Hope Thief, Dream Stealer and Sucker of All Joy

Late-summer rainstorm in Denmark

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Something unthinkable has happened. Through a series of unfortunate events, the most enthusiastic, optimistic, Dubai-loving Trailing Spouse that I have ever met has lost her Mojo.

And as a loyal friend of five years, what is my reaction? Do I shower her with inane ‘look on the bright side’ chatter, or try to lift her spiritually by quoting something from ‘The Secret’? (Which I should note, as a professional pessimist I have never even picked it up, so for me that would be the ultimate show of friendship).

Of course not.

My gut reaction was simple and selfish. Sheer glee that finally, finally she has seen the light and realised it’s not all pool parties and Jimmy Choos. For five years of our desert life together, she has listened to me lamenting my lot, moaning about my sorry lack of a life and endlessly listing all the things that go wrong on a near weekly basis. She has relentlessly remained upbeat and positive through everything and I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever seen her less than cheerful. She is the antidote to my negativity, she laughs at my tales of woe and gives out good advice whenever I need to get out of some miserable hole I’ve dug myself. And she manages to do all this without being remotely annoying. So how do I repay this ray of sunshine in my life? With a rather mean, incredibly smug ‘now you know how the rest of us feel’ one-liner that has left me feeling like the Dubai version of the Grinch.

A wise and drunken friend of mine once decided that my theme tune should be ‘I’m only happy when it rains’ by Garbage, most likely in response to something I uttered that was typically morose whilst we sofa-danced around his flat in Brixton in the early hours of the morning circa 1995. It’s true, I am not a big believer in the power of positivity and love nothing better than to wallow in misery or anger or loneliness until I am forced to be glad about something once more. I am a few years shy of 40 and have practically no wrinkles, not due to botox but because I rarely smile. Being grumpy is my trademark. If I suddenly found myself to be happy all the time it would literally blow my mind (and several of my friends’ and family’s too no doubt). But that doesn’t mean I should feel good when someone else is dragged down to my level.

So in honour of my friend, I have switched off the negative stream of consciousness for today. I am mentally getting down to KC and the Sunshine band and vow that nothing and no-one will annoy or upset me in any way. Only do me a favour and get your Mojo back soon. This parallel universe won’t last forever and I could do without the laughter lines.

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