Well. Where Have the Buggering Hell Have You Been???

Brought to you as my eldest son pounds a "V-Tech See Me Go" device that is officially doing my head in....

Let me start by apologizing for the yawning stretch between entries, especially when you know I simply *must* have shitloads of fodder to act as my muse. Shitloads is right, so many many loads of shit, I've not been able to sit and actually string a thought for an entry

(and I know, I am overthinking it when I impose the notion of "stringing a thought" onto this form of writing. Just write a flipping post. DO IT. I hear you say).

I've even received a couple of toe-tapping emails along the lines of "uh. write a post already. please. you are annoying me with your selfish refusal to post" Which made me feel both loved and mildly guilty, a mixture of emotions with which I am only too familiar.

Main reason for my absence--end of my Real Job in America. i.e. two weeks of frenetic attempts to finish up one billion tasks and not shit royally upon my co-workers with my departure. General consensus among my friends is that try though I might to leave a legacy of professionalism and "my GOD that woman had an astounding work ethic, and ran all her projects in the most efficient yet humane way" the fact of the matter is that She Who Last Leaves becomes The Scapegoat Upon Which All Future Fuck-ups Will be Blamed.

And I am, now, at peace with that logic.

So now I am free of work and at home with a house that feels empty, but apparently has an endless source of junk through which to sort. My husband just asked me what exactly was in the ten bags we just hauled to Good Will.

"Clothes" I answer defensively, even as he raises an eyebrow of disbelief that we could not have possibly accrued such vast quantities.

What did you get rid of that's mine...?

Don't worry, sweetheart, your 120 "running t-shirts" that are "worn in" and therefore riddled with holes and questionable stains"comfortable" are safe...

Since I last wrote, the "spacious, pared down, unfettered" feeling of rattling around a house devoid of clutter, a lot of furniture, and signs of humanity, has worn a little thin. We're a little tired of living in limbo, a holding pattern.

Also, figuring out what you can cook for dinner with an ancient frying pan and a 4 quart pot gets boring... But I will admit there is something liberating about wading into a cupboard and being utterly mercenary. Do I want to launder this, fold this, and pack it lovingly in my suitcase for England?


And so, one very lucky Good Will shopper becomes the proud owner of a Union Jack "Swinger" T-Shirts (yes. Austin Powers has a lot to answer for) some blousey, floral numbers that seemed a good idea in 1998 (thank you Phoebe of Friends fame) and a series of tanks with the scuba logo, purchased over a couple of summers where I felt that some snorkeling expeditions and "one day diving experience, no experience necessary" excursion in Key West was reason enough festoon my person with signs that I was a professional.

We leave in one week and 3 days (next Friday, the 14th). This date feels miles away and yet also breathtakingly close. I've been asked by so many friends "what will you miss about this country?" I can't voice the answer to that one yet, but I am working in it. Apart from those we hold dear, the answer lies somewhere between fried cheese and loving John Stewart in Bush's America.

[Written for Mike. Co-worker, conspirator, complete asshole, and dear dear friend. You are much, much missed. You'd better show your face soon, you prick].


Ozma said...

Wait...is that your mansion in the picture?

You live in a mansion?

I realized one day that my legacy to my child is t-shirts. T-shirts that tell the story of my life. Why can I not get rid of the t-shirts? Aren't you going to MISS that scuba shirt? Because won't you now forget about the scuba moment? It's Proust's madeline. Every t-shirt must be saved.

And, after that digression I must now shout: YOU ARE ALMOST THERE!!! WOOOH!

Marmite Breath said...

Oh God, Joy. It's nailbitingly, heartbreakingly, stomachchurningly, insomniacreatingly close to the day that you leave America.

I admire and envy you in such equal measure, my lovely compatriot.

mothergoosemouse said...

The work transition, ugh. I honestly can't imagine that anyone will blame anything on you. I mean, how is that even possible?

Been thinking of you, but did not want to inspire guilt or irritation. As you know, I'm always here if you need me.

Except to take the blame for work fuck-ups. You're on your own there.

gingajoy said...

Ozma. A mansion? Oh hell yeah. I'm trading it for a one bedroom terraced near t'mill.

Nat. Insomnia is fucking right, lady.

Julie. you are so so swee, oh preggo one.

Lindyloo said...

Eeek! Almost here!

Mocha said...

So, in light of this post, you will forgive me for not yet sending my BlogRhet post to you, right?

I'd be happy to grovel publicly if that will make you love me again. And I'll wear bunny ears. Whatever you ask.

slouching mom said...

So soon!

OK, well, that's probably not what you wanted to hear.

I'm glad you all are surviving this bizarre time -- and I so look forward to tales from across the pond!

MsPrufrock said...

If it makes you feel any better, the Daily Show is aired here with only a day's delay on one of the Channel 4 channels. More 4 perhaps? It's at a reasonable time too, 8pm or some such.

Good luck with the rest of your time in the States. A week...yikes! That was really helpful, I know.

doow said...

Shitting royally sounds a delightfully British thing to do. I might try that today, rather than doing the VAT return. It seems that many things can be done instead of the VAT return. Did you know, for example, that you can go outside to snip off a few sunflower heads after lunch and *suddenly* it's the end of the work day and, well, there's really no point in starting the VAT now, is there? Actually, if you're going to be here that soon, you could do it for me.
Good, glad that's decided.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Oh how I hate that question, "What will you miss most?" You always run the risk of pissing someone off if your answer is not quite right -- and how do you know until you don't have it to miss?

Good luck with surviving limbo.

Anonymous said...

I think I could use some friends who use the expression"where the buggering Hell..."

sween said...

Hmmmm... I think we need a list of what Joy will miss the LEAST.

Her Bad Mother said...


(sucking in breath)

(not thinking about it. NOT THINKING ABOUT IT.)

Anonymous said...

Have you already had the onslaught of

'Soo, how are you feeling? Excited? Nervous?'

from people who are your friends and therefore should just bloody well leave you alone and stop pestering you with inane, and quite frankly, annoying questions during a stressful time.

And these questions, I found, made me feel that there was some kind of problem. That moving from Asia to the UK for me, for my generation, I don't know which, wasn't that big a deal. And so I wasn't feeling nervous, or to be honest that excited. And should I be feeling something? Anything?

(Well I was excited for the plane ride, where I wouldn't know anyone and people would stop asking me bloody questions.)

Anonymous said...

I know what you'll miss the most! I know! Pick me! Pick me! Ready........

American Heath Care and Insurance.

Did I win? Did I? Wasn't that good? Wasn't it?

BTW, that's a beautiful foyer you have. I love your chandelier.

Lawyer Mama said...

My shit is definitely not royal. So I envy you there. I do not envy the limbo land, although I'll bet you'll come out on the other side laughing. Or at least making us laugh about it.

And I promise not to eternally bug you about adding me to the BlogRhet mailing list.... (-:

gingajoy said...

verybadcat. You WIN! (actually, I will miss my tranquil OB's office, especially when my "yearly" has to be undertaken by some old gent who becomes my "GP")

(But I will not miss knowing that a ton of kids, even in the area I live in, do not have healthcare.)

Cousin Eleanor. Such bitterness from someone so young. Also. You've been in Korea *ONE YEAR* A long time, admittedly, but try again in about 14 years, and have a couple of sprogs in the meantime. (Yes. I am scolding you. But I scold because I love. And plan to pick on you even mercilessly when I see you in Manchester in LESS THAN ONE MONTH!) (wheeeeee!!!!!!!)

p.s. you won't mind if we "pop out and leave you with the kids for a little bit" when you come to visit do you? (*snort*)

Lindyloo said...

hey!! no fair, you can't have a babysitter already!!!!

Bon said...

limbo is really, really hard. i loathe moving.

i like moving IN, but not gearing up. so you have my total sympathies on the AWOL front, though we missed you.

and yeh, those blousey florals? nasty. flowers look good on plants.

i cannot really believe you guys leave in like ten days...i am, weirdly, excited by proxy. i have little England fantasies, you know.

i hope it goes swimmingly, and fast.

Mimi said...

Ah, the goodwill run. I know it well.

You can do it!

Mom101 said...

I'm now convinced that moving and all its pitfalls and ehartaches is the universe's way of distracting you from the fear of old GPs and bad dentistry. (oh no I DI-INT!)

Ten days, wow.

Mad Hatter said...

Packing up a life with two kids. No picnic. Glad to know that you are surviving if perhaps no longer swinging.

NotSoSage said...

Oh, we lived out of one box for four months after we moved into our new house (while it was still being renovated) and I loved and hated it in equal parts. The fun part is unpacking everything later; it feels a little like Christmas.

Good luck with everything and what's to come!

ewe are here said...

My husband was a tad horrified when he saw the sheer number of clothes I had to split between 'ship' and 'donate'.... ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Next Friday?? Before you know it you'll be down to the pub, sipping a pint, watching football on the telly.

Did I get that right? ;)

I'm going to miss knowing that you are a mile away!

BOSSY said...

Bossy misses your American Self already - and we just met.