It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.
When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.
Hello! hello! It’s Friday, it’s sunny and REJECTION THERAPY IS OVER. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.
I’d like to say it’s been a triumphant month but it hasn’t. It was so un-triumphant I stretched it over two months and even then I bombed. Oh well, such is life…
When I started it, I’d planned to do all sorts of wacky things – audition for a show! Go to Claridge’s and ask them to let me take a nap (thank you Victoria for that idea), phone up Buckingham Palace and ask if I could come to their garden party (again, thank you Victoria).
But as it turned out, I could not make myself do any of this.
(I found this fantastic picture by Zerflin on art.zerflin.com)
I’ve always been a smiley person. Even when I’m miserable, crying and being given anti-depressants by the GP, I’ll muster up some kind of raised lip position. It’s my default expression, especially if I’m one on one with someone.
But smiling at strangers on the street it’s a different matter. In London it’s just not the done thing. Not the done thing at all. People look at you like you’re crazy/stupid/after something – or they just plain ignore you.
But as part of rejection therapy I’ve been going for it. I’ve been smiling at at least three strangers a day for the last month.
I won’t lie, it’s quite hard. A lot of people look at you like you’re nuts, some pretend they haven’t seen you and others look like you’re about to nick their bag. On days when you’re feeling a bit low, these snubs feel like a personal rejection. Especially, of course, when it’s guys that do it. Then I do my usual though spiral of ‘he thinks you fancy him/he thinks you’re ugly/he thinks…’
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was nine years old and it was our school lunch break. It was grey and cloudy and the tarmac was wet from earlier rain. I had nobody to play with because my best friend was off sick and my second best friend was in a music lesson, so I walked up to three girls in my class and asked if I could play with them. I remember one of them was eating Smiths crisps, (the ones with the little navy sachet of salt in them) and another was eating a box of raisins. They were nice girls, not mean girls, but they looked at me and said they’d have to think about it. Continue reading
My latest from the front line of rejection therapy? It’s coffee related. Again. Even my self-help life is very limited..
Anyway, on Monday I was in my local coffee shop and asked for a free coffee. Here’s what happened.
I went up to the till.
‘Do you want to pay?’ said lovely owner.
‘Not really,’ I said, with a smile. ‘Can I have it for free?’
Hello! How’s everyone? Did you have a nice weekend?
I celebrated by drinking lots of wine. As per usual. This is bad because enlightened self-help lovers don’t seek happiness at the bottom of a bottle – but it’s also good because I’m more likely to do rejection therapy when I’m drinking.
This time it was asking to join the band, pull a pint and ride a stranger’s motorcycle. Hurrah! I’m back with bells on…
It all happened on Friday night, when I went out with my sister and her best friend. We had a very civilised dinner (well, not that civilised but there was no rejection therapy involved) and then we went to a pub, which happened to have a jazz band playing.
Thank you so much for the lovely messages on Friday – they were really kind, especially the ones which told me to spend the week watching crap TV as an antidote to self-improvement. It turned out to be too sunny to do that but I wholeheartedly approve of the sentiment.
Thanks also to the reader who told me he liked me more for being knackered, grumpy and fed up with it all. I promise you that knackered, grumpy and fed up is my natural state but it’s frowned upon in self-help land so I’ve been keeping those moments to myself. I’ll let them all hang out in the future…
But for now, my self-help loathing is sort of over and I’m back on the saddle again by asking total strangers if I can play tennis with them and shoot some hoops.