God, I’m such an unbelievable pussy sometimes.
Like, for example, when my son climbs a tree. I try to be all relaxed and calm about it – he has to learn some time – and then I say to myself: “Be calm and relaxed, Jacinta.” And then I look at him and breathe out slowly and I think to myself: “What can happen? What can really happen, though? He’ll be fine!” And then I watch him and wince for a few minutes. And then suddenly I snap and run over to him and shout, desperately: “Come down, Rico! Come down! You’ve been climbing that tree for bloody ages!”
“Yeah, but, Mum, don’t be a scaredy-cat, I’m being careful!”
“Yeah, I know,” I say. “It’s not that I’m scared. I just think you should do something else now. Aren’t you bored? Just climbing up that tree….why don’t you come down? Don’t you want to come down now? Slowly?”
Rico sniffs. “Not really,” he says. So then I always do the pussiest thing imaginable. I go somewhere where I can’t see him. If I can’t see him, I can’t wince, can I? But what a pussy I am. If he did actually fall off I wouldn’t be there to phone the fucking ambulance.
I also display fairly pussy-ish behaviour when watching films. Like, once me and my boyfriend watched this film where a kid weed his pants on a TV show. My boyfriend had to press stop on the DVD so I could, like, literally sob for at least half an hour. Afterwards I whispered to him: “Why didn’t you warn me that was going to happen? Why didn’t you tell me? Those fucking bastards, they should have let him go to the toilets. Why didn’t you warn me? I thought you said it was a comedy!”
And one time we watched this German film called Sturm, it was about a trial in The Hague for war crimes. It was an amazing film actually. But it was kind of unbearable, especially when you’re a total pussy. About halfway through I just got up from the sofa, I thought I was about to puke. I said to my boyfriend: “Has this film got a happy ending? I don’t think I can bear to watch it anymore if it hasn’t got a happy ending. I think I might kill myself.” I made him go and phone the boy who’d lent him the DVD to find out whether there was a happy ending or not. And it’s only a teeny-tiny bit of a spoiler to say that there was, well, kind of, anyway, because the film’s so bleak, if there wasn’t, they’d have to put health warning stickers on the DVD cover for suicides – or pussies like me.
So you can imagine what my boyfriend was like when we were watching Seven. His eyes kept on flickering over at me, all worried and concerned and apprehensive and cautious, he was like a fidgety newt, and he kept on saying, in his best warning voice: “It’s gonna get bad in a minute. It’s not a happy ending, yeah? You won’t cry, will you? I’m gonna turn it off if you cry. Are you okay? Shall I turn it off? It’s about to get really bad.”
But when the film ended, I just shrugged and nodded like a normal person.
“That was a good film,” I said to my boyfriend.
“You didn’t cry,” he said, bewildered. “Normally you cry. Remember that time that kid pissed himself when he was on telly.”
“Yeah, but that was really upsetting,” I said.
“Jacinta,” said my boyfriend. “He had Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box, there.”
“Hmmmmn,” I said. “But the thing is, I really fucking hate Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s really fucking annoying with her silly kids’ names and long blonde hair and macrobiotic diet and plummy Sliding Doors accent and that. I really hate her.”
“She is pretty annoying,” my boyfriend conceded.
“She’s the most annoying person on the entire planet. I think I hate her more than Heidi Klum! To be totally honest, there’s a lot of films that could be improved if they ended with Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box. Like Love, Actually, for instance. If Denise Richards had had Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box when she came through security at the airport. It would be a vastly improved film.”
“I’m not sure she would’ve made it on the plane if she’d had Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box.”
“I’m not sure Richard Curtis would’ve gone for it anyway,” I said, switching off the DVD player. “He’s a bit of a pussy to be honest.”