I keep thinking of my poor Dad, and I keep thinking I should have been a bawling snot-faced mess at least twice by now. Possibly my self-preservation module is concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stop and I’d dehydrate all the way down to a little prune. Possibly it’s all too big to have a proper cry about. Possibly crying is so inadequate a response. On I marched, dry-eyed, telling everyone I’d had a lovely relaxing holiday, thank you.
In the end I had a huge great cry about something else entirely. This is often The Way of Catharsis.
We’ve reached the usual ‘did I just ovulate? Was that ovulation? No? OK, was that it? What about that? Twinge? Ow? No, temperature hasn’t gone up. Or has it? No. How about now? And now? And now?’ stage of the cycle. Which can go on for anything from a week to a month. Aaaaand how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable can one couple’s sex life suddenly get? Heigh-ho.
The thing is, it’s me that doesn’t want to have sex (I know! Me!) Sex. Ugh. Too stressed (ironically, in some part because we’re not having sex. So clever), too headachey. Too miserable about my Dad. Too grumpy with H. I just want to go to bed in gigantic sturdy double-gussetted knickers and pyjamas and thick woollen socks and chain-mail. This is upsetting. It’s… not me. I’m normally fairly up-for-it most of the time, and practically feral just before ovulation.
I was doing so well. I was cheering up and feeling perky and sitting up and looking about me and everything. The holiday was supposed to be a lovely cuddly jaunt in which H and May frolic happily in the interesting historical ruins and thoroughly test the bed-springs of every good B&B up and down the country. And then we’d be refreshed and we’d survive until Christmas.
And then my Dad made his revelation.
And then, my friend’s Dad died.
And then, my Mum called to tell me that one of my cousins was pregnant. The one whose insides my aunt her mother keeps wishing to discuss with me, as this poor cousin also has a sod of a time each month. She’s a couple of years younger than me, and she and her boyfriend had only just, only just, started having the ‘shall we move to somewhere nice to raise bambini?’ conversation. I guess her insides aren’t as royally fucked up as mine after all, given that she’s safely out of the first trimester and into that hallowed land of ‘it probably won’t go wrong now’ and we’re all being told about it.
Excuse me, I have to just go and howl with envy for a few minutes.
That’s better. Of course I’m happy for her. She’s my cousin. She’s even a cousin I like. And the spectre of my terrifying Uterus of Doom was scaring everyone, and People Were Worrying. But no fear, I’m still on my own, here in the Sterile Death-Raddled Hag corner of the family. Good. I don’t want company. I want to get out of this fucking corner myself.
So H and I had a horrible row, about the lack of sex, and about his reaction to the lack of sex (seriously, it was astonishingly unhelpful. Even H was astonished at how astonishingly unhelpful his astonishingly unhelpful reaction was). Unfortunately his reaction included a… a… hmm… behaviour* that has served him very ill on every past occasion he has seen fit to use it, because it always makes me fucking ballistic (rather than fucking ballistically, which could even be fun). And I was very, very, very angry, and I said a great many furious, nasty things to H about being selfish, and spiteful, and knowing bloody well that that was a stupid unhelpful way to behave so what in God’s name was he thinking? And then I cried and cried, because we’ve had this row so many times and now was really not a good time to have it again.
We did kiss and make up, indeed with some enthusiasm (reassuring).
But I am still angry with H. There are times when you can get away with being a thoughtless dillweed, and there are times when you really, really can’t. There are times when you can rely on your spouse’s patience and affection to smooth over aggravations and assume good intentions on your behalf, and there are times when you should be exercising your own patience and affection to the utmost because your spouse is at the end of her tether. Again. Fuck and alas.
Dear Universe, please go and crap on someone else, now. Preferably a Jesuit.
P.S – In the course of the row, I also realised it simply had not occurred to H that all the above stuff about my Dad’s abusive childhood and my friend’s bereavement and my cousin’s pregnancy and my lovely holiday being ruined and my recovering mood jammed back down the crapper would dent my libido. I have no idea what to say or think about this. I think I shall just let my mouth hang open for a while. It seems the only adequate response.
* If H wants you to know what this behaviour is, he can tell you himself. It’s a fairly minor thing in the grand scheme of things. It’s just, he’s been doing it for years and it always, without exception, upsets me, so the molehill has accrued a gigantic mountain of ‘if you cared for me you’d cut that crap out’ and ‘it’s no big deal and I don’t realise I’m doing it until it’s too late’ and ‘seriously, if you cared for me you’d cut that crap out‘ and so on ad infinitum.