Well, it's happening. We’re moving in together. I don't really want to see myself coming over all Guardian Saturday colour magazine-y here so I’ll refrain from cataloguing all those ‘oh so funny’ moments that we share during the ups and downs of new coupledom. I say new, I really mean new since that fateful evening of Carol's party on the 14th December 2006. Documented ad absurdum elsewhere on this blog. So' it'd really been (?) wow that many days?
We had to find out first if we could trust each other. Rely on each other. Show the other one our inner side or sides. Respect, equalitising (Emma Rush would say I made that word up) behaviour; that, according to my ‘equality and diversity’ training day out in London told me, accepting what each other brings to the equation and don't say things like "you know, you don't seem black to me somehow". There’s a new one every day with us. Inner side that is.
In documenting this; there I’m warning you now, you know, I will fastidiously avoid all that cosmopolitan magazine shtick. "It says in this here quiz that you scored 'you're a twat, dump him now'".
So it trialled and troubled through the ‘had to find out first’ phase till today. She’s already consolidating debts, adjusting mortgage payments and moving the pepper pot(s). I have three. But I’m fine, once I know where it is in its new place I can virtually guarantee it'll always be there. Equalising; once awry pepper pots, now disawry. Now, I did make that word up.
My pepper pot system involved having one in the living room on the coffee table. Handy for those eating in front of the TV moments when you just got to have a little bit more pepper on that meal. One in the cupboard, by the cooker, for those meals in the pan that just needs another scrunch of pepper in. One on the opposite kitchen top, for final, plating up adjustments so things are just right.
We’ve agreed that our individual debts remain my debts. Just joking, we keep our own debts. A clean down the middle split on running costs. We’ve got a snag list for things that need doing on the house. There are about 60 reasonably large and costly things to do. One per weekend. We have house meetings. We have a black blank paged book that we write things in that are important to us. I just finished writing something on westerns and saloon bar fights and their use as sorting out the pecking moral order. We both recently did mind maps of our selves which was funny.
We have two cats; Totty and muff. Old and sleep a lot. So do the cats. An overgrown garden; as I was making C a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich the other day, after she had fallen out with me and she’s went away and only just come back 12 hours later after we’d been arguing by phone and text for hours on end she said to me “just think, you’ll be able to cut your own, home grown, tomato up and put it in a sandwich this summer”.
That twelve hour miscommunication centred around a car, an MOT, some garage work, an MOT retest and, that’s it, the picking up of the car at some point over the weekend before Monday and return it to the MOT place. I wanted to do it that morning; she didn’t; we fell out. I said I’d walk and didn’t need a lift into town to pick it up. Such a silly way to get your way or to express frustration. I might try words next time. So damaging though, those. What you think are little fallings out but actually magnify into some thing really big. And damaging. 12 hours of damage. A completely ruined Sunday for both of us but I think it was the offer of free range chicken roast that swung it. And the offer of peace, love and unity back in the bosom. She came in the door. We hugged deep, both shaking our heads at the fool in both of us. Mainly me; this time. She said “I brought some Yorkshire puddings and a bottle of wine”. Laughter was back dancing in the air. The Cava cork popped and we screamed. Just like we do every time.
So, this morning was good. I had a little lie in till 7.30am. I wasn’t going to work as I was off with yet another surgery recovery from detached retina ooh we couldn’t fix it kind of thing. My eyeball hurts. I was up in the night popping some painkillers in the bathroom. The floor was soaked from Clare’s shower before bed. I didn’t shower, at all, for two days. Or shaved. I was staying in! I was a big, hairy, smelly mess with a throbbing eyeball and wet soles at 3 in the morning. The bath mat had been put in the wash the other day by C. What? You wash bathmats? In the morning I went for a shower and a shave – thought it about time I made somewhat of an effort here. The bath mat was back down. I stood on it. It was soaking. From C’s shower that morning. Such a clean, considerate person. So, da da, here I go, I made some comment to her as she came in the bathroom to kiss me goodbye before she went to work with her art project kids about the wetness of the bathmat. What? I know I shouldn’t have; it was on my mind ok? All I could hear before the door slammed was “fuck... fuck...” Bigmouth strikes again. Albeit a freshly showered shaved and cleanly dressed one. With a new hair cut. Got a text later, in response to "kiss, kiss. have a great day. never lose yr sense of humour or make yr partners heart freeze with fear"; she said "remember 2 let yr partner be themselves whilst splashing about happily in the shower :)"
Last night I was sat on a chair, towel round my neck, like I did when I was a little boy and my step mother used to give me her de rigour bad hair cut. Only this time it was a good hair cut. The fact that my unresolved issues with my wicked step mother may manifest in the fact she was an independent Yorkshire woman with short hair – just like Clare’s - has nothing to do with anything. “That’s the best hair cut you’ve ever had” she says tousling my hair, smiling. I played FEAR 2 on the Xbox with the sound down whilst she cut; been playing computer games since Pong and Doom; and I'm still shit at them, but one day, I tell you, one day. My vision was blurred as I had my glasses off. My left eyeball throbbed and wept lonely green tears. She didn't mind. I relaxed. She vacuumed up the hair. I put the kettle on. We watched “In The Loop” on TV. I love my new hair and I love her too. Just texted that very sentence to her. I can see a bright future ahead. Fan-fucking-tastic.