A friend having marital problems confessed to me that he’s not much good at communicating. He knows this. He has, he said, been trying his best though. He began his foray into the marital communication mine field with the best intentions of a U.N. peace-keeping mission, stating that he was well aware of all the things she has given up to come to Australia and marry him: her family, friends, culture, language, the security of all things familiar to her. Then, he asked her, what she thought he has given up. She didn’t think he has given up very much at all and at this point the legs fell off the negotiation table.
Being an abjectly unqualified and I have to say, an unwilling, marriage guidance person, the best I could offer was, ‘Oh dear, ho-hum …’ which was as useful to him as a chocolate tea pot I suppose. If he was hopeful that I could pour some female wisdom into his cauldron of marital discord, he had to make do with me pouring him another merlot – it was the best I could offer (and sadly, a rather indifferent merlot at that).
I haven’t given the rambunctious Romeo much thought, being much pre-occupied with the week from Hell: a car smash, a grindingly slow and suspicious insurance assessor, an unco-operative bank manager, a belligerent butcher and spookily recalcitrant livestock (I am a reluctant and utterly inept livestock owner with the sole desire to rid myself of said beasties – I think they know), a dear friend just bereaved, another dropped dead before the age of 50 and another diagnosed with breast cancer.
It wasn’t until the week’s end that my little addled brain stopped rattling around my head like a set of manic maracas and I had some time for reflection. All week, I have been ineffectually fending off the siege engines of Karma’s crap-flinging with the mental fortitude of a badminton racket, best suited to fielding Fate’s feather-down, when really the assault called for some serious ground-to-air artillery.
In the absence of a Star Trek-ian Cloaking Device, or the ability to issue a curt (or is that Kirk) order of ‘Shields Up!’, to deflect the barrage an astral shit shower of proportions that would leave even Scottie shrieking, ‘I cannae hold her Cap’n!’ – what is a girl to do? (I have to say: I always thought Scottie was a bit of a Shim: She/Him – the way he shrieked like a girl every time the Clingons were starboard).
Well, crack open the Chateau Clean Skin for starters, and then float shuttlecock-like above it all. And you know what? It occurs to me, that the week-long up-side down smile could have been righted (at least to some semblance of a tremulous smirk), had I just stopped thinking about what’s been given up and what’s been lost. What if I (and my friend with the marital malarkey) focussed on what is still good, what has gone well that we haven’t even noticed?
This is for you Harry, R.I.P., the greatest cynic and connoisseur of Annie’s Lane wines, I hope you are looking down and having a chortle. We’re all still trying to work it out. Cheers mate! x
Dragon Sister rises from the ashes – not Phoenix: definitely Dragon!