I want to apologise – for not being psychic. I know it’s my fault, it always is, you keep telling me every time we have an issue. So there’s proof positive that, in spite of what you believe, I do listen to what you say to me. Anyway you’re never wrong. I have thought very carefully about things where we have disagreed and I am aware that I have been wrong at times and have always admitted it but you have never been wrong. You have misunderstood, WE have miscommunicated, I have given the wrong impression or have said something the wrong way but you have never been wrong. It makes perfect sense when you think about it really. I am a man. I am therefore not properly educated in the finer point of domestic disagreement. I cannot remember what was said about a particular subject two Christmases ago although I can remember what you said to me twenty minutes ago. I feel that when a disagreement is over I should say sorry and then try to get back to being loving and caring as soon as possible. I have not been trained to show how deeply hurt I am by being terse, cold and unapproachable for days afterwards. I make the gross mistake of applying logic to what we are talking (sometimes shouting and for that I am again sorry and I do appreciate that although your voice is louder than mine and two octaves higher than normal you are definitely not screaming) about. And I do see, when I present you with – what seems to me – a sensible logical, conclusion that should resolve the matter under discussion that it’s not the point.
While we’re on the subject of miscommunication can I get a little help on one particular point. At the moment when I ask how you are and how your day has been the response is always “fine.” Now, generally speaking, I do get when ‘fine’ means ‘I don’t want to talk about it;’ or when ‘fine’ means ‘I do want to talk about it but you’ll have to drag it out of me’ and even the rare occasion when ‘fine’ means ‘everything’s ginger peachy, thank you very much.’ But for those times when I do not have my senses as finely attuned as they should be do you think you might use a different word for each of those moods just to give me a little clue. Or even just qualify ‘fine’ with an adjective which would let me know whether I should keep asking, just shut up or duck.
I want to be a caring and considerate soul to the love of my life but sometimes I do not get whether asking questions is what I am supposed to be doing or whether it is being nosey and there is no consistency. Yesterday you told me your mate Sharon was having an affair and she was using you as an excuse to her husband and that made you feel uncomfortable because we know Roddy. Today I ask if you’ve had a chance to talk to her and you say it’s fine. Then when I don’t ask why it’s fine I’m not interested in you because I’m too wrapped up in stupid things. The way you said fine threatened to peel the paint off the walls. I am sorry that my psychic button wasn’t properly turned on but I assumed, from the tight-lipped expression, the almost whispered reply and the facial expression designed to scared old ladies small animals and anyone not wearing the latest in full body armour, that I should not pursue the subject any further. I was not wrapped up in stupid things I went away and tried, unsuccessfully as it turns out, to find something to keep myself busy while you either calmed down or worked out what you wanted to say. Oh God faux pas again I said calmed down and I know that, although you were already completely calm and at ease with the world, suggesting that you needed to calm down is one way to ensure that you are anything but calm. My bad – Again.
I love you dearly and I hate whenever we are not on the most loving and comfortable terms but to expect perfection in any relationship of equals is not really realistic. And we are equals although I happily accept that you are obviously far more equal than I am. When I do get it wrong I am sorry. Sorry for upsetting you and sorry for the gulf that appears between us no matter for how short a while it is there. You are my Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way – so please could you be Poppins and just stop popping at me.
Can’t you just learn to say ‘no’ when you answer the door or the ’phone? We don’t want a new conservatory, our house valued, to adopt a third world orphan/orang utan, to change our gas supplier or to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Even if we were desperate to do any of those things we wouldn’t do it standing on the front doorstep and we’re certainly not letting those yahoos into our house. These were your words so why say them to me and then completely forget them when the doorbell goes? You spend ten minutes in conversation with whoever and then you call me and I have to tell the nice man or woman to sod off. Can’t you just pretend it’s me asking if you’re feeling amorous and say no in that tone of voice that threatens severe physical damage if they don’t disappear pronto?
Like Gert next door when he’s on the borrow. I say borrow but I really mean steal. Borrowing is when you take something and then give it back. Not when you take something and six months later claim it was yours all along. What did we agree? If Gert comes asking, your answer was going to be he’d have to wait until I got home. So what did you say. ‘Oh here help yourself I’ll just let you into the garage so that you can steal all of his tools and then come back to the front door an hour later claiming that you couldn’t find what you wanted.’ He must have used a removal wagon to take everything that’s missing but, according to you, I can’t have it out with him because we have to live next door to him. No we don’t. Give me five minutes with an sypathetic copper and we won’t have to live next door to him for the next ten years. Or maybe seven with very good behaviour and an understanding parole officer.
It doesn’t stop at home either. There’s a reason they call those nice young people from the various charities chuggers. It’s short for charitable muggers. They’re sharks, a new sub-species that cruise the high street looking for vulnerable prey – that would be you – who will sign up to give away all their money. And it’s only when they encounter a bigger shark with a seriously nasty attitude – that would be me having to save you – that they back off. I do have a charitable side and I happily give to organisations that I believe do a good job. We both do and, while I want to shelter the aged and the homeless and prevent cruelty to children and small animals, I have to feed and clothe myself first. If all the direct debits that you started to sign up to were still in place you would have to get another job just to pay them. However once again you play the nice sweet charitable person and then I have to be the brute who lets pensioners starve in the street and kids get beaten and abused. Although to be honest, while I would happily save the pensioners, there are kids – like that horrible one in Tescos with the seriously awful mother – that I might not want to save . In fact there should be a charity to especially for such people where you can pay to have them and their parents properly beaten for the public good. Now that’s one charity I’d sign up for in a flash.
Look at the chuggers properly and you’d see things differently. Forget that they all have brilliant white smiles and a twinkle in their eyes and look more carefully. State of the art ’phones that can access your bank details immediately and let you sign on the screen. Those things cost a packet and they’ve all got one. Plus they’re on commission for everybody that they sign up. So when they smile at you it’s not because they like you, it’s because your direct debit is going to fund their next night out. Sell the ’phones, stop paying the chuggers and you could probably save another hundred kids and house fifty pensioners to boot. Just say ‘no’ politely or even ‘No, thank you’ if you want but stop talking to them and getting in a mess that I have to be unplesant to resolve.
You are a wonderful loving and giving person and if you really wanted to give all your money to charity, I would support you all the way. I might cry while I was doing it, I might even ask you to have a word with the doctor but if it was what you really wanted then I would support you. But please don’t give your money away just because you don’t like to say no and please stop making me the villain of the piece to save your blushes because you don’t have the heart to say what you really mean.
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