Sometimes it’s the smallest, most random things that knock you off balance.
I heard our local Italian restaurant was giving away a free pizza with every order, so I booked a 6.15pm pick-up for Saturday night and swung by after collecting the youngest from her shift at Baker’s Delight.
A bloke came out with our pizzas and announced that he was Richard who’d bought my house seven years ago.
I was a little startled, as I’d totally forgotten about the new owners of my old house opening a pizzeria. He must have remembered my unusual name and spotted it on the order slip.
He cheerily told me how much his family loved the place, how the kids had grown up there, learned to ride their bikes on the big expanse of concrete out the back, had pet chickens and rabbits and thought it was the most magical backyard.
I smiled inside my face mask and told him how pleased I was and wobbled back to the car with my pizzas. I sat down in the driver’s seat and felt like crying.
I didn’t, but I was very sad.
I don’t think I’d have felt as sad if the reason I’d sold the house hadn’t been my marriage break-up.
Talking to him brought back so many memories of the parties and playtime and pets we’d had at the house.
The images were particularly sharp because I’d been looking at the old photo albums with the kids last week. I used to love to organise birthday parties and inviting the whole class to attend.
There was a petting zoo party, a scientific experiment party, a Dr Who fish fingers and custard party, an Australia Day disco, even one of the first Halloween carport installations in the neighbourhood …
Every Christmas after school broke up, I’d invite all the local families over for afternoon nibbles and drinks while the kids went wild on the trampoline and in the cubby house and craft room.
After I sold the house, I had a housewarming party at the place I rented, but after that the celebrations became few and far between.
My life went off on a new tangent, although fortunately I kept most of the friends I made in the neighbourhood. When we arrived home from New York, the eldest started kindy at the end of May. The class was called “KJ” and I met so many wonderful parents there. I go on walks with four of the mums at various times every week and there are loads of others that I love running into at the shops.
My ex was the one who drifted away. His new life didn’t just divorce me, it left virtually all of those mutual friends behind. I suppose everyone processes big life changes in different ways.
Anyway, I went home with my pizzas, but I didn’t feel very hungry anymore. I chewed my way valiantly with a slice of each one, made myself a Tommy’s Margarita and settled in front of the tellie for a bit of escapism.
I felt a bit haunted by all the memories my family missed out on making in that house.
That’s not to say my day didn’t have its highlights.
I went for my first swim at the beach this year!
DD was looking very disconsolate when I arrived at his place, because he thought I was going to make him swim too. But I reassured him he just had to keep an eye on me from the sand so I didn’t drown. The water was only 18C but I loved it.
It felt so good to be cresting over the gentle waves.
Not to mention the fact there were also two gorgeous bedroom sunrises to enjoy over the weekend:
Oh, and it was National Orgasm Day on Saturday. Did you celebrate? No need to tell me, just nod or shake your head at the screen.
I’m surprised the day didn’t get more publicity, given it’s something fun everyone can do at home in lockdown …
Song of the day: John Lennon “Starting over”