I haven’t mentioned the ‘big freeze’ that the old man and I survived last weekend. I’m contracted not to mention anything too personal about the status of our relationship, but suffice it to say that after an exchange of seriously cruel words – where I might have criticised how he cleans the bath and he might have retaliated with a vicious attack on the amateurish-ness of my writing – I sent him to Coventry and it lasted a whole, glorious three days.
I won, just saying.
With hindsight, not talking him for three days might not have been the worst punishment I could have meted out.
God, marriage is hard sometimes. Sometimes I’m forced to cling onto the fact that if you still feel some element of hurt, there must be something still there, right?
It’s quite amazing how much your other half can irritate the fuck out of you over the most trivial things when you’re already having a bad day. How the old man drives is a typical example, and one which is causing me to metamorphose into my grandmother who used to scream hoarsely from the backseat of the car every time my father drove.
The other night the old man and I went into the city. A rare treat for me, to get the old man off the couch and away from whatever minor golf championship is far more interesting than me, that could only be marred by the fact that the old man was driving us there in my car.
The problem is, the old man can’t drive my car. You see, I have the family car. The wagon. A car built to gently meander through traffic safely, allow us to enjoy the scenery and wait patiently and comfortably in traffic jams. Whereas he’s used to his teenage car, that sits low to the ground, snarls at red lights and snaps impatiently every time your foot hovers close to the accelerator.
After five emergency stops in rush hour traffic, the bile was waiting at the back of my throat. I can never understand why, when someone has an obvious braking problem, they have to permanently lick the butt of the car in front of them.
The other thing that shits me is that my husband never indicates. He expects other drivers to telepathically know that he wants to move out. He’s a lane hopper who never indicates.
‘If you indicate, they might KNOW you want to get out and let you in,’ I said in what I thought was a helpful, non-judgmental tone.
‘Why don’t you indicate?’ I said again, a few minutes later.
‘I’m actually quite interested in the science of WHY you won’t fucking indicate?’ I tried for the last time to my partner who remained mute beside me, as I felt the twitch of a new cold sore forming on my upper lip and dug my finger nails into the palms of my hands to prevent me from screaming.
Is there anything more frustrating than a partner who won’t communicate in moments of marital crisis?
Fifteen minutes later we were searching for a parking space in an area that has one-hour time zones until you’re at least a train journey away from your destination.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m searching for a parking spot, I crawl slowly down the streets so I can spot any vacant space before the car behind me. But not the old man. His priority is to test the top speed of the family wagon on the side roads and then hope that by some miracle we won’t be fifteen kilometres past the only space in the west of Sydney by the time we spot it.
What does your partner do that irritates the fuck out of you?