The fridge door. It's a weird little corner of the world, isn't it? Historically a resting place for the resident child's shitty little finger paintings and collages made of dried penne and PVA, stuck there to delay the damage you think you'll be inflicting on their developing brain if you just put it in the bin where it belongs. A flagging, flabby calendar which you've given up writing in because you accidentally used a permanent marker instead of a wipe-clean one in October 2013 and still have 'VET@3pm' indelibly tattooed above the Hotpoint logo. A variety of 'amusing' magnets. The flamenco dancer who really should have stayed at Majorca airport, her nipples flailing and doubling as beer-bottle openers (poor lass, the humiliation) nestles against 'Wine! How classy people get shit-faced' and 'A balanced diet is a chocolate bar in each hand'. Classy indeed.
My own mum is the proud owner of several, including one (which I bought her) gushing that she's 'still hot, it just comes in flashes these days' and another that simply screams 'Back away, fatty' in Comic Sans at anyone who might have been considering another slice of Edam.
These are all forgivable- you love your child/mum/wine/chocolate/waistline, I get it.
What I simply couldn't abide however- the thing that was unforgivable- was the 'therapeutic' fridge magnet. You know exactly what I'm talking about. 'A best friend is the sister that destiny forgot to give you' (oops, I just vommed in the salad drawer) or some out-of-context Buddha quote. Bugger off with your beautiful thoughts, I just need to get at the salad dressing. I don't need to be reminded that 'whatever the weather, friends and flowers grow together.' What does that even mean? Just because it rhymes does not make it a coherent thought. Stop shouting at me from behind your laminated plastic while I reach for my pint of semi-skimmed.
But that was before. Because right now, I'm fragile, and I need all the bon-mots I can cram onto one magnetic surface. I've had my heart broken recently, y'see. It's OK, I don't want to talk about.........
........Who am I kidding, I just filibustered about fridge magnets for 350 words.
My Bella Freud jumper and I broke up. It was a short but intense 4-month love-affair and we were very close. We went on a romantic mini-break to Paris and I even took her back to meet the parents over Christmas. It felt so right at the time, the stuff of poetry and envious glances.
Turns out we couldn't go the distance.
And suddenly, whether because of this truly traumatic life-event and subsequently altered perspective on love and loss, or something bigger, those rampant little rent-a-quotes were speaking to me in a way they never had before.
Maybe the ones you love really DO hurt you the most. Love really IS the most beautiful thing to have (it was warm, soft, feather-light, cherry-red). It really IS the hardest thing to earn (the eye-watering cost would be an investment, emotional as well as financial, by anyone's standard) and, yes, really IS the most painful thing to lose (the fucking thing got a socking great hole in the under-arm seam).
When confronted with the knitty-gritty, it was clear that the universe was saying, 'Not this time, no, I'm a frayed knot.' A frayed arm-pit at least.