When I was a kid, I wanted to be a botanist and marry Jordan from New Kids on the Block.
Actually, the botanist thing was just a smoke-screen. I mainly wanted to marry Jordan from New Kids on the Block.
My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to be a squirrel when she grows up. Heady dreams for a five-year-old, but who am I to burst her bubble?
“Red or brown?” I asked.
She looked at me as if I’d just shit on the table. “Pink.”
Dreams change. For me, Jordan Knight was usurped when I discovered real, live men who didn’t sing everything in falsetto and wear their hair in a wisp.
Botany was replaced by the realisation that I had left University with an entirely use-free degree and a beer gut, and at this point any job would be a bonus.
Many of my grown-up dreams died along with my husband though. I wanted another baby, for example; I wanted a long and happy marriage. And we had shared dreams, as couples do. We wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto together, to move to France, to finally finish the Mad Men complete series box set after months of concerted viewing.
But in all that, I don’t ever recall envisioning myself as a pill-popping, thirty-eight-year-old widow with a small child and a drink problem. Unlike Don Draper, it was never part of the plan.
Not content with all its other insults, that bastard Widowhood blunders in and steals your dreams too.