As January stretched into February and I began to mark the time since E had left in weeks, not days, I discovered a hidden talent.
Over the years I’ve become used to doing a lot of my shopping online, I’ve always been pretty good and stuck to stuff that I needed or couldn’t get locally.
I’ve also always been pretty good at putting my phone away after about 7pm. Not for me the scrolling through Facebook or tweeting or snapchatting whilst watching TV. However, after E left, I did end up spending more time on my phone. I retreated into my house, and hermit like, avoided company. I loved my friends and family, I just was happier typing than talking. Talking tended to mean tears (as the few hardly souls who phoned me or turned up on my doorstep will testify). My phone became a lifeline and was my main contact with my friends which meant, for the first time ever, I was scrolling through messages until late in the evening.
As I may have mentioned, I was also drinking far more than usual. Pre Break-Up Me liked a drink (if a bottle was opened it would usually get finished), but would usually have at least five self-consciously virtuous alcohol free nights a week. Post Break-Up Me was getting through at least a bottle of chardonnay a night.
My hidden talent was discovered when, deep into bottle one of chardonnay, Pissed Post Break-Up Me developed something of a sweet tooth.
Now, normally, if I fancied something food or treat wise, I’d write it down on my kitchen notepad and then the next time I went to the shop, or did an online shop, I’d add the item to my list (or, in the case of stuff I had craved when drunk, cross it off my list). Not so for Pissed Post Break-Up Me. Pissed Post Break-Up Me had discovered that Amazon sells actual tubs of haribo.
Over the next few days and weeks the kids became increasingly excited when we had an amazon delivery. Until now, most deliveries had contained boring necessities like cat food, filters for the fish tank or printer paper, but suddenly they were being surprised by vats of haribo, boxfuls of moam chews and pinballs, bags full of swixxels fizzers, literal cascades of of skittles (I once bought 10 kilos of skittles in one hit). Their little faces lit up every time they saw the delivery man.
If I’m honest I was often as pleasantly surprised as the kids were – my memory of ordering such bounty was sometimes sketchy to say the least – but I was very pleased with Pissed Post Break-Up Me’s purchases. Pissed Post Break-Up Me rocked!
My newly discovered talent soon diversified and the kids delighted faces became bemused, and occasionally confused, ones as they opened Amazon deliveries containing fluffy socks, anti-aging products, seaweed body wraps, tarot cards, meditation guides, an adjustable ‘waist trimmer’ belt, slimming tablets and (my personal favourite) an actual plastic ‘wine-bra’ into which you can decant a whole bottle of wine.
Being somewhat less than sober, I’d also frequently got my quantities a bit mixed up and my delivery drivers were increasingly perplexed by the weight and quantities of the stuff I’d ordered as they carted industrial sized pots of tahini, multi-packs of vegan mayonnaise and retail packs of things like sesame snaps and nutritional yeast to my door.
One morning in February (as I hauled a 10k sack of organic muesli base into the kitchen), I realised that the Retail Therapy wasn’t really helping. Apart from the fact that I was running out of cupboard space (there actually IS a limit to how many jars of miso paste you can stack on one place) and the DPD Driver was beginning to think I was insane, I had to take control of things.
I also needed a job.