In many ways, these are fairly unusual topics for me to choose as I've only had one of one and none at all of the other. But in a way, it makes me the most qualified person of all.
Actually, it doesn't.
Now, our muse for today's post is someone whom I happen to know is a migraine sufferer. She is by far from alone in this among the people that I know. Migraines seem to abound in the circles in which I move. You know, gentle, creative sorts who believe in magic and got picked on at school (this may actually have just been me, apologies if I'm projecting). There are also a few people in my family who will occasionally succumb, which is no fun at all for them. I know this because I was once lucky enough to have a migraine. It was about 9 years ago and featured some medication and a cake.
At the time I was trying a new anti-depressant medication. Now, I don't know how many of you have experience of such things - my guess is that a significant proportion of you will have done, or perhaps even have needed to start on account of reading this shit - but they are no laughing matter. Indeed, as you would probably expect, they are quite literally mind-bending.
The other thing about them is that they can take up to a fortnight to really start to work. Before that your whole life is liable to be something of a rollercoaster ride of nausea, dizziness and, yes! extra anxiety and depression! I was about a week in and frankly feeling like fucking shit. Come 8 in the evening every night I was a complete zombie. An anxious zombie who felt sick as a pike. What I definitely needed was a slice of fantastically rich flourless chocolate cake.
I have never in all my life been so completely incapacitated. And I include the 4 days I spent laying on my back in a hospital bed with a broken neck in that. God it was completely miserable. Migraine sufferers earned my ultimate sympathy and respect that day. This is often the way to earn my unending sympathy and respect. In many ways, I hope that I never have to gain unending sympathy and respect for someone who has just twatted their thumb with a hammer. Or had a testicle bitten off by a leopard.
Marriage is another thing which is inhumane, incapacitating and miserable. I have never been married. Frankly, I'm not entirely convinced by the whole idea. I think its an impossibly anachronistic concept in this day and age. I suspect that my generation - when I was at school, children being born out of wedlock or coming from a broken home was still seen as a bit taboo for various ludicrous reasons - could be the last that clings on to this daft idea that human emotion needs to be enshrined in a legally-binding document.
This is not to say that I'm against marriage in terms of the relationship. I've met loads of happily married people of all sorts of vintages. But I think that these are all relationships that would exist anyway. You could argue that the legal implications would encourage people to work through any problems more than people who were not married, not tied down. But I think an equally valid counter-argument would be that that's hardly a brilliant basis for patching up any differences. A relationship will endure if it is right. It's as simple as that.
And life is expensive. Why people put themselves through the financial purgatory of a big wedding is a complete mystery to me. My brother and his wife have been together for 10 years this month. They were both 18 at the time. They are now (yes, that's right) 28 and have two children. They got married in 2007 (by which time they already had an 18-month old girl). I daren't even think how much their wedding cost. But it's arguable that after living together for 6 years and having one child it made absolutely piss all difference to them apart from a financial problem.
People argue that weddings and marriages are for other people - family and friends - more than for the couple themselves. I'll never understand why human beings seem so hard-wired to make their lives more complicated than they need to be.
So, today's conclusion is that both migraines and marriages are a right fucking headache and are both best avoided.