Last night, I said to Calum over Skype, ‘I need to talk to you about my life plan,’ and he said, ‘Shoot.’ I said, ‘I have diagrams and lists and it’s all very boring,’ and he replied, ‘We’re planning a life over three different continents. Boring is the last thing you’ll ever be Laura.’ And that was a really nice and reassuring thing to say, but also made me think of what somebody said at work once. When I was sick she asked, ‘Is somebody going to look after you at home?’ and I was offended and said, ‘I don’t need anybody to look after me,’ and then she sighed and said, ‘Oh yes. I forgot that your life is a sitcom.’
MY LIFE IS A SITCOM. What a simultaneously hilarious and horrifying observation. Do I self-sabotage because it’s funnier that way? OHMYGOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME WHY AM I NOT JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE AND DOES EVERYONE FEEL THIS WAY? I BET EVERYONE FEELS THIS WAY. IT’S OKAY. I’LL BE OKAY.
Then I remembered that last week I blew my nose on my bright pink lacy thong in public, because it had fallen from my second-storey washing line and I had picked it up as I left the house that morning, put it in my pocket, and then as I pulled out my tissue to blow my nose when I was crossing the road grabbed those instead. BAM. SITCOM CENTRAL.
So, Calum listened patiently as I mapped out the rest of my year, and showed him my notes, and eluded to my colour co-ordinated, nine-box, twenty-seven bullet-pointed list, and we decided together that the rest of my year should essentially look like this:
Feb to May: Rome. Write.
June: Riviera. Fun.
July and August: Summer job. Grad school applications. Trip to Morocco.
September-December: Japan. University lecturer. Maybe.
Because I also have a tendency to get side-tracked in conversations- a knack my friend Alma calls conversation GPS-ing, because of the scenic routes I take conversations as we get lost together, before we re-route to what we should have been talking about in the first place- Calum and I also covered more general life lists as I told him about the Bucket List I’ve been devising.
It’s called my ‘Yes, and…’ list in homage to the improvisation technique whereby you never say no, only yes, and then you ask what the next thing is. Happy people say yes. I have it tattooed on me, so I figured I should also have a list about it too. So far it looks like this:
1. Drink Flirtini cocktails with Calum in New York.
2. Have an audience with the Pope.
3. Publish a book.
4. Milk something.
‘Your top four life ambitions include milking something?’ Calum said. ‘Like, an animal?’
‘Yes,’ I told him, quite incredulous.
‘Then there is nothing more I can do here,’ he replied, to which I was like, ‘MILKING SOMETHING IS TOTALLY A THING,’ and he was like, ‘JUST LIKE AN AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE IS?’ and I was all, ‘UH-HUH. IT’S MY “YES, AND…” LIST AND I CAN PUT WHATEVER I WANT ON IT,’ and then Calum said he was going to write his own list, only his list would be achievable, and so Internet I have one question and once question only:
Does anybody have something I can milk?
I’m totally serious.