When you’re with your partner pretty much day in and day out for over 25 years, and one of you is not dead, I guess you must be getting along well enough.
In love, even?
Am I right, or in fact the next row away from some untraceable poison or other in my granola?
Wake up dead, but still love-buzzed.
Sure he never even knew she hated him …
‘And no, I won’t be doing the eulogy’, she will demurely demur.
But really, not wanting to maim or poison the other is surely a healthy part of any loving relationship, don’t you think?
Okay, let’s agree that not playing out these fantasies of gouging the other’s eyeballs through their skull works for us.
I’m not going to go into the sloppy stuff, but one of the many things I like about life with my wife is that even things are a bit tetchy — okay a big bit tetchy and there is venomous intent in every jest and gesture — we know, deep down we will come through on the other side.
Make love, make war, make the coffee.
How do you guys go about all this daily grind stuff?
You’ve got to admit if neither of you has been terminated with extreme prejudice, the signs are positive.
I was thinking about this kind of romantic stuff the other day when I decided I was going to apply an Amnesty All Areas (AAA) policy, just for the day, starting with my two teenage children.
Cutting both ways
Actually, they kind of gave me the idea.
You know that cute skewed logic thing they do when you are having the latest barney over them not bringing their plate to the dishwasher?
And you’re there, sounding off, all reason and justified annoyance, you reckon, foolishly.
But no, father: you are in fact to blame for everything that’s wrong in their lives, and they will hate you for it forever — or at least until they need a tenner Revolted for a taxi — and they accept the blame for absolutely nothing?
Well, I decided, I would do the same for one day only, and see what happened.
Rather than the usual behind it all, and whatever I might argue, uneasy feeling that I had indeed messed up and was responsible for the fact they weren’t always bouncing around on sunbeams and roses, I was actually not responsible.
For any of it.
Took a bit of getting used to, and had to ignore a warning ping or two.
Repeating to self: It’s not your fault … just like therapist Robin Williams to Matt Damon in Good will Hunting.
It’s. Not. Your. Fault.
Not today. Not yesterday, Not ever.
Not even those times when I was 100 per cent in the wrong and couldn’t even tell them that, I was so ashamed and embarrassed …
Not my …
I think I caught them unawares.
Treating them as just those lovely youngsters their friends meet everyday, not the ones that set my teeth on edge those mornings when they come narking into the afternoon kitchen in their sighs six, or 11 Docs.
After temporarily ending their periods of voluntary confinement in their bedrooms.
No, no, the years fell away, and once again they were those impossibly cute, tousle-haired cherubs who bounced into the kitchen full of pizazz and possibility.
Just a bit bigger now with pierced lips, fade haircuts and thrillingly feisty.
The bad form just a passing moment while they cleared their after sleep muzz.
Besides, I could always just walk away until the toast is clear.
Let’s say my AAA policy worked for me, anyway.
Not sure about them though. I think they though I was being some kind of new sarcastic, suspiciously nicey nice, just like them when they want something.
Oh but the relief of being responsible for absolutely nothing!
Bliss it was.
Reckon I’ll try it again.
The next family event with my sibs and our entourages, maybe?
Take no responsibility for old resentments and simmering feuds, and let the years fall away and us oldies will be all tousle-haired cherubs bouncing into the middle-aged kitchen with gifts in our hands and forgiveness in our hearts?
I’m game, anyway.
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