather that doing anything productive.
9:20am This is so annoying; had plans to make a nice breakfast for boyfriend before his shift and get on with some work on ~my novel~ (impossible to take myself seriously when I talk about writing a book, so need to use the ~ sign to show how pretentious I think I am. Pretentious and basic is fine if you’re self aware, right?).
10am Want a croissant. Think about the Pret food getting delivered to our house the other day by accident. I could…?
10:10am Boyfriend says ordering Pret is a bit bougie. He is right, obviously, but also…
11am Lying on the sofa, watching Sex and the City, feeling sorry for myself. Cramps are too bad to get up off the sofa and make myself coffee.
11:10am Phone beeps. Gorgeous pal has Monzo-ed me some money with a note that says, ‘Here’s a pret breakfast for you babyg. DO NOT SEND THIS BACK.’ Must be emotional because I get all teary.
12pm Today has really taken a turn for the better. My Pret breakfast has arrived as well as my 70s costume for the murder mystery on Thursday and a lovely and entirely unexpected letter from a pal, including these hilarious/terrible photos of my drunk wedding dancing and his hot lockdown bod. Am thoroughly cheered up. Love my friends.
12:15pm Feel a bit sad as I realise how I won’t get to see said lovely friends for a long while.
12:30pm Cheered up again by hilarious episode of Sex and the City where Carrie has an existential crisis because she farts in front of Mr Big.
1pm Flatmate wanders into living room and eyes the remains of aforementioned Pret breakfast. Opens his mouth to ask if the Pret food being sent to us accidentally the other day was actually just a very successful guerrilla marketing campaign and/or to start making as much fun of me as I deserve, but before he gets there, tell him, “there’s nothing you can say to me that’s worse than what I’ve already said to myself about this”. He wonders aloud whether this should be our flat motto. It does seem quite appropriate.
2pm Finish season 1 of Sex and the City. I love this show. It’s a piece of cultural history.
3pm Uncle messages me and absolutely rips me to shreds with this spot on reading of my personality.
7pm Have been slobbing around all afternoon, finishing the first season of Sex and the City, relistening to So I Got To Thinking podcast episodes, reading, cleaning things and preparing dinner for the evening. Decide to go for a gentle walk.
8pm Almost back home and I come across some books on a neighbour’s front wall with a sign saying ‘Free to a good home!’. The books are called Girl, Make Your Money Grow!, How to Become an Overnight Success, All the Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr Right and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Weird, because I was listening to the audiobook of Becoming as I found them. Pick up How to Become an Overnight Success and the first chapter is called So You Got Fired: Now What? Glance around my awkwardly and slip it into my bag.
8:05pm Pick up All the Rules and flick through it. It has been thoroughly thumbed and highlighted extensively. I come across the sentence, “Try to treat him as you would an elderly or unattractive man – not the handsome hunk you think he is! – someone you wouldn’t think twice about, much less bake brownies for!” and I know I have struck gold.
10pm Back home and have been thumbing through All the Rules with boyfriend and flatmate. Am absolutely horrified. The book was published in 1995 but feels much more dated: it includes tips such as “when he asks you out, silently count to five before saying yes” (we tried this and it makes you look extremely simple), “read the newspaper and books so you can talk to your life partner about things other than your work issues or dirty diapers” and “there will be less to regret if you learn to be quiet and mysterious more often”. It’s unbelievable.
10:30pm I absolutely lose it when flatmate reads out a list of things you won’t have to put up with if you follow The Rules, including a messy divorce, therapy (your man will be “too busy chasing you around the house for a quick kiss” to want to go to couples’ counselling, i.e. to busy assaulting you in your own home to go to the therapy you both clearly need), anxiety, and, GET THIS – physical abuse. The last line of this point is (no word of a lie), “[If you follow The Rules] you don’t have to worry about being battered”. I am astounded.
10:45pm Flatmate suggests that there is a podcast in this book, and I think he might be onto something.