It’s Not Happily Ever After, It’s Happily Hanging On

THIS IS MARRIAGE:

You’re not recycling the yoghurt pottles?

They don’t count.

Bad example throwing them in the rubbish!

Bad example nagging me about it!

I don’t nag. I hate being called a nag.

I know.

Don’t call me a nag.

OK. But don’t hassle me.

[pause]

I can’t believe we’re arguing about the recycling.

Recycled mops.
Recycled mops.

We’re not arguing.

What are we doing?

We’re discussing!

Well can I discuss the yoghurt pottles, THEY REALLY ANNOY ME!

WELL IT REALLY ANNOYS ME THAT YOU NEVER TAKE THE RUBBISH OUT.

IT REALLY ANNOYS ME WHEN YOU ASSUME I’LL DO THE DISHES.

IT REALLY ANNOYS ME WHEN YOU ASSUME I’LL PICK THE FUCKING TOYS UP.

[Serious arms folding. Serious.]

Shouting from the 7-year-old’s bed (who is meant to be asleep)…IT REALLY ANNOYS ME WHEN YOU TWO ARE YELLING!!!

(If only we’d recorded Bob; the best ‘discussion’ killerEver.)

Great Aunt Hazel told me once that the secret to a good marriage is having clear roles. She also said, post children, it’s OK if you don’t have a decent conversation for 17 years. It comes back.

 

THIS IS PARENTING (WHEN YOUR HEARING IS A BIT SHABBY):

Mum, can we go bird squatting after lunch?

Bird squatting? Yes of course.

I’ll get ready.

Ha! I wonder what he’s getting. Big cushiony trousers…

What are you talking about?

Bob. He wants to go bird squatting.

What?

Yeah, you know squatting. Erm. Like birds.

Best I start working on my sign language.
Best I start working on my sign language.

No.

Bob comes out in shorts, socks pulled up and binoculars around his neck.

Ready Mum!

Oh. Spotting. You meant bird spotting!

[Sigh]

God, what will you be like at 84?’

I’ll be amazing. You’ll ask me about my knee and I’ll say YES THANKS, LOVE A CUP OF TEA.

(It seems I’m a bit deaf these days. Last Friday Choppy asked me how I liked my salmon cooked and I thought he asked how I liked my santa claus. Oh you know, red, generous, not too hairy….)

Great Aunt Hazel told me that the secret to old age is always feeling 28 in your head. She also said the blowjob is the secret weapon. Use it wisely.

 

THIS IS LOVE:

Babe, you don’t look so tired today.

What do you mean?

You look well rested. Not so haggard.

Oh so I USUALLY LOOK HAGGARD?

No, it’s just you’ve been working so hard lately and you look like you’re ready for a holiday.

Haggard. You said haggard. Like a witch.

I was trying to give you a compliment. You look good today.

Well, calling me haggard or not-so-tired is not a compliment.

Would you prefer it if I didn’t give you compliments?

You can imagine how annoyed I was that I didn't stand in the taller hole.
You can imagine how annoyed I was that I didn’t stand in the taller hole.

I only want compliments when they are compliments!

Perhaps I’m best to not say anything. Then.

No say things. Puhlease, tell me I look good even when I don’t, especially when I’m tired.

You want me to lie.

YES I WANT YOU TO LIE. And tell me I don’t look like a witch.

OK, you don’t look like a witch.

Happy?

Yes.

Great Aunt Hazel would have said this if Oscar Wilde hadn’t said it first, ‘Women are meant to be loved not understood.’

~~~~~~~

I wanted to share these conversations because they exist. This is life. Marriage/partnership is not a musical. The hills are not always alive with music, sometimes they are a range of unpredictable geysers. Sometimes I am desperately sad that we are no longer in the honeymoon phase of marriage yet most of the time I am so relieved that we have moved on because that would be exhausting and we’d never get anything done, and our children would be totally grossed out. I don’t think it’s happily ever after because it’s not a constant state of happy; sometimes it’s a state of hanging on through challenging times. And riding change – that’s what makes us stronger, not the skipping moments. We survived new country, no home, new home, new jobs, (no jobs!), and nits this year. Hallelujah. (Nits being surprisingly tricky). The Dimple stepped into his solar-powered dream and I am so ridiculously proud of him. We’re not perfect, we often forget that ‘I’ shouldn’t be used in a fight. Or that we should never yell about money and that nobody ever wins the Who Is More Tired game. We’re muddling our way through it, sometimes hurdling, sometimes rolling over, sometimes laughing our faces off. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cheery tweetmiss everyone and have a mental new year.


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