Having been signed off work since September (2010 – although it feels like since 2005!), I find one good way of elevating the boredom from – what feels like – house arrest, is shopping online.
I live for books, usually (when working) I devour around one a week, but given I have more time on my hands (and am still, for some reason, shying away from writing my own book – see Scaredy Cat Writer and All Subsequent Excuses ) this has increased to around two a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.
I eagerly log onto Play.com most mornings, filled with the same excitement one gets when doing something they know they shouldn’t (I am well aware this is my guilty conscience reminding that me that a) I am not getting paid by work right now and therefore have no money to be spending on online shopping, and b) my boyfriend is working his fingers to the bone (quite literally – he is a builder, and is often coming home with scrapes and scratches, cuts and roughened skin on his hands – I shall refrain from going into detail on my dislike of ‘working hands’ and their sandpaper-like effect…well, maybe some other time, on another blog, on another day…perhaps) and should therefore not be frittering our/his money away on books, etc) and peruse the ‘sale’ section and ‘deal of the week’ section and, well, pretty much the whole of the book section, in a happy, mischievous way, tucked in a corner of my lounge (which, by the way, is so tiny I’m not too sure how it manages to actually have corners).
It is, quite frankly, an addiction. I’m serious! I am actually addicted to buying books, and since the ingenious invention of the internet, my obsession has only increased over time. My tiny flat is filled to bursting point with books, and to be honest, I’m running out of space!
And yet, I just can’t stop. Every spare penny I have (and I’m pleased to be able to advise this is after all bills are paid – things haven’t quite become that bad) goes towards nice, new, shiny books – yummy 🙂
But it’s not just the buying, it’s the reading, too. If I find myself in the unfortunate position of not having a new book to read, I become irritable, bored, short tempered and unable to fully relax. It is quite literally as though I am suffering from actual, physical withdrawal systems! (Thankfully there has been no rocking in the corner with my knees hunched up to my chest and my arms wrapped around my legs. Yet.)
But whats this about a sexy postman, I hear you ask. Well, stick with it, I’m getting there…
So I continue to buy books on Play.com and wait anxiously for Mr Postie to knock on my door, brandishing gifts in little brown boxes as though it is Christmas morning. Which is how it feels – the same excitable butterflies bounce off the walls of my tummy as I anxiously await that knock at the door, as the ones on a Christmas morning.
Pathetic, huh? It’s not like I don’t know what the little brown packaging contains, yet I still rip it apart to get to my ‘post present’ in under 2.5 seconds.
So anyway, today, while munching my cornflakes covered in pouring yoghurt (the cornflakes, not me…) (incidentally, have you tried that – cereal with pouring yoghurt? It’s to DIE for! You simply must!), I heard the familiar knock of my local postman. Now I know it’s the same postman everyday, as it is always the same voice. You see, although I always answer my door to him within seconds of his knock (nope, I shall refrain from admitting I sit by the window biting my nails as I await his arrival…) I am usually still in my dressing gown (authentic Christmas morning feel) with hair like a birds nest, unbrushed teeth, and last nights facial cream smeared across my face, ensuring my skin is as shiny (if not more!) than a sheet of ice.
Because of this (and my desperation to get my grubby, guilt covered mitts on my ‘post present’), I rarely – well, actually never – look up at his face, staring eagerly at the package in his hands instead. Until this morning, I had never seen the face of my postman. Seriously.
So imagine my horror, following the handover of my two new books (‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ and ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ – in case you were curious) when I began to look up and make light that he must assume I practically live in my dressing gown and pj’s, only to discover that this postman – my postman – is the spitting image of a Greek God!
I kid you not, the words that had been about to pass my lips literally got stuck in my throat, and I was left opening and closing my mouth in complete and utter silence!
After an awkward moment of demonstrating my best fish impression (and presumably covering him in morning breath), the Greek God finally allowed my misery to end and backed away from my door – with, I might add, a little god-like chuckle (yes, it actually tinkled like music) and walked away down my road.
I was speechless. This is the guy I have allowed to see me in my very worst state (and believe me, it’s baaaad) every single morning!
So there you have it. Proof, if it was ever needed, that there is absolutley no good addiction. Even with something as harmless as books (ha!), an addiction will still manage to bite you on the arse. Sure I’m not burgling houses to feed my habit, sweating in a corner with only one thing on my mind, severing all relationships for the only love of my life – books, but yet I have still felt the wrath of my ‘addiction’ this morning; to my lush Postie, I shall be forever remembered as ‘the crazy woman with the scary hair, shiny face and morning breath that could kill a passing dog’. Brilliant.
My advice to anyone suffering an addiction such as my own (advice I too am going to have to follow now)? Ebooks.