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Monday, October 27, 2008

When the cat...

One of Granny's correspondents has thought she was over-exercised about the US election. But she is not alone: here's a quote from a piece forwarded to her by a Californian friend.... by the sound of it this guy has it much worse than her (not least she has only a spouse (of sorts) rather than an ex-spouse to take things out on. And her Beloved has a broad and tolerant back.)

I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.

So: the days go on. The election draws nearer. Here the wind blows again, bringing with it a lot of flies and much cloud. Granny misses Beloved, but she also does things she couldn't do if he was here. Eg - lying on her sofa, listening to a Verdi opera (Trovatore) very very loud one night, rather than watching Gordon Ramsay, of whom she has sometimes seen rather more than she cares to. Or, on another evening, sitting up till midnight watching the video of an Amodovar movie, Matador: one of A's earliest, it's even more over-the-top than most of his recent output - 'Love in Death' a good summing-up, though not of a kind Wagner would have appreciated - or her Beloved come to that: she does not think he would have cared for it. (And actually it is crap. But high class crap. So there.) She does not miss, either, the continual complaints - 'you're whistling' - her hearing-aid, admittedly, has a tendency to go even more rogue than Sarah Palin, but she prefers not to be reminded of it by anyone else. She, after all, has to put up with the thing from the inside, unlike Beloved. And, with Beloved playing all too often Professor Grumpy from Lanzarote, it is, too, a relief sometimes to be spared his continual chuntering at the news - or whatever programme he is watching - about its scientific inaccuracies (eg: 'there's no such thing as human kind').

And finally, she likes being able to eat a lot of pasta - Granny loves pasta, but Beloved does not. Pasta at least involves the use of very few cooking pots, whereas Beloved rarely cooks anything that does not require most of the available saucepans in the kitchen. (This does not include Granny's private cache of saucepans, the ones don't have burnt-off handles, and burnt, no longer non-stick bottoms. Enough said.) Guess who washes up all those saucepans?

Beloved would probably say he likes not being snowed under by paper, when he's alone - and likes being able to get into bed and turn the light off instead of being obliged to read for a bit so that Granny can. And likes not having to listen to her music; his hearing very good, he seems able to hear it, even in the distance and through two closed doors. And likes not 'acting as her whipping boy' which is how he responds to her not always good-tempered complaints of such things as his never folding the washing he brings in from the line but leaving it in the basket all scrunched up, meaning that Granny has to iron more stuff than she'd like. And likes not having to eat pasta, ever, apart from the little rice pasta that he's very fond of and that doesn't seem to count as pasta for him. And likes being able to eat shellfish to which she is allergic. Probably there are a thousand other reasons he enjoys Granny's absences, just as she has quite a few of her own for enjoying his.

On the other hand: despite the pleasure both may feel in being alone sometimes, Granny is pretty sure that he wouldn't want her not to be there, mostly, any more than she would want him not to be there, mostly. Bad-temper, irritation and all it's called married - or in their case rather (un)married life. LONG MAY IT LAST.

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