Funny Matters

The Marian Keyes Effect

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I’ve finally done it!

I’ve managed to write a short post.

Well. You do deserve a reprieve

Truthfully though. It’s not the post I’d planned. Gone slightly off-piste today.

I know. Crazy.

So here’s why.

Yesterday. On Twitter. I got followed by Marian Keyes. Yes. Marian Keyes. The renowned Irish author. Of uber-successfulness.

I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was rather pleased. I’m a total newbie to Twitter. Less than a month! To score such a prestigious 66th follower was a bit of a virtual high 5. I know. Such a Twitter tart.

After the little notification popped up on my computer I went and had a shower. Oh. Just to clarify. That’s not something I do after getting a new follower. It’s not some sort of ritual celebration. The two activities aren’t linked. Just in case I made them sound like they were.

Anyway. In the shower. I was thinking about Marian Keyes. As you do. And I thought ‘ooh, I must call Mum and tell her! She’d be so excited’.

Mum could get excited about anything. Even pop socks. The ones with the soft tops. You know. That don’t dig in your legs. See? Anything! I could just imagine the levels of excitement that this news would evoke.

The phone call would go something like this:

Me: You’ll never guess who followed me on Twitter?
Mum: Ooh, Dale Winton?
Me: No mum. Not Dale Winton

She had a thing about Dale Winton. Insisted everyone had ‘got it wrong’!

Mum: Well who then? Who? Who is it?
Me: Marian Keyes

At this point her voice would switch an octave higher. She’d hold the phone away from her ear. Shake my stepdad awake from his perpetual snoozing. With the sense of urgency that most people only reserve for 999 calls.

Mum: David! David! Angela’s being followed by Marian Keyes

David: Hmm? What?…Oh dear. Has she called the police?

Yes. I thought – still in the shower – she’d be well chuffed!

And then the penny dropped. I couldn’t tell her. She’d gone. Almost 2 years gone.

This kind of event seems to happen quite often. Not renowned Irish authors following me on Twitter. No. I mean. Going to call Mum. Sending her a text message about a random event. Making a mental note of something she’d find funny.

And it’s usually the small things. Like seeing Vitamin C’s half price in Holland & Barrett. Wanting her to know my plane’s landed safely. Or hearing that Dale Winton has a new love interest.

Oh. And of course. That Marian Keyes is following me on Twitter.

Then. Still in the shower. The next penny dropped. The main reason I was on Twitter was to share my blog posts. My story about mum’s terminal diagnosis. Me moving home to be near her. Her last 18 months leading up to her death.

My God. The irony:

Marian Keyes follows me. And the first thing I think is how I can’t wait to tell Mum.

But the reason Marian Keyes is following me. Is because Mum’s gone.

It suddenly all felt so cruel. Pointless. In an instant I was 5 years old again. Having a tantrum. I didn’t want to be on Twitter. I didn’t want 66 followers. I didn’t want to be followed by a renowned Irish author. I just wanted my mum back.

I leaned my head against the tiles and balled my eyes out.

But. Then. Being the split personality that I seem to have become since Mum died. I suddenly felt better. I realised something else:

Marian Keyes. Said renowned Irish author. Was following me because of Mum.

And that she would’ve been most excited about!

All of a sudden I was overcome with a bizarre inexplicable pride. For Mum.

It’s a funny old life eh?

Who’d have thought that one ‘follow’ on Twitter could spark such an emotional rollercoaster of a shower?

Not me.

And I imagine not Marian Keyes either.

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10 Comments on “The Marian Keyes Effect

  1. Dot
    June 25, 2014

    A lovely, poignant tale. Touched me.
    I too am a fan of Marian Keyes! Adore her books and love her on ‘d’twitters!’
    Look forward to your next blog!

    • Angela Wilson
      June 25, 2014

      Ah thanks so much Dot! So glad you liked the post…and yes, MK is Twittertastic! x

  2. Laura
    June 25, 2014

    Great post Angela!
    Would have been my dad’s birthday today – he died over 10 years ago. Those “must text/call him” moments don’t really go away much as time passes I don’t think. I can still feel gutted that there are films he’d love that he never saw and music and books that I want to recommend. Their absence remains a steadfast presence in many ways! 😉

    • Angela Wilson
      June 25, 2014

      Ah Laura, thanks – I’m glad you liked it. And happy birthday for your Dad… Yes, I’ve heard that those feelings don’t go away. They can be painful reminders, but I guess on the other hand it’s just another way of keeping them with us! xx

  3. Tracy
    June 25, 2014

    Funny matters touched my heart, thank you so much for putting into words what I couldn’t. Funny does matter sooooo much, never lose your sense of humour, we need it most in the darkest of days. x

    • Angela Wilson
      June 25, 2014

      What a lovely comment – thank you! And I’m so glad to hear that someone else believes how important humour is! #funnydoesmatter! love it. Thanks Tracy! xx

  4. Michela
    June 25, 2014

    Another poignant and beautiful post. Congrats on the new follower, so exciting! I would be besides myself too!! It sucks we don’t get to share these moments wt our loved ones, though I’m sure they’re smiling from above watching our lives unfold.

    • Angela Wilson
      June 25, 2014

      Thanks Michela!!….yes, I agree – they are with us still – just in a different way. xx

  5. Judith Morgan
    June 25, 2014

    Angela, this happened to me. No, not Marian Keyes, but the wanting to call Mum thing.

    My Mum died on 23rd February 2005, just a couple of months before my 50th birthday.

    14 months later, driving into town for a day out on my 51st birthday with my best friend, I said – aloud – “My mum hasn’t phoned yet!” – before we both realised, and looked at one another astonished, and swallowed a lump and a tear.

    After 50 years of having a Mum, it takes more than 14 months to remember she’s never going to phone again, not even on your birthday. We communicate, however, especially on my birthday – and hers.

    Love to you and keep up this excellent writing. No wonder MK wants to read it.


    • Angela Wilson
      June 26, 2014

      Thank you so much Judith. For the support and also for your story…Yes, totally agree that they are still there to be communicated with – it’s just in a slightly different way..which can take a bit of getting used to! xx

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