November 23, 2011 § 87 Comments
Yesterday , one of my best friends, Mrs Standard Bearer, said she had seen a bunch of girlfriends who were all, every single one of them, complaining about their husbands. I know some of these women. They may be comfortably off and secure and have shiny, new-range coloured Agas in their operating-theatre kitchens, but none of them is very happily married. Mrs SB has had a number of struggles recently – an illness in the family, the death of a beloved pet, career upheavals, a radical need to downsize, school issues, a kitchen far from swanky-surgical, you name it – but through all of it she and her husband have remained a team, steadfast, and happier than any couple I know. She is the least smug person this side of the Equator and radiates with a beauty and tranquility and confidence which comes from the type of happy marriage that just jolly well is the happy ever after. All the trials the couple are facing are upsetting and difficult, but Mr and Mrs SB are a team, and they are soldiering through them together with humour and an indominitable spirit. You only have to look at them to know that gold-digging and poppy seeds are not the way forward by any measure; to know that the biblical stuff which washed over you during enforced church services and RS lessons as a child, about wealth and needles and camels and all that bollocks, ain’t remotely bollocks in fact, and that a man who ploughs his furrow or sows his wheat seeds (as opposed to wild oats) or scythes the land, or whatever it is that impoverished but noble men of faith and hope and charity are supposed to do, are worth a thousand times the entitled, portly rich man who could afford a thousand purple-spotted Agas for his grabby but unfulfilled wife though wouldn’t know how to thread a needle (“woman’s work”) let alone push a camel through the eye of one if you were to prick him with a whole haberdashery of the wretched things.
For days now I have done nothing. It has been evenings in and going nowhere and it frightens me because I am so aware of time passing without anyone, let alone my very own Mr Standard Bearer. The mind and body are just about holding up, but they are wasted on just me. As the loathsome expression goes, I’ve got stuff to give. Well, I give it to my kids, I suppose, I give them love (the whole time and lots of it) and I give them what for (only occasionally, but just enough to make sure they grow up into decent human beings). But once they’ve gone, and the body has turned to trifle, what is the outlet to be?
It didn’t work out with Smidgen (of which more on Tuesday), so for now it is being and nothingness, and that feels like shit.