This is just too hilarious. The list is long, and this isn’t all of it. I’ve highlighted some of my favourites for your skimming/scanning pleasure. My comments are italicized, and purple.
- The way one should cut a Kiwi Fruit in half (along its length or across the middle).
- Leaving the kitchen door open (three times a day that one, minimum).
- The best way to hang up washing.
- Those little toothpaste speckles you make when you brush your teeth in front of the mirror. This bothers me.
- I eat two-fingered Kit-Kats like I’d eat any other chocolate bars of that size, i.e., without feeling the need to snap them into two individual fingers first. Margret accused me of doing this, ‘deliberately to annoy her’. Ahahahaha.
- Which way – the distances were identical – to drive round a circular bypass (this resulted in her kicking me in the head from the back seat as I drove along).
- The amount of time I spend on the computer. (OK, fair enough.)
- First Born’s name (Jonathan). Then, when that was settled…
- How to pronounce First Born’s name. I’m clearly uninformed. There are multiple ways to pronounce “Jonathan” now?
- Our telephone number.
- Which type of iron to buy (price wasn’t an issue, it was the principle, damnit).
- Where to sit in the cinema. On those occasions when we a) manage to agree to go to the cinema together and, b) go to see the same film once we’re there. (No, really). This is just funny.
- Whether her cutting our son’s hair comes under ‘money-saving skill’ or ‘therapy in the making’.
- Shortly after every single time Margret touches my computer, for any reason whatsoever, I have to spend twenty minutes trying to fix crashes, locked systems, data loses, jammed drives, bizarre re-configurations and things stuck in the keyboard. There then follows a free and frank exchange of views with, in my corner, ‘It’s your fault,’ and, in hers, ‘It’s a curious statistical anomaly.’
- Margret enters the room. The television is showing Baywatch. Margret says, ‘Uh-huh, you’re watching Baywatch again.’ I say, ‘I’m not watching, it’s just on.’ Repeat. For the duration of the programme. And no one figured turning the tv off would make sense? Oh. Okay.
- She wants to paint the living room yellow. I have not the words.
- Margret doesn’t like to watch films on the TV. No, hold on – let me make sure you’ve got the inflection here: Margret doesn’t like to watch films on the TV. She says she does, but years of bitter experience have proven that what she actually wants is to sit by me while I narrate the entire bleeding film to her. ‘Who’s she?’, ‘Why did he get shot?’, ‘I thought that one was on their side?’, ‘Is that a bomb’ – ‘JUST WATCH IT! IN THE NAME OF GOD, JUST WATCH IT!’ The hellish mirror-image of this is when she furnishes me, deaf to my pleading, with her commentary. Chair-clawing suspense being assaulted mercilessly from behind by such interjections as, ‘Hey! Look! They’re the cushions we’ve got.’, ‘Isn’t she the one who does that tampon advert?’ and, on one famous occasion, ‘Oh, I’ve seen this – he gets killed at the end.’ THIS drives me CRAZY. Babe sort of asks me questions as we watch movies. I just regard them as rhetorical questions. Sometimes, if the question is interesting, or seems like it needs answering, I answer it. That’s less than 50% of the time.
- Margret thinks I’m vain because… I use a mirror when I shave. Does Margret look at her legs when she shaves them? I want to know. During this argument in the bathroom – our fourth most popular location for arguments, it will delight and charm you to learn – Margret proved that shaving with a mirror could only be seen as outrageous narcissism by saying, ‘None of the other men I’ve been with,’ (my, but it’s all I can do to stop myself hugging her when she begins sentences like that) ‘None of the other men I’ve been with used a mirror to shave.’
‘Ha! Difficult to check up on that, isn’t it? As all the other men you’ve been with can now only communicate by blinking their eyes!’ I said. Much later. When Margret had left the house. His unheard response. Ahahahahahahaa.
- The TV Remote. It is only by epic self-discipline on both our parts that we don’t argue about the TV Remote to the exclusion of all else. It does the TV Remote a disservice to suggest that it is only the cause of four types of argument, but space, you will understand, is limited so I must concentrate on the main ones.
1) Ownership of the TV Remote: this is signified by its being on the arm of the chair/sofa closest to you – it is more important than life itself.
2) On those blood-freezing occasions when you look up from your seat to discover that the TV Remote is still lying on top of the TV, then one of you must retrieve it; who shall it be? And how will this affect (1)?
3) Disappearance of the TV Remote. Precisely who had it last will be hotly disputed, witnesses may be called. Things can turn very nasty indeed when the person who isn’t looking for it is revealed to be unknowingly sitting on it.
4) The TV Remote is a natural nomad and sometimes, may the Lord protect us, it goes missing for whole days. During these dark times, someone must actually, in an entirely literal sense, get up to change the channel; International Law decrees that this, “will not be the person who did it last” – but can this be ascertained? Without the police becoming involved?
- See if you can spot the difference between these two statements:
(a) “Those trousers make your backside look fat.”
(b) “You’re a repellently obese old hag upon whom I am compelled to heap insults and derision – depressingly far removed from the, ‘stupid, squeaky, pocket-sized English women,’ who make up my vast catalogue of former lovers and to whom I might as well return right now as I hate everything about you.”
Maybe the acoustics were really bad in the dining room, or something. Oh, this poor man. He has no idea, does he?
- She keeps making me carry tampons around – ‘Here, have these, just in case.’
‘Oooooooh, why can’t you carry them?’
‘I’ve got no pockets.’
Then, of course, I forget about them. And the next time I’m meeting The Duchess of Kent or someone I pull a handkerchief out of my pocket and shower feminine hygiene products everywhere. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
- She really over-reacts whenever she catches me wearing her underwear. *takes really long pause* Okay.
- Now, what you have to realise is that this was from nowhere, OK? Don’t think there were previous conversations or situations that put this in context. Oh no. Just imagine the, ‘What the f…?’ moment you’d have been standing in if your partner had said this to you, because you’d have had as much preparation as I did. So, it’s just after Christmas and Margret’s moaning about her present (I forget what it was, a Ferrari, I think – but in the wrong colour or something), um, actually, let me come back to this, that reminds me… This man is HILARIOUS. LOL.
- Presents. Before every birthday, Christmas or whatever I’ll say, ‘What do you want?’ And Margret will say, ‘Surprise me.’ And I’ll reply, ‘Noooooo, just tell me what you want. If I guess it’ll be the wrong thing, it’s always the wrong thing.’ And then she’ll come out with that, ‘No, it won’t. It’ll be what you chose, and a surprise, that’s what’s important,’ nonsense. And I’ll say, ‘Sweetest, you say that now, but come Christmas morning it’ll be, “What the hell were you thinking?” again, won’t it?’ And she replies, ‘No. It. Won’t.’ And I say, ‘Yes, it will.’ And she says, ‘Don’t patronise me.’ And the neighbours freeze in their seats for a moment next door, before jumping up and removing anything they have on the shelves on the adjoining wall. And, in the end, Margret gets her way. And I hunt around in utter desperation for two months for something before finally finding the one item that will work at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve for a cost of twenty-three-and-a-half thousands pounds. And on Christmas morning it’s, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’ But anyway. Join the man club, buddy.
- Back at the previous item, it’s just after Christmas and Margret’s going on about her present, which was, you’ll recall, a necklace of a single diamond suspended on a delicate chain of white gold and sapphires. And this is what I hear come out of her mouth – ‘Why didn’t you get me a wormery, I dropped enough hints?’ You what?
- When Margret used to go shopping and she’d see, for example, a pair of jeans in a department store, do you know what she used to do? Try them on. I think you’re all with me here, but just for anyone who’s joined us late, I don’t mean she’d go to the changing rooms and try them on. That would be a preposterous idea wouldn’t it? No, she’d just get undressed there in the middle of the sales floor to try them on. It took me some considerable time to persuade her that this wasn’t normal behaviour in Britain, despite what she might have seen on Benny Hill. Even then, she only stopped – amid much eye-rolling and, ‘You and your silly social conventions,’ head shaking – to humour me. It rubs a tiny circle from the misted-up window through which you can view the tormented, horizonless landscape that is My World to mention that I’d entirely forgotten about all this until someone sent me a email yesterday that accidentally exhumed the memory. With Margret this kind of thing just gets drowned out by the general noise. I wouldn’t be surprised if, a few months from now, I’m here writing, ‘Ahhh – that reminds me of Margret’s role in the John Lennon shooting…’
- Wherever I’m standing is where Margret needs to be standing, and vice versa. Doesn’t matter where we are – the kitchen, the bathroom, Scotland – we each infuriatingly occupy the space where the other one wants to be, urgently. Over the years we’ve developed signals for this situation. Mine is to stand behind her and mutter under my breath. Margret’s is to shoulder-charge me out of the way. I think I like this Margret person. Hahahaha.
- A Few Concepts Margret Continues To Have Trouble Assimilating:
- It’s possible to stop buying plants.
- Can you please leave me alone, I’m on the lavatory.
- Ikea is just another shop.
- I asked you if you wanted any, I asked you – now stop eating it off my plate.
- One may have a thought and not say it. This does not make me insular, it merely separates me from you and that mad woman who’s always shouting at the pigeons outside the supermarket.
- They’re just nail clippings. Nail clippings must be the most inert thing on the planet, how can anyone seriously have a problem with nail clippings? You might as well freak out with, ‘Bleuuuurrggh – helium!’ Really – just get a hold of yourself. So you’ve walked barefoot across the bathroom and you find this has resulted in a nail clipping or two sticking to the bottom of your foot; well, simply brush them off into the bin – they’re just nail clippings.
- Just for reference; if Margret returns from having her hair cut and says, ‘What do you think?’ and you reply, ‘I’d love you whatever your hair was like,’ well, that’s very much The Wrong Answer, OK?
- ‘Get your hands off me – you’re freezing.’ Ahahahaha. I relate to this. In the opposite way. It’s usually super hot here, and as much as we want to be close, sometimes it feels gross. I guess…
- ‘I’m nearly there.’ Yeah. Right. This drives me crazy when it’s a lie.
- I came home from work on Friday and, as I wearily opened the door into the house, Second Born, Peter, heard me entering and poked his head out of the living room.
‘Hello, Papa – I’ve missed you,’ he shouts. From within the living room Margret’s voice calls out to him ‘No you haven’t, Peter.’
You’re all up for testifying for me in court, right? Ahahahahaha
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