We’ve known each other nearly 23 years. That’s nearly half my life. When I think of it like that it doesn’t seem possible. Who’d have thought a holiday fling could last this long? I know we had our doubters and, at times, fleetingly, I’ve wondered if they were right, but here we still are. You and me. Me and you. (Don’t finish the song!)
You drive me mad at times. Well, OK a lot. You make stupid jokes, talk in silly voices, make horrible smells and you can be really infuriating when you ask me “where’s that thing?” – you actually expect me to know what the ‘thing’ is. You will try and carry on a conversation we had three hours or sometimes 3 days before and expect me to know what you are talking about. It’s maddening.
But, often we will start to say the same thing to each other. We will be thinking the same thing and go to say it at EXACTLY the same time. Then we do that stupid thing about being so in tune with each other, because we don’t take that stuff too seriously. I mean, we’ve been together 23 years, if we weren’t in tune with each other it would be worrying.
When I say pardon – because I haven’t heard what you muttered – you repeat only the last word, when I haven’t heard any of what you said. I have to ask you to say it ALL again. And then you say you cant be bothered. And then I realise that actually I am the annoying one because I never hear what you
When I do hear what you say, I often take it the wrong way. You’ve said to me, more times than I care to remember over the years, that I take everything to heart and I need to stop being so sensitive. I used to argue that I can’t change who I am, when really you are right, I am too sensitive. But, one of us has to be! You don’t take much notice of silly upsets. You don’t take much notice of me when I am in a strop. You don’t think it’s necessary to say “sorry” all the time and I know I say it too much, not just to you but to everyone. I’m working on it. You know how to be sensitive when the occasion requires it. When my lovely Auntie B died and I was devastated you cancelled your meeting and came home (you should have been away overnight) and and held me tight.
You can be very stubborn and unyielding and then at other times you are easygoing and laid back and go with the flow. I like to plan ahead; I like to be in control. You are generally happy to allow me to plan and control. Until I go too far and then you will snap. Usually I will know, I know I’ve gone too far, pushed too much (just like I used to with Dad when I was younger) but I can’t help myself, and then I reserve the right to be upset when you blow your top.
It does my head in when you tell me something that one of the kids has done wrong – too long in the shower, still up at stupid o’clock, not clearing stuff away, leaving lights on – as if it’s all down to me, that I’m the one that “trained” them and me alone, therefore I am responsible for their failings. I know you don’t actually mean it like that, it’s just me taking things the wrong way again. What you’re actually saying is that it annoys you. I tell you to tell them, not me, I am not in charge. Ha ha.
We don’t argue much. I don’t like confrontation. I am a dweller, not a shouter. You say it as it is (well, how you see it anyway) and I clam up. And sulk. Our lovely A is more like you. T and I will apologise, say we know we were wrong. You and A hate to admit to any failings and will rarely apologise. If either of you ever do have to apologise we always joke that we should mark it on the calendar, it happens so rarely.
We can go on long car journeys and not say more than a few words to each other. Sometimes it really bothers me that we have nothing to say to each other. But then you say something stupid and I wish you would stop talking! I am not a great conversationalist so I can’t lay this one entirely at your door. On the other hand sometimes when we go out for dinner we will not stop talking for 2 hours, apart from when we’re chewing. Maybe we make more effort in public, ha ha.
You don’t show loads of affection. I know you love me – you tell me every night before we go to bed and you tell me every morning when we leave the house, but more than that, I just know. I’ve never been one for holding hands, especially when I’m walking – I need my arms to swing freely, or I can’t seem to keep in step with you. If I ask for a hug you will oblige, I’ve trained you well. T is the best at giving hugs though – he has the height advantage and I can rest my head on his shoulder. Because we’re the same height, you and I, I get a cricked neck if I try that with you. (By the way, I know we ARE the same height, you just like to think you are talller than me.)
You’re really helpful. You will do anything for anyone. If one of the kids needs anything, you are there. Not necessarily for the emotional, crying stuff or the personal, icky stuff, but on a practical, hammer-at-the-ready stuff you’re there. If a neighbour needs a power tool, you are the man for the job and will quite often end up doing the job for them. You’re hardworking, you’re conscientious. You set a good example to our kids on this front. They’ve got me for the emotional or icky stuff. I have no clue about hammers. It works.
You let me choose what to watch on TV, but complain when I fall asleep. You don’t laugh at me when I cry at 24 Hours in A&E. You don’t understand my fears, but you mainly overlook them. Except, you make me hold the ladder for you even though you know it terrifies me. You ask me to drive at the weekend but then tell me I shouldn’t park there or to be more careful of the alloys (even though you promised you wouldn’t) and I hate driving with you in the car. But you fill my car up with fuel because you know I hate doing it and you rarely take me up on my offer to do the late pick up when T has been to a party. You may not open doors for me or make sure I am with you when you nip out across a busy road when we are out, but you have your own version of chivalry, of caring.
When the kids were smaller we lost full sight of each other for a while. We stopped noticing each other in all the day to day-ness of having a young family. And of course, I wasn’t well for some of it. You coped with all that really well. But, now they’re older and they’re out most of the time and we have more time to ourselves, we’re seeing each other again, going out on our own, having afternoons and evenings just-the-two-of-us. And it’s lovely. It may be the hormones getting back into balance and I’m feeling better, but I am starting to like you a hell of a lot more again. As your Nan said, on our wedding day, you’re alright really. She thought the world of you and I reckon she was a pretty good judge of character.
Thanks for the last (almost) 23 years. We’ll keep planning, keep rolling along, keep not talking on long car journeys, keep this balancing act going that we have managed up til now. You and me, me and you.