If there’s anything more upsetting than a depressed husband, it’s a relentlessly cheerful one. While the usual approach to January is just to grit one’s teeth and hope fervently for better things, LSB* has been taking this month as a personal challenge to bug the shit clean out of me by being in fine fettle. It’s working very well, I must say.
‘What are you grinning about like some sort of lunatic?’ I asked him on Tuesday. I mean, what normal person comes in of an evening looking decidedly cheerful? He proceeded to tell me about his ‘whopping’ day at work and his ‘epic gym session.’ He wasn’t even being sarcastic: delighted he was with himself, having got a new PB on the bench press, and done 3 sets of weighted Bulgarian split squats. Meanwhile I was frying up chicken thighs for a mid-week supper, with a face on me like a busted sofa.
‘I find,’ he said helpfully, as he watched me put the broccoli on to boil, ‘that a run always helps when I’m in bad form.’
‘I’ve BEEN for a run,’ I replied, hotly. I had been very pleased to get out and do 5k with some girls after work, but the endorphins had long since disappeared, once I’d come home to homework and lost lunchboxes and confusion over a Baptismal photo which had been dully printed out and since lost. I also had an absolute fucker of a period with cramping so intense it felt as though my uterus was being wrung out like a damp dish cloth.
And the thing about my husband, is that he takes everything very personally. Like you couldn’t have looked sideways at me this week because I was tired (isn’t everyone?) and cranky and had far too much to do. I was therefore very ‘snappy’ and I swear to God, it was like booting a Golden Retriever, with him going round all sweetness and light. Very stung he was, at my causticity.
But men: they can be very annoying. Take the weekend, for example. On Saturday, I thought a gathering might be nice, to help dissipate the gloom, so I invited some friends round for ‘light bites’. I had to leave Himself in charge of tidying though since I was taking the Older Child to her first ever Irish Dancing Festival. Now in hindsight, I should have sent him, as he is infinitely more patient than me. It turns out, I’m getting increasingly like the Mothership, who wouldn’t sit through my GB displays, even though she insisted upon sending me to the bastard thing in the first place.
Now I’m not saying that the dancers weren’t talented and super cute in their wee outfits, but flip me doesn’t a festival go on a bit? After approximately 30 minutes, I was well tired of watching children capering about a stage.
‘Where the hell are we on this program?’ I asked the mum beside me, who had an older child and knew the craic. She pointed to the first page and how my heart did plummet when I saw we had quite a bit to go. Two and a half more pages, to be precise and this didn’t even mention the adjudication. Turned out we had to listen to a lengthy appraisal of the dances THREE TIMES: after the reel, after the jig and after the ‘hard-shoe-clippety-clop-treble-jig-novice- fiddle-dee-dee-dance. There was no end to it. After two hours and two cups of tea and a traybake (that I’d made myself and had to buy back) I legged it. I had to go and buy the required ‘light bites’ at the big Tesco at Newtownbreda: an excursion which I wouldn’t recommend as it was rammed full of people who looked even sourer than me. After filling my trolley full of olives, mozzarella, and other such Mediterranean fare, I rushed back lest my child be waiting despondently, but not a bit of it. There was yet more dancing, and yet more judging to sit through, and me with salads to assemble and bathrooms to clean.
I sent a text warning Himself to make sure the house was in a reasonable state for guests.
‘Grand,’ came the monosyllabic reply.
But you should never trust men, and that’s the sorry truth. Yes, he had hoovered, so fair play to him, and he’d made a start on ‘operation clear bar’ (which just means clearing the island in the kitchen of accumulated debris.) But there was truck meeting me in the hall: shoes, school bags, all general paraphernalia that could fell a buddy as they came in. I made it my business to check the bathroom and THANK GOD I had the foresight. There was no loo roll in one, no hand towel in another and both toilets bore evidence of recent use and unflushed contents. How I wish I was only talking number ones here.
However, The Small Child was in robustly good form, having spent the latter part of the afternoon curled up under a blanket playing the Nintendo with her daddy. The Older One wasn’t too perturbed despite her medals being for sixth place in most dances, (which basically meant a prize for showing up.) The friends arrived in twos and threes and fours and a bottle of fizz was opened with a glorious pop.
It was all rather lovely and nobody clattered over the clutter in the hall.
Poor LSB though. He’s blissfully unaware of the slegging he’s getting as he watches some shite that looks suspiciously like Star Trek but appears to be set in a French Vineyard.
I’ll keep you posted on his mood tomorrow. As we hurtle towards Brexit on Friday, I can’t imagine my acidity will diminish too much this week.
*Long Suffering Bastard- the husband, (for the benefit of any new readers)