Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry...

It cannot have gone unnoticed that I have been feeling rather fed up recently. I keep reminding myself of all the things I should be thankful for and how lucky I am and I am. Truly I am. But then I have the days that make me froth at the mouth because the children are too lazy, grumpy and resolutely self-centred to the extent that, the request for help with laying the table is tantamount to child labour; the depositing of dirty pants into a conveniently placed laundry basket a foot from the bed is too much effort and it is I who has to bend, retrieve and wash said pants from the floor and then there is the issue of tantrums and much door slamming when the polite reminder of homework dares rear its ugly head. There are also the days when a lovely, new pen bought that very day is secretly played with by the youngest child and left haphazardly on the sofa so that a very blonde golden retriever can masticate it to small pieces and thus distribute black ink all over his pale, furry paws and consequently my carpet.
But most of all are the days when I look out of my kitchen window and still see 24 tons of rubble on my garden. It’s still there. Just because I don’t mention it every week does not detract from the fact that, weeks later my garden and its flora and fauna is demolished by the remains of a massive wall. How come, given how much we pay in premiums, do the insurance company always find a way of absolving themselves of any involvement whatsoever? So much has happened to us in this house that every time the answer has been an emphatic ‘No’ to our claim we have upped the ante and paid for extra cover and still they wriggle out of it. Now we are left with having to remortgage our house and the horrendous hassle to find someone to take away the rubble. Surely someone could make use of it? Why anyone would need 24 tons of 200 year old wall I don’t know but stranger things have happened. What did they do with the Berlin Wall for instance? Someone must be able to advise us. I can’t even think about a re-erection. It certainly won’t be old and historical and attractive. Chain link fence comes to mind.
Hubby and I, it goes without saying are understandably cool with each other and every time money is spent a domestic dispute swiftly follows.
“We have to eat”, I argue.
“Since when has Rioja been one of our five a day?”, he retorts.
“It’s made of grapes”, I impertinently snap. I want to add that I always buy wine that is half price but my protestations are futile especially once Hubby found the ten pound holiday vouchers I’d secretly been cutting out of the local paper, knowing that a more exotic holiday would be out of the question this, or any other foreseeable summer. Hubby demanded to know ‘what I was thinking’. I was thinking of a few days escape I wanted to reply but I didn’t, I just bit my tongue and hid them somewhere else.
Avoiding each other and speaking only when essential is easy at home, I’m at the gym a few nights of the week and at a quiz on the other; Hubby likes nothing more than playing with his playlists on his computer which is in another room to the TV, so we don’t even have to squabble over the remote control. It’s hardly domestic bliss but it works for us. Occasionally, when the kids haven’t sent us into orbit or the dog isn’t in the dog house we allow ourselves a brief hug and the attempts at gracious conversation but it rarely lasts because someone, usually within five minutes, has done something either we or their sibling wholeheartedly disapproves of and, once again after the inevitable recriminations have been doled out, the impenetrable curtain of coolness and mutual blame descends upon our union.
There are times however, frequently in fact, when Hubby and I are invited to partake in polite society. We are expected to sing for our supper and be witty and good value and loquacious; entertaining dits must be spun. We must show warmth and generosity of spirit not only to our hosts and fellow guests but also to each other. Given however, that more often than not, our arrival at our destination was immediately preceded by stress and shouting and making tea for the rest of the family first and myriad other things I have to do before leaving the house, then the fact that we enter homes with smiles and kisses and enthusiastically proffer bottles of wine and boxes of chocolate, is nothing short of a miracle.
The other night was one of those nights. Even though minutes before I’d sulked, “You’re all in the Navy, that’s all you’ll talk about”, we walked in smiling broadly. We ate good food and drank excellent wine but the conversation was far from dull especially when one chap regaled us with a story of showing Margaret Thatcher around a warship. She had wanted to see all of it, including the Chinese laundry. When they got to that end of the ship, far from seeing the sailors smalls go round and round in the washing machine, there were a couple of chickens in there instead. Dead and plucked of course their wings still flapped as the drum turned them over and over. By all accounts it’s a good way of steaming them.
I was tickled pink by this little anecdote and laughed and laughed and, as anyone will attest, laughter really is the best remedy. Hubby and I left therefore holding hands and kissing. Long may it last but I’m buying a Billy Connolly DVD just to be on the safe side..


Alice Band said...

Zero comments?? My you know how to make a girl feel loved!

blunoz said...

Oh, Alice, please accept my humblest apology. I'm terribly sorry for not posting my comment earlier. I read your post and then clicked "save" because I knew I wanted to write more than just a quick one-sentence comment. Then our week was swept away with first our 8 year old then my wife then me getting sick with a stomach bug and fever. (Fingers crossed - the 6 year old hasn't come down with it yet, knock-on-wood).

I feel as though you've hidden a camera in our house and written about what you've observed... Lazy kids acting as if you've asked them to cut off an appendage when you've only asked them to hang up their jacket or put their dirty underwear in the laundry hamper. Husband and wife grumpy and snapping at each other after dealing with the kids, etc. My wife and I can definitely relate to you on so many aspects of this post.

I have one suggestion / recommendation to offer. My wife and I have been doing this thing called the Love Dare. It challenges you to do something different for your spouse every day for 40-days (like in the movie "Fireproof" if you've seen it). We've been following along with the daily Love Dare blog posts on www.KLOVE.com, and I will tell you it has had a noticeable difference in our relationship. We have been happier the past few weeks of going out of our way to accomplish each day's "dare," in spite of sickness and snow closing school and frustrations of life. Anyway, I'll get off my soap box.

Again, I'm very sorry for not commenting sooner. You are a very talented writer and story-teller, and you deserve good feedback and recognition both for the effort you put into writing and for the openness with which you share your personal struggles.

I hope this week is starting off better than last week for you, in spite of us readers not coming through for you.

Hilary said...

This sounds like you two really do need to get out more often and remember that you're not only parents to wee ingrates (I kid) but also life partners.

I think Kevin has some good advice. Try to find ways to make sure you connect every single day.. even if it has to be brief. Notes in a lunch, renting a favourite movie (preferably humour since that works for you), try painting or writing something significant to the both of you on one of those slabs of stone. Maybe you can eventually decorate the parameter of your garden with them. ;) Again I kid.. kinda.

I hope your next many days - weeks - months... etc find you smiling and laughing more often than not.

Alice Band said...

Goodness me, now I feel guilty. Thankyou for stopping by and letting me know you are there. Bizzarely, I have good news on the dating front. I'll keep you posted xx

DL said...

Oi, AB! Fulsome comment from me - just on another medium (... how to make a bloke feel loved!)