tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

No, son, you can't have a robot, because we have to eat

OMG I am reading a Marian Keyes novel. Yes, fiction. Not only that, but light fiction. I haven't read a lot of Marian Keyes, in fact I think that Sushi For Beginners about sums it up - and now I'm reading Angels, which seems to be following a similar theme - woman has run of bad luck, changes environment, triumphs over adversity in a humourous way.

Which is all good by me, especially the humourous bit. Marx, Weber and all the other dead guys with big beards were not renowned for their humour, eh?

There's this bit in the book where the woman's father has bought her dinner at McDonalds to try and get her to eat. He's bought himself a Happy Meal because he wants the toy, and the toy is a robot, which he plays with for a couple of seconds and abandons.

*trigger memory*

Back In The Day, when Tommy was little and I'd left my husband, I spent some time on a benefit. Those who've ever been on a benefit will know how it feels to sit in that room, waiting to talk to someone who has a job, a salary, enough money to pay bills.. and to ask them to give you charity. Yes, I know it's not really charity, and I've more than paid back anything they gave me back then, in tax, since I got my life back on track. But it's horrible. You feel judged by everyone who sees you in there, and for me, who's so independent, the worst kind of judgement is the judgement I placed on myself. How could I make such bad decisions as to end up there? etc.

Anyway, I was sitting there feeling all these negative emotions, I think I was in there to ask for a food grant. I had Tommy with me, and he'd just found 20c on the street, which I'd let him keep. Can't remember how old he was, but he was talking in sentences. So we got to our appointment, sat down in front of this big desk with some pompous looking guy on the other side, I was trying not to cry, Tommy on my knee could barely see over this desk.

Tommy reached up, put his 20c on the desk and said, loudly and clearly "I'd like a robot, please."

He thought he was in a shop. He wanted to buy a robot and he thought that 20c would get him one. I had to explain to him that this wasn't a shop, give him his money back, get him to understand. And of course I lost it and blubbed my eyes out in front of this guy, who sat there impassive the whole time.

It's a scene that I'll never forget. And now, every time the subject of toy robots comes up, it makes me cry. Tommy never got his robot. Now, I could buy him all the robots he wants, but he's 13 and mp3 players and cellphones are where it's at. He probably doesn't even remember. In some ways I'm glad about that, because you don't want your kids to remember the times you were down and out, you know? But anyway, have a toy robot, world:

Fuck. I'm crying now. This is stupid. Are you sure antibiotics are not psychoactive?

Weird, disturbing dreams last night, details of which are hazy but the feeling stayed. I woke up with a headache. Am I turning into one of those people who uses their journal as a whinging tool?

Please be honest. Yes, it's my journal and I can say what I like. But I don't want to be that person, and if I'm slipping into it I'd like to stop now.

Jeez. Robots. ;-/
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