I write a blog because this is a quite acceptable way of being completely self-absorbed. I have much to say about myself and my random life and need a whole website all to myself to share my experiences, thoughts and opinions.
I have been looking for a new carer for while now. I say the word “carer” through gritted teeth, I realise people understand it to mean someone who helps a disabled person but it’s a very patronising and wholly inaccurate description; “carers” are no more caring than other people or I wouldn’t find myself carer-less in the first place.
My last carer, or P.A, as I prefer to say, Tabby, was a dream. It wasn’t that there weren’t times when she left the front door wide open when we went out or managed to dismantle the “immobiliser chip” from the car-key so that we couldn’t start the engine on a crucial Britain’s Missing Top Model filming day and then couldn’t get a taxi because I have an electric wheelchair which makes me tantamount to a leper in the eyes of taxi drivers, but she was like a best friend. She still is a best friend. And when someone is helping you wash your unmentionables, a best friend is so much better than a butch Slovakian matron who insists on wearing latex gloves for handling.
My problem is that my criteria for a P.A is very particular, apart from driving, not smoking, being flexible and happy to work late, they must love dancing (I go clubbing regularly and am on the dance floor all night) and that’s more important to me than them being able to cook or do the Heimlich Manoeuvre. It’s a very sociable job and I attend a lot of events and have to “network” with my P.A, so they also have to be socially adept and not say inappropriate things or ask the cameraman that I am about to film with if he has ever had a threesome. Or if he would like to have one. Yes that has happened.
Tabby was brilliant; easy-going, bright and funny and, with a Masters in Primatology, could tell you anything you ever wanted to know about the Putty-Nosed monkey or the Bonobos who use sex to communicate (mothers and fathers, fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, they’re all at it.) Since Tabby left to feast on weavel-infested rice and examine the composition of monkey faeces in some undiscovered African enclave, I have had some very interesting applicants for the position.
Even though my ad clearly stipulates “Female Full-Time Carer” I have had several men send me their vitals - possibly because I included a picture of me in the ad ,as it is generally assumed that if you are disabled and looking for a carer you ‘re at least 95 and just need someone to administer tea and biscuits on the hour and watch Antiques Roadshow.
One application I received was from a Bulgarian bouncer who wore a black tracksuit in his photo and was straddling some railway lines, arms crossed and wearing a very menacing expression. Perhaps he took “carer” quite literally and thought I needed protection being a vulnerable disabled woman. Another rather cute guy sent me a photo of him in shorts, casually reclining on a sand dune and said that he was “looking to get rid of his girlfriend. Ha ha.” I also received a huge document from a heavily bearded Pakistani man with a 6 page CV reeling off every imaginable skill along with a tranche of essays including “Women in Christianity and Islam” and “ Islam and Terrorism”. Under “Hobbies and Interests” he listed “pets“.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I find my next partner in crime and until then I shall continue enlisting the help of my actress/designer/artist type free-lance friends to cover my commitments and feel very appreciative that they, actually, do care!
Photo: Handan Erek
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