As individuals, my family tend to be solitary creatures, and we’re good at entertaining ourselves and spending time alone. A good description of us as a family would be a collective of hermits.
Sometimes we go days without seeing each other although we share the same house. Every few days so and probably by coincidence we meet up moan loudly and bicker and disagree with each other at which we are all champion competitors. The main points of contention for me is that my daughter likes to play heavy bass beat music too loud which creates so much vibration they generate ripples in my coffee cup. I try to be patient, but my daughter doesn’t like being told ANYTHING and finds it easy to get into an argument with dad. Plus, she is an expert at cutting and totally unpleasant insults. Apparently, my music, which I play EXCEPTIONALLY quietly on my smartphone is Jurassic in nature, I listen to classical music on Scala radio.
Her complaint about me is, although some days I find walking difficult, I’m not getting any thinner, and as we bicker the Dragon Lady always sides with my kids against me. I feel sure if one of them stabbed her with a knife she would find a way of blaming it upon me and making it my fault.
My kids are thoroughly frustrated!
I feel truly sorry for my lovely children because they are both exceptionally talented at judo and between them have won many championships and competed at worldwide international tournaments, youth Olympics, European and World Championships. I’m sure you get the idea, they’re really good.
You only get a few years at the top if you’re lucky, and the last eighteen months have been wiped out by Covid nineteen. In the UK they get to practice with other partners for about 2% of the time that they had before the first lock-down. For the GB judo squad, things were not looking good. However, it seemed on the continent judo practice and competition was quite normal if you knew where to go look and train. So on 22nd May, they went to Portugal, and they plan to stay away competing or training for as long as possible which could be months at a time and we have encouraged them to do so.
Suddenly the Dragon Lady and I were alone!
The house has fallen silent and more recently feels empty. Mainly due to the pets returning home at the start of lockdown, we have a lot of renewals renovation work to be done both inside and outside the house. We have had a price quotation for redecorating inside the house. It was hefty and needs to be considered while sitting down and drinking a large whiskey! We accepted it anyway, as we felt it could have been as long as 12 to 15 years since our last major redecoration. The scrawny painter didn’t look that wealthy although he failed to appear as he agreed, TWICE. We had on his behalf already purchased a small mountain of tins of paint waiting patiently for his arrival.
“I have too much work outside to spend it inside in this wonderful weather,” was his feeble excuse. I agreed with him as the weather has turned to Mediterranean. However, back in April when he’d first arranged to come and get started, and then the second date at the beginning of May when he promised faithfully he be with us it was still bitterly cold outside and the coldest spring I can ever remember.
We spent five hundred pounds on paint and renewals that filled yet another corner of our already crowded house, and to put it mildly, we felt pissed-off to say the very least!
“Look, I can guarantee you I’ll be there by early November,” he said in a manner that implied he was doing us a favour. I could already see the expression of sheer venom on the Dragon Lady’s face, I knew she was close to full eruption. I caught her with my eyes in time and a nasty international incident was slimly averted.
“Have a good summer, see you in November,” the cheeky bugger said as he almost skipped out of our front door. I hadn’t said a word and had not agreed or committed myself, but he’d discover that IF he returned in November when I hope he would feel as disappointed and put out as we have. I’d rather eat my own scrotum than provide such an ethical shit with another opportunity.
She was livid!
“How do you manage to find such arseholes?” The Dragon Lady asked while sparks and smoke could be clearly seen coming from her enlarged nostrils.
“Just lucky I suppose,” was my flippant reply which didn’t make her laugh or even smile, although it did extinguish the potential eruption.
“I’ll do it,” she said, and I knew there would be no point arguing or objecting.
“You know I can’t help you,” I replied, but she knew already it!
The next day as the decking carpenters finished outside, she tidied the garden and I helped as much as I could. Quite soon it looked wonderful and a place I would be happy to spend time reading and writing.
If you ever read any of my articles or essays, you have heard me say many times state that the Dragon Lady is a truly formidable wife and I’m fortunate to have her. However, I already knew she would make me suffer as much as she would, if not more.
“Where shall I start?” She said more for her own benefit than anything else. We were standing in the summer room which we both agreed still look great, so we stepped into the large living room better known as dad’s room.
“I’d start in here,” I said, “so you think you should come first?” She growled, but I expected the comment and was ready with a fitting response.
“Not at all, but it’s the largest and most difficult room, and if I were painting it I would want to get this done and completed as soon as possible.”
“Hmmmmmmmm,” was her response simply because she couldn’t think of a more caustic reply, but I could see she agreed.
Irritation, irritation and more irritation!
I have long suspected I would easily win the first prize and gold medal in the world’s most irritating husband contest. Am I really that irritating? I doubt it, as I am clean and tidy, and do everything including my own washing. I cook, although ‘apparently not that well’ and though I follow my family in the kitchen several times a day which is like tidying up after a family of extra untidy raccoons, I don’t moan (well not much!). I keep it clean, the crockery and pots washed dried and put away. Other than that, I spend the majority of my day ‘seven days a week’ reading and writing.
Whenever the Dragon Lady feels tired, has a headache, or has some other unexplained reason she gets irritable at me. I mainly ignore her which truly drives her mad. But I’m not sure of any other way or solution to this wifely challenge
Although it generates income, the Dragon Lady has never seen me sitting and free-hand writing or speaking into the computer, like work or a real job, and this irritates the heck out of her. She works three twelve-hour shifts per week as a nurse at the local hospital. This she sees as work, which she constantly reminds me of as she complains while consuming the tasty freshly cooked meal I have waiting for her the minute she returns.
Now, she has decided to take responsibility for the decorating and I knew I have more irritation to look forward to, and I wasn’t wrong. Now her time for the foreseeable future was fully absorbed I would act as her whipping boy. However, I have considered that is a small price to pay in return to have the house redecorated.
I have noticed, and not for the first time, that many wives actually spend most of their married lives complaining about their husband who like me, are all total wastes of time and receive constant emasculation till the day they die. Then, probably racked by grief at their total lack of appreciation they start referring to their late husband in very much more positive terms.
I can’t see the TV!
I make no excuse for watching so much TV.
I start working most days between 5 and 6 am and then work till midday when since experiencing Covid nineteen my batteries have drained and need recharging, and this is also the time when I eat. Food is generally followed by a short sleep with the background of the TV playing loudly. I usually read and make notes for a few hours in the late afternoon or until it’s time to get the evening meal ready. Then I watch a few more hours of selective TV (films and drams) unless the Dragon Lady decides to join me demanding we watch a different channel and then talks all the way through it.
I watch TV because I learn new writing techniques and get many ideas. However, my wife took down the curtains and refused to replace them as she had plans for new ones. Three weeks later and with blue skies and sunshine till 9:30 pm every day which shines on the screen, the TV as entertainment was abandoned.
Three weeks later!
When there is work to be completed my wife is nothing short of a Trojan and is started by 6 am and if I don’t shout at her she would still be going eighteen hours later. Anyway apart from the odd corner, everything is finished, and the new curtains and colours we picked are wonderful. I drove her around getting all the new nets and trimmings and her irritation has subsided. Although we constantly bicker suddenly the two of us alone in this big house with a small black kitten is relaxing and highly enjoyable.