Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's All My Fault (Part 4,937)

The redoubtable Adelaide Writer has compiled a list of things in her life that have not lived up to their promise.

As a connoisseur of lists I thought this was a ripper idea until I sat down to think about it. But when things in my life do not live up to their promise, I automatically assume it's my own fault. Examples:

* If I had worked out how to avoid mysteriously irritating another member of the house party every time I opened my mouth, that week in the villa in Tuscany in 1993 would have been what it should have been.

* If I'd chosen more wisely I would have a much less negative attitude to marriage. (The Family Law Act, on the other hand, not only lived up to but surpassed its promise.)

* If I understood my iPod better I could do lots more things with it, more often. (RTFM, RTFM, RTFM.)

* I'm sure the CSIRO diet would work if only I could stay on it.

* Nobody has yet invented a self-weeding herb garden.


ThirdCat said...

I did have something of a similar problem, PC. At the heart of many things which have failed to live up to their promise is of course me failing to live up to my potential or me failing to take advantage of the opportunity given to me etc etc etc. Does anyone with direction, motivation etc etc etc really need four degrees? On the other hand, the tea towel holder is completely useless. Even if they do look so good that I bought two ($4.95 each!).

Maybe the irritated person should have been more tolerant. Or perhaps they are the kind of person - like me - unsuited to group holidays.

Also, a very good way to have a herb garden is to plant everything in terracotta pots, then dig holes in the garden and put the pots in. Looks like you know what you're doing, and there doesn't seem to be room for weeds especially if you plant different types of mints (spearmint, peppermint and so on) which grow great long tentacles of greenery with minimal human input.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I only realised on rereading this post that I had put nowhere near enough emphasis on my own pathetic wussiness in these matters, and also nowhere near enough emphasis on my admiration for your more robust if still self-mocking take on them. The person in Tuscany, for example, was the one who was behaving badly (this was confirmed by all other members of the house party, who were sympathetic but helpless), and I knew it, but could not get rid of the notion that I was somehow responsible.

ME (INNOCENTLY, TO ROOM AT LARGE: 'Was anybody planning to use the shower in the next half-hour?'
HER (SNAPPISHLY): 'Oh for heaven's sake, [insert real name here], would you stop being such a martyr?'

That is a brilliant solution to the herb garden problem. The underground pot walls would minimise the weeds in a flash. I don't have any trouble actually growing the herbs, just a lot of trouble not growing the weeds.

comicstriphero said...

Yes, I'm sure we'd find the CSIRO diet would work if we stuck to it as well.

Have you tried any of the recipes?

Is it just me, or do they all require 24hrs marinating and then 3 hours cooking?

And why do I only bother to read the recipe to find this out approzimately 30 minutes before I want to eat the dang food?

FXH said...

I do no recipes that require more than 10 minutes marinating. C'mon be truthful - have you ever noticed what difference 24 hour marinating makes?

And who plans that far ahead anyway.

I can tell you that those Chinese massage people who offer (sleazely) on the street without mentioning price never ever live up to it. People justify the ambush ["wtf? $20 I thought it was free"] by imagining it was great. bah.

Fish & Chips is almost always better in the anticipation then in the eating, except when one has no expectations.

FXH said...

than in the eating. than not then.

Zoe said...

Pavlov: did you end up having a go? Pls share if so.

And csh, they don't all require a long time, but nearly they do all require extremely expensive cuts of meat. But yummy.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Marinades? I like the raw fish in lime juice in the 'Philippines' section of the Charmaine Solomon 'Asian Cooking'. Good for ya, too. Haven't tried the actual CSIRO recipes (only the general guidelines) but they look yum and my best mate says they all work. (Some recipes are just dogs, as we know to our cost.)

Zoe -- did I have a go? What, at my Tuscan tormentor, do you mean?

Zoe said...


Pavlov's Cat said...

I wish I could say I did. But the woman was actually part of a social group of Melbourne friends -- weirdly we all found ourselves in Europe at the same time so planned this trip, the only way we cd all afford it. I knew her well enough to know that if I called her on her behaviour she would simply (and sincerely) deny she was doing it -- and the fragile group peace we otherwise had in the villa would be ruined, all for nothing. So I endured it.

Weird sequel -- when at the end of the week we all split up and went our ways at Florence airport, I (to my horror) suddenly had a little bit of a breakdown from the strain and began very quietly to cry -- largely out of relief at being alone, I think -- in the check-in queue. Naturally in Florence this went unnoticed, but then I heard the voice of my tormentor behind me; her flight had been delayed so she'd come back for a chat. And she stood there for ten minutes telling me all about her plans for Venice and DID NOT ONCE NOTICE THAT THE PERSON SHE WAS TALKING TO WAS HAVING A LITTLE CRY.

Or else she did notice and didn't say anything, which in its way is even weirder.

I'm astonished and slightly ashamed to say that 13 years later we are still in contact.

Zoe said...

Well, I hope her manners have improved.

ThirdCat said...

What Zoe said.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Alas, no. She was passing through last year & rang to catch up; I made an 8 pm booking for a (good) restaurant, met her in her hotel lobby at 7.45 as arranged ... and we immediately went back up to her room so she could ring her little daughter and tell her a story before we went out to dinner. Car parked in loading zone. Left hotel 8.10 pm. Got to restaurant 8.25. Restaurant full, staff not impressed, gave us worst table in restaurant -- only free one left (booked table long gone). Friend made it very clear she wasn't impressed with table. Or restaurant.

You will be wondering whatever possessed me to become friends with this woman. She is very smart and funny, great to talk books with, and the best letter-writer, bar none, that I have ever known. There's just this small problem that she has no idea how to treat people.

(Could it be that there are iss-yews here that I need to work through?)

Zoe said...

Look, I know this is a bit personal PC, but I'm sure thirdcat would agree that she sounds like a real moll.

And presumably what with all your new Possession-loving blogging mates, you have plenty of literary companionship to be going on with ...