Well, I have got a part time job. This is excellent news on a number of levels. It means I have finally fulfilled at least one of my new years resolutions, in terms of just being paid to do something, when I have failed in all the others, except possibly using the C word a lot more. It also means I can by sandwiches and bras without feeling guilty. And crucially it means I don’t have to go through the trauma of applying for jobs and being endlessly rejected anymore. I even got rejected for a job at an undertakers because of my lack of people skills for goodness sake. I thought, I know I lack people skills, that’s why I applied; in fact I am so traumatised by some of the people I have been trying to work with over the last year or so I want to work with corpses. No agendas, you see, with corpses. No mind games.
But none with vegetables either, thank goodness, as I am happily working away for a gardening and food growing charity. No misogynist marrows or narcissistic neeps. And of course if they do show up any psychological problems you can just eat them. The other week I had a batch of chard that I suspected was acting out some repressed hatred of its mother on me but it was ever so delicious in a tart with a bit of goats cheese.
Anyway I am working in the office now. In the mornings I do admin and in the afternoons I can sit and write without having to look at my laundry. I am writing a romance novel. It is lots of fun. I really am getting pretty skilled at describing genitalia euphemistically. Its pretty much a non-transferable skill, but it did occur to me that the next time I have to go to the doctors with an intimate problem and am forced to take my kids with me I am going to have the whole operation sorted. I do get slightly anxious I am going to muddle my genres in everyday life though, perhaps adding the odd shuddering climax into the minutes of meetings, or the occasional throbbing length into my reports on vegetable growth. But maybe that’s ok…
I was going to try and raise serious issues in it but I decided not to bother. Its about a phd student who goes to value some posh old bloke’s antiques and there was going to be a load of tension about class and capitalism but I think I’ll just leave it out. The man did go to boarding school, and she is a bit sympathetic but rather than making a big deal out of it they just shag. Sometimes its nice to keep things simple I think. And I was going to give the guy an Average Sized Penis, because of course men of averaged sized peni are horribly under-represented in this genre. But I am not really ready to take on any new causes at the moment, so he has ended up with the standard issue over-sized manhood.
One serious idea I am playing around with is the idea of consent. Romance novels were historically a bit rapey, and promote an idea that a woman’s desire is something to be stirred up against her will until she is powerless to resist. This is of course not massively healthy, and not how we are supposed to operate these days. Now we are supposed to have Enthusiastic Verbal Consent. The first time I heard that I thought it sounded a bit much. Can’t have been thought up by someone who was married or had kids, I thought. I envisaged having to punch the air and shout YES PLEASE rather than a simple well if we can be quick, its nearly bake-off. What’s more, you have to have consent for every single thing you do. This is surely a good thing, but I have been thinking for a while how this would effect the mills-and-boon type fantasy of being ravished. So I wanted to see what would happen if my hero and heroin played by new rules instead, as in ‘do you want me to do this’ or ‘I want you to do that’. The first chapters are currently with my super porn-proofers Julie and Lindsay, so we will have to see whether I have succeeded in making affirmative consent sexy.
In other news I have been thinking of changing my name. I am thinking of bringing back my Henderson, and being Sally Henderson-Fraser or Sally Henderson Fraser. I want to re-connect with my past you see. I feel like I was a bit quick to try and be a whole new person when I got married. And I feel in need of some sort of change or new beginning. My husband thinks it sounds like a bit of a faff. I’ll probably just get my haircut instead. Or maybe even just a fringe. A fringe and some new bras…I am earning now after all.