And to be honest I don’t really blame him. Here are the reasons:
1. I have been compulsively cleaning and tidying his flat. I can’t stop myself. He went out earlier to do some work-related stuff and as soon as he had gone I lept out of bed and ran around his flat in my nightie waving mops and bleach and sponges. I cleaned floors, put things in piles and possibly might have maybe even scrubbed his kettle. Every time I tried to stop and do some work I just galloped over to the multi surface cleaner roaring ‘someone stop me! Someone stop me!’ This compulsion to clean is worse than heroin.
[To add insult to injury I have just lit two scented candles and am in a serious battle with myself regarding how unacceptable it would be to go Sainsburys to get some flowers. I LIKE FLOWERS IN VASES. I can’t help myself. Shit, shit and shit. If he goes for a dump and finds a bunch of scented stocks on the top of the look it’ll all be over.]
2. I am using his flat as a hotel. I leave in the morning for work-related meetings and tasks and appointments and then don’t return until midnight after nights out with my friends. I knew it was going to be like this and I did warn him but I think the reality of us seeing each other only when we are half-conscious is beginning to take its toll. I left his house this morning while he was having a business meeting and he actually chased me down the street to say good morning, goodbye and good evening. I’m not sure he even remembers what I look like.
3. I broke wind under the duvet. The first and only time I’ve ever done that in front of a man and it was terrible. I thought it was going to be a little windy whiff but in fact it was a really serious silent-but-violent.
4. I am stupid and he is clever. We went to the Hay festival the other day and during lunch he started talking about his lifelong passion for history – books, stories, artefacts etc – about how as a child he used to get his Mum to drive him round all the local charity shops so he could buy history books and how happy it makes him that he now owns what pretty much constitutes a library’s worth of them. Once he’d finished talking, I just glanced dreamily at my wrist and exclaimed “Wow, don’t you just love my new Primark bangle? It only cost a pound! It’s making me so happy!”
There was a long silence and then I went red. “Oh,” I said quietly. “Oh I see. So, history makes you happy whereas I am as joyous as a spring lamb about Primark bangles. There may be trouble ahead.”
(My solution to this imbalance was to get into a bad mood and stop talking to him. I was enraged at his selfishness in being so clever when I am such an imbecile. Enraged! Eventually he asked me what was wrong and I actually had a go at him for being cleverer than me. This, I’m sure you’ll agree, is pretty smooth.)
5. I have eaten all of his food. He has made me special wheat-free bread; he’s bought soya milk, smoked salmon, eggs, spinach and fruit juice; he’s made me smoothies, special coffees and the knobbish hippy teas that I like. In return I have bought or made precisely nothing.
6. I have taken over his room. My two suitcases transported respectively from my parents’ house and Buenos Aires contain more clothes than he has ever owned. They are everywhere. Spilling out of everything. There’s knickers on the lampshade, stupid skirts on his piles of clever books and vintage cardigans knocking his dressing gown off the back of the bedroom door. His room was once a nice civilised place of peace and learning; it is now a shrine to disposable fashion, crap books and make up.
If, however, The Man resists the temptation to dump me, we are going on holiday with my parents next week. This is a brave experiment by anyone’s standards, particularly for a couple with less than a year together.
Last time I went on holiday with The Man I got such bad trapped wind I couldn’t move and last time I went on holiday with my parents it was fifteen years ago and they had such a bad fight that my Mum bunked in with me and my sister. I can’t pretend I’m not nervous. How is anyone meant to survive these things? Could anyone make any suggestions?
Anyway. To The Man: if you are reading, don’t give up on me. If you were less intelligent and cultured than I was I’d eat you alive so please – if you can bear to – accept and embrace your intellectually inferior girlfriend with her Primark bangles and selfish ways. She means well. And she’ll never risk a windy whiff under the duvet again.