because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Mum's gonna be pissed.


One of the most obviously scary things about being a sexually-active 25-year-old woman is what happens when you leave the comfort of your current home- the four-star hotel- every morning, get to work, and throw up.

Yup. Every morning.

I realised how much this sucks when I failed to make it into the building and so was crouched by a trash can at 7.45a.m. one day this week, gripping my stomach and hurling up my croissant and cappuccino as I wished for somebody- a passerby, God re-incarnated, a Pokemon, ANYBODY- to swoop in a save me from my absolute humiliation of being a British tourist under the judgement of the well-dressed Italian posse of the Riviera.

And MY LORD their judgement really is harsh.
I even got bollocked by Antonella, the cleaner, this week.
“Do you need your washing doing?” she asked me one morning.
“Nah, I’m good,” I told her, in the made up Italian I use whereby adding vowels to the ends of words and shouting a lot normally gets my point across.
She looked me up and down in disgust. “Well then maybe if I give you a sacettino you’ll stop leaving your garish and dirty neon underwear all over the floor then?”

Ouch.

I now have nerves over whether she thinks I change my towels often enough, or too often, or judgements on just how many red work tee-shirts I have hanging in my closet, or how much loo roll I tend to get through in a day. Judgment is MY favourite pastime. Oh how the tables have turned. Fuck you, Italy. FUCK. YOU.

Of course my colleagues think the sickness is hilarious, and after three days they started patting my belly. “Although bloody hell,” commented one. “Another Laura?”

I’m quite sure I have no idea what they meant.

For those first two days I laughed too, though. Then suddenly, it wasn’t funny anymore. I was running to the bathroom every morning, same time, same place, same churning and gurgles in my throat, and then after avoiding my own vomit-splashback was ABSOLUTELY FINE for the rest of the day.

This is the point at which you could hear me audibly gulp.

Mentally I did the maths. It didn’t make sense- I calculated dates and times and places and encounters, and I’d even had a period which was so intense that after threatening to biff an Italian lady on the hooter for cutting in line at the Frutta e Vedura I was made to lie down in a darkened room until the bleeding stopped. A baby Laura was inconceivable.

(Pun intended.)

(Sorry.)

And then I remembered that OHMYGOD WHAT ABOUT THAT TIME IN EASTENDERS WHEN NATALIE CASSADY HAD JAIMIE’S BABY BUT DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SHE HAD BEEN PREGNANT BECAUSE SHE HAD GOTTEN HER PERIOD THE WHOLE TIME? This could totally have been like, the exact same thing.

So I did a test.

One Friday morning, as the group of new English tutors I had been working with culminated their training by performing a short English language show dressed as green frogs and blue cows and Lady Gaga, I nipped into the loo. I hovered over the cistern, which was annoyingly about six inches too high off the ground for me to avoid peeing on my own inner thigh. Less than a hundred feet away the group of twenty-somethings stapled into crepe paper and covered in face paint jumped up and down to a song designed for 5 year-olds about accidentally eating a bumblebee and throwing it up again, and I peed onto the stick. And myself.

“One little bumblebee, smush, smush, smush…”

Dear God, please don’t be a bumblebee, I thought.

“Two little bumblebee, smush, smush, smush…”

PLEASE DON’T BE A BUMBLEBEE.

“Three little bumblebee, smush, smush, smusssssssh….”

PLEASE.

A line appeared in the window. The song outside the door culminated in vomiting sounds. I wanted to vomit too.

One line.

ONE LINE.

I needed two lines for my own bumblebee.

“Any comments you want to feed back on the performance?” I was asked, as I re-entered the room from the worst three minutes of my life. (Well. The worst three minutes of my life after the blonde German guy. But this story isn’t about him.)

I smiled broadly. “Bloody brilliant,” I announced to the room. “All was exactly as it should have been.” Because god knows what I would have done if I’d have to deal any sort of consequence to promiscuity in a public forum.

By the next morning the used test and two dirty condoms were in the trash can of my bathroom. But I was so relived that I didn’t even care what Antoinella thought.

It’s the small victories that count. 
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