The author and relationship counsellor, John Gray. coined the phrase 'Men are from Mars and women are from Venus'. Oh boy, how right was he?
In early December 2016 in a burst of enthusiasm, I suggested to my spouse that a little interior decorative sprucing up of Maison Comb might not go amiss after Christmas. Spouse duly agreed and I went happily on my way thinking of new paint colours; trying to remember where we last parked the dust sheets and how soon after Christmas we would leg it down to the local DIY shop.
Tossing this little nugget of a suggestion into our next conversation, spouse stared at me. It was one of those long, silent looks, with a hint of disbelief at the back of it. I looked behind me. Had I missed something? No, there was nothing there. I checked my face in the mirror. No, no sooty smuts, no ink smears, hair properly brushed and all-in-all, fairly tidy for me. So, what was the problem?
'January 2nd?' He repeated my last sentence and I have to say there was more than a hint of incredulity in his voice.
'Well', I temporised, '3rd or 4th, then.'
'Never mind 3rd or 4th,' he expostulated.
Yes, I do mean that. He expostulated. If you've never heard anyone expostulate, try out, what seems to me in hindsight, to be an outrageous idea to them. Of course, you'll have to think of something outrageous to suit them first, (which obviously won't suit them, if you want them to expostulate) and then throw it into the ring. It's a bit like lighting the blue touch paper.
It turns out that the blue touch paper for spouse wasn't the idea of doing a spot of decorating. In fact, he quite like the idea of freshening up the old family yurt. It was the thought of a January start to the proceedings.
'When you said 'after Christmas, I thought you meant May or June,' quoth he.
Now why on earth would I mean May or June, when I said 'after Christmas'? Post-Christmas is January, isn't it? If I'd have meant May or June wouldn't I have said 'next spring or early summer'? Yes, I'm sure I would have, but I said 'after Christmas'. Now, check me here if I'm wrong, but to a Venus gal like me, 'after Christmas' indicates the immediate period of time post-December or early into the new year, to most people.
But not if he's from Mars and I'm from Venus. Here we are at January 8th and how 'after Christmas' does it have to get? When does 'after Christmas' begin? Spouse is not letting on. I foresee some tough negotiating ahead and that's before wer get on to interior design ideas and colour changes.
Happy New Year and wish me luck. I hope I make it through 2017 without wearing an opened pot of paint on my head or am permanently pasted behind the new wallpaper.
If I go missing, you know what to do .........