|Road map to a new way of thinking.|
Also, the TT route.
How about dinner a couple of weeks ago with our friends? It was, after all, during the cheese and crackers wind-down part of the evening that he let a couple of bombs off in the conversation:
1 That he was planning to go to the Isle of Man for a FORTNIGHT for the TT a couple of years hence with his PALS.
2 That he would not be here for my 50th birthday later this year.
Neither of these two seem particularly bad on their own, but when you factor in the following, I was pretty angry:
1 This is the man who will not come abroad with Sonshine and I for a holiday because he works abroad and doesn't 'do' airports. However, this is also the man who had no trouble with airports when he popped off to Amsterdam for his friend's 50th birthday weekend.
2 He is only home for six weeks at a time, so to take two weeks and allocate it purely for spending time with his friends pisses me off something hideous.
3 He has said that Sonshine and I can come to the Isle of Mann TT holiday 'if we want' which is hardly what I would call a loving invite from your partner. Plus, he is going by motorbike, so for Sonshine and I to go, we'd need to fly and then hire a car - Tartarus will not be 'with' us for most of the 'holiday'. So we're not going.
4 This is the man whose job undermines and stymies any plans that I might have made for any kind of event in our domestic life - including our own wedding, other people's weddings, parties, gigs, theatre - but who now seems to KNOW that he will be home for the TT fortnight in a couple of years hence.
5 (related to 4) Clearly, my 50th birthday isn't something worth making the effort to be home for.
6 That these bombs were let off during a dinner with friends pains me enormously. I would rather have heard that he wouldn't be home for my birthday beforehand, yanno? Likewise that he was planning to spend the equivalent of the country's national debt on a house that sleeps ten for a fortnight. But I know why he did it - he did it in the safety of knowing that I couldn't possibly go into melt-down (or a huff) if we have some lovely company present.
Suddenly, I just feel that I can't push this boulder up the hill any further. I am making myself miserable. I am making myself miserable because I am expecting Tartarus to behave in a certain way - like I think a husband or a partner should behave - and really, it's not panning out like the Ladybird books Handsome Prince spiel promised me at all. Yet, he's not a bad person - I have divorced friends who have told me that they would happily put up with Tartarus and his 'idiosyncrasies' if I was no longer on the scene. And he's just being true to himself - which sadly is not aligning with my expectations.
Of course I know I'm no picnic to live with either - my interest in Tarot baffles him, as does my need to acquire new decks and buy an endless stream of strange books. My cooking is....to put it kindly....fairly mince-orientated. have no interest in housework or being tidy - which also baffles him as his mother used to iron his socks and knickers for him:
He asked me a few weeks back when was the last time I had cleaned the inside of the windows in Sonshine's play room, as we studied the little colonies of bacteria growing on the glass. 'Never, to my knowledge' was my answer. Well, they looked clean enough to me.
I can happily piss away a day chatting on facebook or piddling around with the stained glass while he slogs away in the garden or paints the fence. I guess I'm not exactly what the Ladybird books had in mind for a Princess either.
Cut to a couple of evenings before he goes back to sea.
'I don't think that we should bother with Valentine's Day this year, do you?' I say, offering him a tangerine as we sit on the sofa together.
'That's not like you,' he notes.
I shrug, well, I don't think we should bother this year.
He goes back to sea a couple of days later.
Cut to Valentine's Day morning. Sonshine has slipped a red envelope under the bedroom door, I recognise Tartarus's hand-writing. It's a cute card. I sit it on top of the heap of books on my bedside table and wonder why he sent it. Habit? Did he think that I was going to double-bluff him?
I drop him an e-mail later that day, thanking him for the card and pointing out that he can stop his search through his luggage for a cunningly hidden card from me. There isn't one.
I can tell by his reply that he is slightly confused - after all, I am a woman who starts her Valentine's Day campaign around Christmas Eve. 'I put too many expectations on you, Tartarus,' I reply. 'And now I'm stopping - so you can relax and just be yourself and I can stop watching myself turning into a snarky bitch.'
He doesn't sound as relieved as I expected.