I am a misanthrope and the longer I live, the more deeply entrenched it becomes and the greater my conviction that my misanthropy is not just correct, but a wholly inevitable response to the ceaseless bedevilment that other people cause me.
But any reader of my blog knows this. So it is seems entirely fitting that as Christmas is all about miracles, I’d treat you all to an unjaundiced, non-cynical and not critical of anyone or anything post.
What has caused this sudden volte-face? Have I suffered a sudden blow to the head, been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by a doppelganger or is there something in the water?
The reason is this.
A Christmas card made specially for me by my favourite person in the whole world, my favourite person possibly because I’ve known her all her life, possibly because of her relentless capacity for mucking about, possibly for lots of other things, but unquestionably because of her wonderful effect on my extremely moody outlook. All the medication I could swallow would be nowhere near mood enhancing as a four year old delight banging insistently on my bedroom door and shouting “Get up, get up, I want to play”, until I did. And because I did, I still do.
Because I don’t have to undertake the more onerous responsibilities of her parents, such as getting her ready for school or making her go to bed to name but two, being free of these constraints means that I can regress somewhat and become a man-child. I don’t have to pretend that broccoli ice-ice-cream is a good idea or that carrot cake is a cake or that farting is anything other than hugely entertaining. It’s her unshakeable belief that I could want nothing more than to play with her, that whatever I’m doing is merely a stop-gap until she rescues me from that particular tedium.
A Christmas card, it has to be written, the receipt of which was in no way commensurate to its utter wonderfulness or indeed, the effort required to make it so. I am reliably informed that plans for a Christmas shopping jaunt were changed so this magnificence could be created. I am not, outwardly at least, a very emotionally demonstrative person, eschewing what I consider to be rather American effusiveness, in favour of something altogether more composed. But although my face didn’t betray it, I was both thrilled and impressed by it.
To write that she has massively improved the quality of my life would be textbook understatement. Aside from the ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘Holly and Ben’ phases of her life, I could’ve quite happily done without those. But she’s almost nine now, and as we all are wont to do, looks back with disdain on the follies of her youth, her youth being something she still has lots of. In fact, when her parents saw all her presents under the Christmas tree and comparing her haul to theirs, asked what she had that they hadn’t, I said simply ‘Youth’
Well, that and being adorable.