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

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Darby And Joan: December 2012

Darby & Joan are the quintessential middle-aged British couple, characterised by knitwear, hours of scrabble, and a penchant for staying in on Saturday nights. Darby and Joan are, in fact, @calummcswiggan and me. Read the Darby and Joan back catalogue here.

Dear Darby,

So I was in the kitchen with my brother on Monday night, being good. Good as in, you know, not being out. On a school night. With stolen champagne or inappropriate boys or, ohIdon’tknow the backdrop of an accidental last-minute New York trip, say.  

And before I tell you the rest of the story, you’ll already be laughing that I inferred anything about “being good” because as you, and I, and everyone else in my life know and accept, traditionally November is drunk. And maybe a little bit randy.

In fact, so intense have my Novembers become that two years ago Hannah The Photographer and I declared SNBATWOMOS: Stop November Being A Total Write-Off Month Of Shame. Because WHAT IS IT ABOUT NOVEMBER? you asked. AND I JUST DON’T KNOW.

It’s like I’m the fucking patron saint of goals and achievements January-through-Autumn, and then right before the end of the year something inside of me snaps and says, well sod that for a game of marbles, we’ll start all over again in another 6-8 weeks and right now yup! SHOTS FOR EVERYBODY! EXCEPT FOR THE GIRL PASSED OUT ON THE END OF THE BAR! AND THE UGLY GUY WITH HIS HANDS IN HIS PANTS! THEY DON’T GET FREE SHOTS! IN FACT, I’LL HAVE THEIRS! BUT EVERYONE ELSE WOO YAY LET’S GO! 3,2,1, DRINKDRINKDRINK!

Thing is, since said SNBATWOMOS pledge two years ago our friend Hannah the Photographer has gotten married and had a baby and I’ve… ordered another round. So I’m gonna need you to pull through for me on this one Darby. Am I doing okay?

Actually, I can’t lie. You *did* come through for me, via email, last Friday lunchtime. You messaged to ask what I was doing for the weekend (and also had I *seen* the new One Direction video?) and I, in a truly horrific hungover state, because GUINNESS IS EVIL, replied:

I’ll be writing, d’uh. Sex memoirs don’t copy edit themselves you know, and I’ve got a date with my kitchen table Friday 6pm until Sunday 10 pm. Weekends are my weekdays.


Weekends really are my weekdays- it’s when I do my Real Job of writing about my vagina and my heart. And the week? The week is for anti-SNBATWOMOS behaviour and cranking out copy in the name of national cosmetic chains to pay the bills. I’M DOING IT BACKWARDS.

And then you wrote back: well yeah, of course. You do everything backwards.

Just like that. No drama, just, I know. I accept you for the backward, drunk, well-meaning tart that you are. *insert nonchalant shrug*. It was the most perfect moment of my week.


And now I think I’m waaaaay off-topic because what was my point? I know I had one…

What I wanted to tell you was that my brother asked after you, as we hung out doing cool shit with our wanky London organic vegetables, and I said, “Oh, Calum? He’s working as an online bingo host now.” Then my brother bent over double hysterically laughing for like, the rest of all time.

I didn’t get it at first. That’s what you’re doing- being an online bingo host. That’s not funny, it’s a legit real thing. But then I realised that what is rapidly becoming normal for us isn’t always what is “normal” for the rest of the universe, because between us we concoct these plans of awesome that mean life is a banana in a hat: we don’t do it how we’ve been told to do it and we don’t care who thinks that might be weird.

And that excites me. It makes my heart sing. I talk about it a lot, I know, but finding the people in the world who operate like you do (i.e. like I do, because HI WE’RE AN EXTENSION OF THE SAME PERSON) is so important to me. Like, life’s work important.

On Saturday night we did what is rapidly becoming A Thing and Skyped for two whole hours. You let me talk and talk and talk about all the big plans I’m making for 2013, plans that essentially boil down to pinning down my tribe- the dancers and costume makers and writers and mentalists- the people who understand what it means when I say, it’s a banana… in a hat.

When I finished telling you my plan you blinked a few times, letting the silence mark the end of my overly long monologue, and you said, that was like watching a youtube video. You’re awesome.

But the thing is YOU’RE AWESOME. So if I’m awesome and you’re awesome and between us we’re rounding up all the other people we think our awesome we’re almost like our own little awesome tribe and because of that I just have one burning, pressing, really important question:

Does the tribe need a name?

I love you, Mr, and I’m only saying that because it’s the end of the year and I am, of course, drunk. You're the founding member of this tribe we have for two and I'm very lucky.

But then, so are you.

Merry Christmas!

Your Joan x
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