I like to believe I have something of a sense of humour. It’s something that has been handed down through generations of my family and distributed equally amongst me and my siblings. Okay… maybe not equally. My older sister doesn’t like stand-up for some insane reason, and she didn’t ‘get’ Life of Brian (seriously? Wtf?). But we love her anyway and she’s made up for those shortcomings with her uncanny ability to recall the intricate dating history of every Australian B and C list celebrity (you’d be amazed how often that knowledge comes in handy) and because she’s spawned two incredibly cute kids.
But getting back to the whole humour thing. We’re one of those families—the ones with the inside jokes and embarrassing stories and the constant need to rip into each other. Family dinner is not family dinner without people talking over each other, laughing at each other and laughing with each other.
It’s therefore only natural that humour became my best outlet for ‘dealing’ with my Stargardt’s Disease diagnosis and all the random shit that pops up in my day to day life because of it—if I couldn’t laugh it off I’d probably be curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth, mumbling to myself like a crazy woman every time I accidentally used the wrong measuring cup or selected the wrong emoji or sprayed my plants with window cleaner.
If you’re wondering why on Earth I’d be doing those things let me first thank you for shattering my quiet confidence that the only people reading this blog are some of my parents’ friends and a few family members. For the newbs, let me quickly clarify: Stargardt’s is a genetic disorder that causes damage to the retina. It affects the eyes similarly to macular degeneration but occurs in young people (I was 21 when I was first diagnosed). My central vision is almost non-existent but my peripheral vision is fine, which is why glasses won’t work and neither will laser.
I’m currently compiling a series of comic essays that I’m hoping to eventually publish as a short ebook to (hopefully) raise some cash for Vision Australia. In the meantime, this will be a regular segment looking at the funny side of some of the day to day happenings in the life of a legally blind writer.
So without further ado, here is…
This morning I woke up and decided I wanted a hot Milo* for breakfast, because of course that’s exactly what you’re supposed to drink on a 28C day. Nevertheless, it was what I wanted and I wouldn’t be denied. So I got out the milk, I got out the Milo, I got out the saucepan (because it tastes so much better when you heat it over the stove) and I got out one of my ‘Milo mugs’ (I have three—a Doctor Who one, a Game of Thrones one and a Beatles one—that for some reason just hold better tasting Milo than my regular boring white mugs).
I was all set, ready to go—all I needed to do was measure out the right amount of milk so I’d make exactly the right amount needed for one mug. It was a simple task—pour the milk into the mug, then pour it into the saucepan. But for some reason, as I was pouring into the mug, milk started spilling all over the bench! It was chaos! At least half a cup of milk all over my benchtop and dripping down my brand new cabinets!
And I just stood there, eyes wide, holding the offending bottle of milk in the air for at least twenty seconds trying to figure what the hell went wrong.
And then I realised… the mug was sitting upside down on the bench and I’d just poured milk all over the bottom of it. *eye roll*
And I couldn’t even curse the mug (because it’s always the logical option to blame the inanimate object and not your own stupidity) because, I mean, just look at it! The only thing that could improve it would be a picture of Kit Harrington (I’d never mistakenly turn that mug the wrong way up… just sayin’).
But the lesson has been learned—always turn mugs the right way up. Or maybe don’t try to make Milo when I’m still half-asleep. One of those things.
*Milo = chocolate powdery goodness. Must be drunk either hot or cold with four-five teaspoons of Milo and milk ONLY—only dilpots (as my grandfather would say) water down Milo.