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samedi 2 avril 2011

Fool's day

When I was a kid, I really liked April Fool's Day. I used to play harmless (but to my mind hilarious) tricks on my parents, particularly my dad - I put blue food colouring in the milk he put on his cereal one year, another year I swapped the milk and orange juice (hmmm... coffee with orange juice, yum!), that kind of thing. At school we used to play tricks on our Latin teacher (because he had the best sense of humour and used to play elaborate tricks on us too) and the History teacher (because she was the most gullible). It was always harmless, never humiliating, just funny.

In France, the main idea is to stick paper fish on people's backs. I've no idea where this comes from, but it seems pretty harmless to me and though I've rarely participated in the "fun", I don't mind it. Not at all (last year I think, I hid paper fish in the girls' snack boxes for school and in D's papers or something).

What I don't like is the kind of tricks D likes to play. Sometimes they're OK, because they're so outrageous no one really believes them from the outset (though a kind friend DID believe him a few years ago when he told her we'd been given a goat to look after and could she help us - she called her ex-husband and was ready to get her son to drive the goat to her ex-husband's goat farm for us...).

But there was another year - probably about 4 or 5 years ago - when D came up with the brilliant idea of telling everyone (family, friends, local shopkeepers, the stallholders at our local market...) that I'd run off to live with another man, leaving him (D) without a steady job, without steady income and with two small children to look after all by himself. He pretended to be heart-broken, asking people if they could help him with the girls while he pulled himself together (oh, the irony!). I was furious - it made me seem like a real bitch and, because he'd told people who didn't really know me, when they saw me, they all looked at me as if I were the worst person in the world. Of course, he confessed the truth and what have you, but still. I always felt that some of the shopkeepers/stall holders had a niggling doubt about me after that...

This year, I was spared D's tricks. He played one on the girls, but I don't think they fell for it (L might have done, but I don't think so). I also got round the problem by virtually not leaving the house all day.

So who's the fool in all this? Me, probably, because I totally fucked up today - my alarm didn't go off, so I got up too late, meaning I couldn't get the girls to school for 8.30, meaning I had to keep them home till 1.45 pm, so I got nothing done this morning, then I had birthday presents to buy this afternoon and voilà. A totally unproductive day (again).

I escaped the part of April Fool's Day I dislike (another advantage to this otherwise hellish situation, I suppose), so maybe I'm not so much of a fool after all. And I don't think I fell for any pranks on the internet either...

What I do know is that the prank calls are over for another year, and that's good.

The other thing I know is that April Fool's Day was our anniversary. This would have been our 15th. That's been on my mind all day, and has made me unutterably sad. 14 years, down the drain. 14 years of trust, and encouragement, and support, and love - all for nothing. All's that's left is pain and loneliness and bitterness and a shitload of anger.

The only good thing to come out of those 14 years is our beautiful, beautiful little girls (a true blessing, for sure, and I couldn't wish for better), they are all that makes it worthwhile. For the rest, I wish it had never happened, he's hurt me too badly now, hurt me, wounded me, destroyed a part of me forever. And I'm not good at forgiving (or forgetting for that matter).

So maybe I am the Fool after all.

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