Friday, December 29, 2006
CK was having one of those days. She'd just had her hair cut and was walking home dodging gluttonous Boxing Day shoppers raiding the High Street. She'd never been particularly taken by Bridget Jones, but there really did seem to be smug marrieds everywhere - on the street, in the shops, on the cards, in the emails, "David and i...", "we're going to...", "we were thinking of...", now even in the house. New smug marrieds were the worst. Desperately seeking performance space, audiences, learning to touch each other in public, getting used to it, gauging reactions, while dumb (obviously autistic) singletons watched because there was nothing else on TV. Bah, humbug. 'I'm not a psychotic freak', she thought. She was ok with smug marrieds really, most of the people she knew were smug marrieds, some were expecting smug babies, and a very smug few even had smug litters. She could be nice to smug marrieds. She couldn't go on holiday with them, no, but she could invite them to dinner. In fact she often did, cooking meals, pouring wine, planting questions strategically like some minimalist Scandinavian director, allowing them to play their little games with each other before they kissed and made up and went home. Together. Except that one time. But smug marrieds at home - ones she had not even invited herself - that was an entirely different ball game. For one thing, they made her dinner, cajoling, coaxing, trying to include her and make her feel welcome in her own home, but leaving her cold, like a haddi the kebab was desperately trying to wrap itself around. To make matters worse, she didn't like one of the smugs, even though he was trying very hard. The casual misogyny, the bluff geniality masking pathetic insecurity, it was all deeply unimpressive. Out, out, damned smug, she wanted to say.