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We can only see our lives through other people’s eyes




I think I get stuff done by deliberately ignoring the disorder in my life. Perhaps we all do. I can only finish a comic in a day by being singleminded. I live in my little bubble, not looking into the rooms full of severed heads, ignoring the side of the house that is crumbling down the bank. My friend Emma was explaining the yellow car game to me – how her daughter always saw yellow cars, but she never did, preferring the life inside her mind. In order that she could play the game, she trained herself to notice yellow cars, and now she sees them all the time. But she hates yellow cars. She wishes she’d never invited them to intrude on her thoughts.

My mother has amazing powers of observation, but they come without a filter – all the faults are in just as sharp relief as all the positive things. She did admire my salads, and my new gauzy white blouse, and told me I looked very nice when I was off to a party in a pink dress. She notices every new addition to my wardrobe, even though we only see each other every 6 weeks or so. Still, sometimes I wish my parents could play along, and we could all pretend that nothing is broken in my house, and the dust bunnies just add to its shabby chic charm.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/12/2016 6:26 pm

    You see — this is exactly why I love your work. I can totally relate. My house is always messy, I constantly question whether I am ever doing anything worthwhile. Life is still such hard work every day, isn’t it?

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/12/2016 4:29 pm

      Yes it is! So nice to know I have a kindred spirit on the other side of the world!

  2. Mary Cavanagh permalink
    12/12/2016 6:46 pm

    Like looking in a mirror!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. exkaroriboy permalink
    13/12/2016 1:04 pm

    Dearest Sarah

    My amazing analysis is that those very charming parents now live too close and can visit you too ofter!

    Send ’em back to Auckland where the distant heart can grow fonder!



  4. Lucy permalink
    13/12/2016 3:50 pm

    I hate living in a messy house. But I hate the fact that my mum isn’t around to not judge me for it even more.

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/12/2016 4:28 pm

      I am sorry about this too. I am very grateful that my parents are still around!

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