I change from one already uncomfortable position to another. The spring pokes at my backside. I wince.
"Well, dear blog of mine," I open well knowing that If I suggest any sort of redesign that will imply getting rid of what's been on here for what seems like forever, she'll just smile and nod. Smile and nod. And then do nothing. The picture with the giraffe and the whiteness are here to stay. There's no way out of it.
"I seem to have become a clutter-happy hoarder," I test the waters.
"Oh, what makes you think that?" she queries, as if she doesn't know how uncomfortable the couch is, or how monotone the picture of the giraffe has become. Or how many bags of coffee have been bought since that item was placed on the to do-list, neatly tucked into the margin.
"See, Africa has made me like that," I answer as if I'm actually answering her question.
"Oh?" she just says, without the slightest tone of interest in her voice, and looks sadly at the description over the poor giraffe's head. I know she feels the wine and the bad, bad books mentioned in the description have been lacking, but alas, she could just rewrite, but no. She feels the readers will look past the description, straight at her, the soul of the blog.
"You know when they didn't have any coffee filters for like two months?" I continue as I revisit the panic that almost overwhelmed me when I realized that it wasn't just one chain of stores, but all of them that never got their shipment of precious coffee filters. That go in the coffee machine. Without which the machine is rendered useless. Completely, and utterly useless. And a french press has to be brought in to replace filter coffee. And it will never, ever taste the same. A quality of pureness will forever be lacking. Oh no... I can feel myself slipping again...
"No," she just replies, "I don't think you've mentioned it before."
"Haven't I? I thought I have. I must have! I almost unraveled at that point," I remind her.
"Hrmph," she let's out an unintentional laugh that she then tries to mask as a coughing fit. She is professional like that. Or at least she tries.
"You unravel a lot, you know," she looks at me and it is easy to see she's still about to burst into giggles.
"Maybe," I tell her, "but that time I really almost did, kind of like that time my iPhone didn't work and then the international internet connection went from all of Africa, and I could only read the Sowetan and even the 'news' in it didn't make me laugh or cry or whatnot anymore."
"Ah. So it was bad. Really bad," she frowns. And now I can see she doesn't feel like giggling so much anymore.
"Yes," I almost yell, "It was bad! But guess what's going on now?"
"Tell me," she encourages me, "but don't just tell me. Make it funny too. And somewhat self-deprecating. And maybe even a little touching. Those always work well," she continues.
I do a little snappy imitation of a drumroll and she rolls her eyes.
"So, they're out of my favorite body lotion. Like everywhere. Everywhere!" I tell her as I feel the hot tears creep up to the corners of my eyes.
"Lotion," she says "that's what's making you unravel today?"
"Well, yeah," I don't understand her less than enthusiastic response to my predicament,"today it's lotion, tomorrow it'll be the deodorants that I've luckily been hoarding for a while now feeling something like this hurtling towards us, and let's face it, I really should also point out the 'what's with deciding to only import the crappier of tampons and sanitary pads and none of the good ones all European women get to use?' fucker of a deal we've been handed here in southern Africa."
"I have money. I can, and will pay for tampons. A lot. If that's what it'll take, I tell you," I finally breathe out. I feel myself going a little red in the face. But sometimes tampons will do that to you.
"I said funny, not embarrassing yet oddly pointless," she stares at me with a blank look on her face.
"But see, that's what's making me a crazy old cluttered maniac who always buys ten of each when she should be buying one or two," I finally reach the pinnacle of my story, but I can see I've lost her.
"Really? Do you really think talking about South Africa's tendency to have 'temporarily out of stock' on red background plastered across various shelves of its reality, at the most inopportune of moments, is a good idea?" she sighs.
"I mean, you hit a wall twice with the car yesterday, you have a new maid (again), you keep scaring random people when you wear that South Africa beanie even though you yourself think you look really cute in it, and you went back to teaching yesterday, yet you still think people want to know that you prefer European tampons (and you didn't even make that joke)," she lists with an increasing speed.
"But, but... European tampons are so much better! I wish European tampons on everyone!" I just wish she would listen to me.
"In fact, I think it would make everyone's life easier if Oprah would just do one of her South Africa specials and bring some in for the locals," I give her a meaningful stare. I know how much she loves Oprah.
"With the help of Oprah I know South Africans would see the light. Or the tampon, as it may be," I finish off with my coup de grace.
She stares at me. Then she carefully makes a fist and coughs into it.
"Oh Ext, you're just as clueless as ever," she smiles at me patronizingly, "I think our time for today is up."
I bet Cape Town wouldn't mind a shipment of some decent tampons. But that's just my opinion.