Losing the Plot was feeling a bit perplexed. The day had started much like any other day; rolling over and swearing when she realised she was awake. “Pissing Hell” she would have said if she had been capable of stringing a sentence together. As it was, this was more of a feeling; an ambience of profanity, left hanging in the air like a sulphurous fart.
No one ever accused Plot of being a morning person. As far as she was concerned, discourse before 10am and a couple of coffees was damn well uncivilised, and anything she agreed to, just to make the other person stop talking, definitely wasn’t binding.
She wondered if she could get back over to sleep again, but her bladder was having none of it. Back in the days before children, Plot’s bladder was legendary, and she could play a really good game of ‘chicken’ with it, but after two pregnancies and the natural deliveries of two rather robust sons, these days her bladder was a lot less fun, and even rather embarrassing sometimes.
No, she definitely had to get up to sort this, there would be no more sleep until she did. So reluctantly, she stumbled into the bathroom as quietly as an drunk elephant trying not to wake a mouse. The door squeaked as she made her way back to the bedroom, and she stopped dead in her tracks. Had she got away with it? Could she sneak back into bed without waking up the house.?
There was a squeak of floorboards from upstairs, and Plot’s heart sank, ‘Buggeration” she thought to herself, knowing full well there was no mission of getting back to sleep now. Chancing her arm, she sneaked back into bed anyway and tried to ignore the footsteps on the stairs. Someone was trying to be quiet, it was probably her eldest son trying to establish early possession of the iPad before his younger bother woke up. Plot having a morning policy of letting sleeping dogs lie, felt it best to leave this well alone, and she pulled the duvet over her shoulders.
Just as she had settled into the warm fug of her bed, Plot’s iPhone dinged. “Susie has posted a photo in Build up Your Blog” the message on the phone gleamed helpfully. ‘Sunday Blog Share’ the event of the week, Plot might have rubbish stats all week, but could make up for it if she got her act together on a Sunday.
Last week was a bit of a flop, she had nothing prepped, was late to the party, and it all went a bit pear shaped. This week would be different, this week she would nail it, this week she had the post ready to go, having written it the night before. She allowed herself a moment of feeling smug before opening up Facebook whereupon she realised that there were already about fifteen posts ahead of her from people evidently on the ball who weren’t pretending to be asleep in bed.
She posted her latest blog Bitch Slapping Anxiety and screwed up her face. She wasn’t at all sure about it. On one hand it had a good title all about Bitch Slapping Anxiety, Plot visualised her anxiety looking a lot like Kim Kardashian, and could imagine a really good hard slap, right in the chops.
From previously having a Kardashian free existence, Plot now considered herself something of an expert, because she had read Midlife Smarts recent post. Despite reading the article though, Plot was still unsure as to ‘why’ someone would want to ‘break the internet’ since the internet seemed to be pretty useful on the whole. She didn’t ask this in comments though, lest anyone should think that she gave a shit, Plot can be a bit old fashioned sometimes and thought that the whole family sounded like a bit of a Klusterfuck.
She brought her mind back to her blog, there were definitely aspects of it that she wasn’t sure about, in some ways, she felt it was the very worst sort of article. It had enough information to be uncomfortably personal, but was perhaps scant on actually being helpful to anyone else.
Plot felt as though she had merely scratched the surface of her experience of anxiety with a well chewed fingernail, and then wondered if this was in fact anxiety trying to get it’s own back by making her feel bad about it. Fucker, Plot imagined slapping the Kardashian shaped anxiety figure again and then realised that she had missed a trick, she should have ‘Kicked Anxiety in the Arse’ instead, and made a mental note to remember this title in case she ever felt like revisiting the subject.
None of this helped Plot feel any less perplexed. She had lost her sense of humour, and hadn’t the first idea of what she might have done with it; all she knew was it had all got a bit, well, serious over a Losing’s recently and she was boring the tits off herself. Plot felt that there was plenty of opportunity to be serious in her real life, without also having to also succumb in her imaginary one. She hash-tagged her post with Sunday Blog Share, added a slick Canva image, and uploaded it to Twitter.
Maybe she lost her sense of humour over at The Bryntin Project; the last time she was round there she laughed herself into a complete mess, so it was entirely possible that she had set it down and forgotten to pick it back up again, Plot did this a lot with her bag, her purse, her coat and a variety of other things, so it was entirely plausible that she had done the same with her humour. She’d pop round and see if Barrington had noticed it lying around anywhere.
There was no one about, it was tempting to rummage through the post but it was Sunday, there was mass sharing to be done and she needed to be somewhere else, so mid yawn, she headed over to the BUYB Facebook page for a bit of a browse.
Something immediately caught her eye, Just Another Blog from a Woman had a nice colourful thumbnail beside a post called The School Run Game; Plot knew all about the antics of the school run and wondered how you might turn that into a game. She hadn’t been reading long before realising that The Beasley was on to something here, and she imagined herself at the sort of swanky social do that she normally avoided like the plague, sipping champers and chatting to some journalist or other, declaring that ‘yes darling, we go waaay back, I knew her before she was famous of course’. Plot reckoned if you turned that idea into an app, you’d have parents up and down the country playing it as they tried to avoid making eye contact in the playground at pick up time. She shared the post, whilst wishing that she had thought of it herself.
The post went out on Twitter, and Plot had a quick look at what else was there, in case there was something that she should be retweeting. A few weeks back she had joined a few RT pages, though this was something that she now regretted as her Twitter feed was currently bursting at the seams with suggestions about how she could ‘boost her SEO by following these 10 simple steps’, or ‘improve her look by using these 20 new beauty products’.
Plot wasn’t in the slightest bit interested in these; having taken the bait too many times before she knew that the 10 simple steps would basically be filling in her bank account details and passing them over. This wasn’t an option and Plot wasn’t falling for it again.
The beauty posts weren’t much better. It wasn’t that the posts were particularly bad, it was just that Plot was fairly sure she a had a load of makeup that was already old when the authors of these posts were being born; so she was confident that she wasn’t the target audience these posts were aimed at. She scrolled on.
Cherie who has moved from Michigan to Germany had posted the soundtrack of her life. Cherie didn’t strike Plot as being particularly old, so she hoped this would be Vol 1. with the potential for Vol. 2 and maybe even Vol. 3 stretching out ahead, Plot sniggered as she realised that Vol. 2 would have to include some nondescript Turkish disco music, since this was what Cherie was listening to now, all be it through the walls of her apartment.
Cherie had invited Plot to reveal her own Soundtrack, and she thought about some of the rather suspect musical choices she had made over the years. It was possible that she would be forgiven for her Bay City Rollers phase as she was only four at the time, however she would have to take full responsibility for the Sisters of Mercy epoch during the early 90’s.
Once again Plot breathed a sigh of relief that she went to University at a time before the internet and mobile phones, to her knowledge there were no surviving photos of her Wembley concert attendance with crimped hair and enough black eyeliner to cause an oil slick should she accidentally be lost at sea.
Cherie had admitted to a John Denver phase, and this also brought back memories. Memories of a hideous red crepe leotard, and dancing bare legged round the school gym on her own, to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High, for no better reason than to get some badge or other in the Guides. She shuddered at the memory, it was too early in the day for this type of mental image. No, this type of cringe worthy, stomach churning embarrassment was usually reserved for a 2am insomnia special as described by The Nelly Bean.
There was more movement on the stairs, this time it was Mr Plot carrying a cafetiere and two mugs. Blinded by love Plot had accidentally married a morning person, which made for some ‘interesting’ exchanges during the early years of their marriage. Over ten years later they had knocked some of the respective sharp corners off each other, which accounted for their now rather rotund appearance. But before he had even poured the coffee, Plot was hit by two hirsute missiles, in an explosion of fur, teeth and enthusiasm.
The phone went flying, and was lucky not to land in the mug of hot coffee.
Plot watched her other half as he clambered in beside her, coffee in hand; propped up by pillows, he opened his own phone and started browsing on some Carp forum. Plot let out a sigh of relief, this meant she had some leeway to continue with what she was doing and she had a quick look at her stats to see if anything was happening. Her post was being shared, there were a couple of comments that she had to respond to, so she was off the hook.
Half of the hairy enthusiasm wasn’t content with lying on top of the bed and true to his terrier roots, he burrowed under the covers to his preferred spot between Plot’s knees. Since Plot certainly wasn’t above using a well placed photo of the furball as clickbait on her site she moved to let him in.
Continuing to share stuff she found interesting, Plot found she was running out of patience with her phone. She wasn’t convinced that Twitter was necessarily the best forum to be sharing posts to, which left Pinterest and Google+ as options.
She would have Tumbled some things and Stumbled others but every time she tried that on the phone it got stuck on a page asking her if she wanted the app. This confused Plot, given that she already had both of these apps, and wondered why she bothered letting them use up precious phone memory if they weren’t going to bloody work.
She also wondered why platform hosts seemed to be so fixated with falling over, if you weren’t Stumbling or Tumbling you were Flipping, and frankly Plot had already tried falling over and it wasn’t as much fun as it sounded. (you can read about that here Broken Thoughts)
She went back to Facebook and had a read at Fancy Paper Blog, being sucked in by the illustration of Granny tucked up in bed with the Big Bad Wolf. The Hairy Tales article was all about the stories we tell our children, and very thoughtfully set out the idea that children’s stories can often have some very dark themes behind them, even if they have changed over the years.
It was thought provoking, and Plot thought back to the world that the original audiences would have lived in, which she assumed would regularly be a lot more physically brutal than the ones her boys were growing up in now. She could see that there could be an understandable reason for trying to teach children about the brutality of the world before they had to experience it for themselves first hand.
Plot also had some fairly strong views of her own about not raising a couple of snowflakes, and could totally see the attraction of scaring the ever living tripe out her own two if it meant they wouldn’t talk to kiddy fiddling strangers on the internet.
Maybe Kim Klusterfuck had the right idea about breaking the internet after all, but Plot wasn’t convinced that adding to the already burgeoning porn section was the way to go about it.
As luck would have it, the next article Plot read was on Smorgasbord, and was a new very dark retelling of Snow White which was satisfactorily chilling, unlike her knees where the hairy enthusiasm was still lurking, radiating heat.
None of this helped with the lost sense of humour, which hadn’t turned up in any of the spots she had looked so far. Son number two turned up at the bedroom door, all curls and bleary eyes. This place was getting like Clapham Junction and Plot let him in for a cuddle too because for all her bluster she is a bit of a pushover really.
As the day went on the humour still hadn’t turned up and Plot was getting a bit anxious, at 7pm she was due on Twitter for the weekly Blog Bash Chat, and she didn’t want to turn up without it. She made the dinner and then sabotaged the children’s meal by adding vegetables. She was on a hiding to nothing here, and knew it, the addition of the veg was mostly so that in later life they couldn’t say that they weren’t offered.
Blog Bash Chat always involved a lot of hash tagging, which invariably led to a lot of deleting, and a lot of confusion as Plot tried to work out what question she was answering, choosing the right GIF and figuring out WTAF she was supposed to be doing. This required a level of concentration that couldn’t be sustained on the sofa with the TV blaring, so she did the dishes, cleared up and sweetly informed Mr Plot that she was having a bath.
Mr Plot was engrossed in the Countryfile weekly weather forecast and was too busy charting the projected track of the Beast from the East to pay much attention to his wife’s bathing plans. Plot headed off upstairs, located her hidden stash of bubble bath and started running the water.
Suzie Speaks was already opening the chat as Plot’s bath was filling at a snails pace. The first instruction was to choose a GIF so Plot duly typed in ‘bubble bath; and choose a Disney option that was about as far removed from real life as it was possible to get.
Ritu turned up, smiling anyway Plot had given Ritu her own theme music. “Lovely Ritu, Haiku maid” played in Plots head, with a very suspect, fake Liverpuddlian accent every time Plot saw Ritu’s name in print.
Having tested the bath for heat, Plot sunk in. Almost immediately the combination of the hot water, the sprouts and the chickpeas that had formed the basis of dinner had an effect and the bath had a few more bubbles. Plot chuckled as she realised that no wonder she thought she had lost her sense of humour, she was sitting on it, and she relaxed into the Twitter chat, first with fellow coffee, Gin & Lemonade fan Lorna and then the rest of the gang.
The night’s chat was all about self promotion, and how each blogger went about achieving it. Then Suzie dropped a bombshell, “how do you do it without being spammy?”
This opened up a whole new chapter in Plot’s Adventures with Anxiety, was she spammy? Probably. Was she getting on other people’s wick? More than likely. The hour was up and it was time to head on.
Plot posted a Monty Python Gif thinking it was from Spamalot, to try and take peoples mind off her constant spammy behaviour, but then realised retrospectively that it was probably from The Holy Grail and the joke was lost.
She hadn’t lost her sense of humour, she had squished it.
Plot dried herself off, she had to figure out a new way of promoting stuff, which is why she is busy today. She’s still working on it.