I have committed the cardinal sins of a) telling a parent-to-be ‘all about it’ and b) changing a writer’s work, both without having been asked. I thought I could casually sweep the first instance under the rug, only to get caught red-handed as a repeat offender. I confess to overstepping my boundaries and giving unsolicited advice. <sigh>
I don’t even recall how a casual conversation over cocktails turned from congratulating the future father to a ‘this is what it’s like’ monologue. I mean, give it a rest and let people enjoy their ‘babymoon’, for <insert son of whatever entity you choose to believe in>’s sake. In hindsight, this incident begs questions such as
‘How much time and money have I spent supposedly developing sensory acuity?’
‘How long has it been since I was the non-parent on the unfortunate receiving end of such diatribes?’
And all that from me, the girl who practically breaks out in a rash when being told what to do herself. Personally, I blame the champagne. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, as my High School maths teacher used to declare on behalf of a sheepishly looking class before handing back yet another mediocre pack of exam papers (this famous utterance is also just about all my brain has retained after slaving over Latin lessons for two years).
In addition to the unsolicited parenting advice, today I quite eagerly launched into providing unsolicited editing services. It all started innocently enough with a request to proofread an Australian opera review. A good one at that, I might add. I probably should have started by reminding myself of the definition of proofreading (English as a second language?). Instead, my default setting went into full-scale editing mode, quite oblivious to the fact that this was someone else’s work I was modifying right, left and centre. By the time I noticed the error of my ways I was already three quarters of the way through, so I apologetically sent it off, despite vividly imaging my own reaction had someone done that to me.
In all of this, I am quite certain Rob must have fallen victim to the bossy boots bug as well. On further enquiry, he noncommittally shrugged his shoulders, muttering something like ‘What’s new?’ and ‘You just do it without thinking’. So that’s guilty as charged then.
In addition to the champagne, I thought I might blame mercury retrograde. I don’t even know what that is but still, I always see people blaming stuff on mercury retrograde. (I just googled it, apparently it causes things related to transportation and communications to go haywire. That may just about explain why I broke my computer screen ten days ago.)
Anyway, I conclude my week repentant and wrecked with guilt, though only in as much as you give in to that sentiment when you subscribe to the ‘live and learn’ school of thinking.
So, for punishment, I believe a round or two of the rosé will do nicely…