12 August 2005

Catch 22

Doris has tagged me.

I usually like being tagged - firstly it says that someone wants to see you waffle on about yourself (and I love waffling on!) - secondly, if the questions are personal (and lets face it, most memes are all about me, me, and more me) then being tagged avoids the sensation of grandstanding - of actually volunteering to go on about oneself. Tagging eliminates the issue of ego, for me, anyhow.

Ok so I am a bit odd.

That's another thing - I get really fed up with people who feel they ought to contradict you if you say something less than wonderful about yourself, but there seem to be so many of them in the real (non blog) world. If I had a huge zit on my nose and said 'wow I have a huge zit on my nose' - what could you say? Oh dear? Never mind? Yes but you've got nice hair?

How come, then, if I state something like 'I can be really stupid in the mornings', do people feel the need to tell me off? Phrases like: 'you worry too much', or 'you shouldn't run yourself down'?

Where do they get off? I am not worried, just realistic, and happy with it. I find it more comfortable to know what cards I've been dealt, what I have in my hand, what I can change and what I can't. I hate being attacked for being honest but some people seem to think they have the right; that I should look in the mirror with my eyes shut and pretend that the metaphorical zits don't exist. If I'm weird, they're worse.

Anyway, having strung this out around the houses, I am forced to get to the point. Its a meme I saw at Arc's, and considered, but stayed quiet because the answers, in my case, are very personal as they require explanations. Now, as I say, Doris has tagged me, I am hoisted on my own petard and must answer,

but before I do......

To be hoisted on your own petard, is NOT, as one google search suggests, to experience a lesbian wedgie. Oddly I thought lesbians and straight girls were built the same, and may have to go back to that link to see what on earth they meant.

Petard is an old French word for a fart, pure and simple, so its amusing that it was also the name given to an early, bell shaped bomb, I guess in the same colloquial way that locals to me call a small, loud moped or motorbike a 'fart in a matchbox'.

The phrase was first put in print by Shakespeare (Hamlet, 1604) and means to be hoisted into the air, ie blown up, by one's own bomb.

An equivalent analogy is shooting yourself in the foot. And heres where I do. This is the point where any straggling or struggling readers could toddle off to another blog.

No, honestly, you could.

The dreaded meme:

Domestic Partnership
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. If we are single or in a monogamous relationship?
2. How long we have been with our partner/significant other/boy/girlfriend?
3. How we met?
4. What we like to do together?
5. If we are single, what life with our ideal spouse/partner would look like?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Married and very, very monogamous (okay you can't technically be 'very' any finite condition, but I know that opinions on what constitutes monogamy can vary tremendously.)

2. Met 1990, married 1991 although we spent seven years of that living apart. Grief this is the first time I've added that up properly. So, either thirteen years, or six.

To explain, (which I feel I must,) my first husband did a complete runner, left all the household bills in thousands of pounds of debt and more importantly in our joint names. It was down to me to find him and take him to court for a half or more of the money. I got told that even with a court order it could be like getting blood from a stone, but I never pinned an address to him anyway. The companies 'we' owed all saw me, the unemployed housewife with kids, as liable for the bills, and obviously had to accept reduced repayment terms.

As soon as I got married again, however, suddenly I was a second class citizen again - suddenly they wanted the balance ASAP, on the basis that I now had a 'provider'. Why they just didn't say sugar daddy, and be done with it, is beyond me. Gary had his own debts, a flat in negative equity and huge 'single man' credit card debts from holidays and all that stuff I hadn't had and wasnt missing!

His first summer without even a coach ride somewhere was ever so hard on him - especially with his circle of friends and workmates all taking on more debt to go abroad etc - I was so proud of him.

Even without luxuries we just couldnt balance the books, so I threw him back out.

We went back to dating and he went to stay at my parents house as lodger, coming back when his debts were all cleared and we could accept the hiked repayment terms on my first husband's debts. He would have been back sooner, but redundancy and then following me 100 miles South to the coast kind of held things up.

Nice huh? Poor Gary has spent a decade paying not just for him, me, my kids and our kids, but my ex as well. I can tell you how long we've been married, or faithful (which obviously began prior to marriage) but not how long we've 'been together'.

3. We met over the phone. One of my first and last acts of defiance at the end of my first marriage was to take the Mensa test, because the ex kept calling me a stupid effing this or that. I passed. Gary was the West London Secretary and the phone contact when I finally found the guts (and the cash), a year later, to go out.

My mother agreed to babysit, which was right out of character, but she thought a Mensa meeting would be a step in the right direction. Haha, it was a bar full of people on my level, jokes wise, which is a pretty wonky level, I assure you.

There Gary was, in a suit with his briefcase, having come straight from work; playing bar billiards. He was shorter, at 5'11", than he had sounded on the phone, but we had talked and laughed on that first call for over two hours and I was already hooked.

4. Absolutely nothing. Havent been to a hotel since our honeymoon, never go out to concerts. He's been declaring himself too old for fairground rides since the day we met. Actually made the effort and went out for my birthday two years ago, and I had to fight to make that a trip to Brighton ( a bus ride away) instead of down to the small grey line of shutters that is our own town centre after 6pm. We came home by 11. The joys of kids and babysitters I guess, and maybe I am just tired of being a cash-strapped mum of under 16s for over 22 years.

He goes to work, he comes back knackered, he cooks dinner then collapses on the sofa, he's happy. Grrrr.

Ok so I am not experiencing my personal idea of 'a life', but we do have a laugh, albeit indoors surrounded by kids (its amazing how easily you can feel 'surrounded' by even one child.) I guess I am becoming a couch potato against my will and its annoying the hell out of me, but hey, you can't have it all.

5. If:............... Strangely I am more in love with my husband now than I was when we married, although I had turned him down once for rushing me, when my kids from first time around asked him if they could call him dad, so I wind him up that I got hijacked into this. I love his mind, whether its being intellectual or considerate or dirty, and if he was another six inches taller I think I would need a lock on the bedroom door to stop him leaving in the mornings. Of course, I could be smaller, or lighter for that matter, so its a moot point. I guess that barring a couple of daydreams, the one I've got is already the ideal.

There. Not still here are you? See, I told you, you really didn't need to know all that, but somehow for me its less of an issue, just because I said it, whether it gets read or not. Say not.

8 comments:

doris said...

How tall are you Cheryl? 5ft 11" for a bloke is pretty respectable...

How sad, poignant, amazing that you two just couldn't be together for all those years you were first married. It's not my fault, it makes no difference but I am so sorry that you were forced into that sort of situation by the circumstances.

I so loved this bit: "If I had a huge zit on my nose and said 'wow I have a huge zit on my nose' - what could you say? Oh dear? Never mind? Yes but you've got nice hair?" Brilliant analogy :-)

LOL - you have so many intros and pre-ambles before you even get down to business. I thought the petard saying had a sailing connection. I bet there is a flag with a "petard" on it...

anniebee said...

When I rejoined Mensa I just got to email a nice lady. I obviously did it wrong! I know what you mean about the 'don't put yourself down' comments. People are always telling me to think positive thoughts too - quite difficult for an obsessive-compulsive manic depressive (which is what Son 1 calls me)! I don't think I'll be doing this one. I've been horribly single for the last couple of years. No energy for a man!

Cheryl said...

Doris!
Yeah I thought it was a naval term. You may have given me my next post. :-)

Its just my come-uppance, that I should publicly comment to you about tagging people, and then get tagged for one like this (as I refuse to tart up my answers or sugar coat my life, ie lie). Doubly so when you are the innocent and well meaning tagger.

Notch it up to divine justice! Hahahaha!

Cheryl said...

Hey Annie
Married men live longer than single ones.
For women, its the other way round.
Work that one out!

Cheryl said...

Oops and about my height, as you ask, Doris:

5' 5 & 1/2" - Very Average.

However, having had a boyfriend who was 6' 4", been able to walk down the road arm in arm without bumping shoulders (even with me in stilletos) and been able to sleep knotted together without elbows in eyeballs or dead leg - well, its just a wistful memory.

Wouldnt swap the fella just to swap the package,though!

bart said...

don't know about the longer living married male...

this one's about to kark it after all the ensuing nonsense these last years...

Ms Mac said...

Pffft! At a height of 5'1" myself, I have never experienced those joys of taller men!

Unfortunately I don't think I can remember that being taller than a man had any particular advantages either.

Damn my freaksihly tall proportions!

Ms Mac said...

That should be 5'10"!!!