Friday, 24 June 2011

Ramble, ramble, ramble

Hm, today I've been slapping paint on stuff. Not in a good, honest wargamery way, but in a keeping the house looking good way. Neah. The gloss will in some places need another coat, too, which is a niggling annoyance. I saw my dentist the other day, and had two fillings. I have another scheduled for tomorrow morning. Mm, neah. I put too many chillis in my dinner earlier and it was too hot. Neah. I need to sell my 40k stuff. Neah. So I need to scrutinise Ebay and see whether it's worthwhile so doing. Oh, for Baneblades and similar it just isn't. Neah. And my back's hurting as though I'd been sat in this chair for two days and hadn't spent hours painting a bathroom. Yep, that's a big load of annoying.

We've a bin down in the kitchen. Nobody else empties it. I ambled down there today, just before I stumbled off to paint the bathroom, and remarked on there being two flies vexingly buzzing about the room of culinary activities. Mum said there were fruit flies coming out of the bin. Nice. I shifted the bin. It's got stuff in it from a week ago at the very top. It sure is amazing that we would have devouring insects appearing in the kitchen when nobody bothers to take out the bin for a week. No, nowt o' mine was there, y'snarky fella. But the icing on that cake was when I retired hither, to the ol' bedroom, and two or three blasted fruit-flies followed me in. This place is rarely tidy, but is always clean. Away with ye, o flying monstrosities!

My ex was blind as a bat without her glasses, so anyone with an understanding of cause and effect will glean why I am messier now than when she left me. People, people, it's perfectly possible to potter from step to step without a four-foot-wide expanse of carpet. Y'just need a series of gaps big enough for the ball of your foot. Ladies, take note: charming bachelor, carpet covered in sand-laden models, rude artisan. Charming collection of traits. ;-)

I should expand on that last, lest someone suspect she left me because my carpet turned to sand overnight. This was not the case, I assure you. "Well, what was it, Pete? Hurry up!" Er, yes, right. I think she got bored of me. The poor girl (quiet, friends) had had a rough time of it before uni: confusing novelties, perplexing situations, an unpleasant fellow. I, in all honesty, am a pretty sedate and unflappable type. Is that true? Well, a few weeks before she left me, she did give me three things I must change. First, I must stop getting frothing mad about other drivers. I can't lie, she was quite right that my temper was getting the better of me. I still dislike when other road-users do their level best to murder me, but I don't scream at them like a Banshee any more.

Second, I had to get a job. I think she was talking rot here. Yes, jobs mean money means fun. But "you need a crappy job before anyone will consider you for a better job"? No. Plenty of people go straight from whiling their time away to "productive member of society". The people at my first job were lovely. The job was stultifying. I had to summarise and type Section 106 Planning Agreements up onto a database. Lovely people, tedious work. I used to come home and lie on the floor for half an hour while my brain slowly re-engaged.

I forget what the third ultimatum was, but I have a feeling I didn't fulfil it. But when one's got to the stage of giving one's other half a tripartite ultimatum to save the relationship, and the wedding is 2.5 months away, maybe it won't make a blind bit of difference if they tick all the boxes in column B and fill out Box 17D. ;-) So, yeah, no wedding there. But I don't think any of that mattered. Afterwards I scrutinised past events, as one does, and realised that we'd had a conversation back at the start of her last year at uni (September/October), and that she'd said she was sad. I'd tried to cheer her up by burbling the usual (subjectively true at that time ;-) ) things about her being lovely and this and that. But whereas every time before I'd got her at least to grin when I told her I couldn't live without her, this time she just looked worried and upset. At the time, I put it down to her being more upset than usual. In retrospect, it's apparent she'd fallen out of love with me by then.

It was a dreadful year, that was. She had stayed on to do a Master's in Cultural Heritage Management. She hated the course. A friend of ours, Chris, had done it two years beforehand. Every time we saw him he remarked on how he hated the course, and that his fellows . . . really could have put in a bit more effort. If I may bowdlerise! She didn't have any recollection of this. Anyway, she hated the course. I hated driving - if the aforementioned screaming fits didn't clue you in! - and was driving 4.5 hours to see her every fortnight or week, and then the same distance home. I would arrive, feeling like I wanted to stick my fist in the nose of some fellow who had tried to assassinate me. She would be there, distraught at the problems she was having with sub-section X of Unit 3 of the course. She needed to blow off steam. I needed to sit in a chair and not think for half an hour so I could cool down. Instead, she blew steam at me, and I angrily blew it right back in her face.

It would be easy to blame her. But couldn't I have got there and sat in a pub for half an hour before going to see her? I'm not that practical and sensible. You'' raise a Spock-like eyebrow, but I was the more sensible of the two of us. She was by far the cleverer, but you know what they say about intellect not translating into common sense. If I couldn't think to sit in a pub, she couldn't think to yadayadayada. So it came to the end of the year, and we had both had enough. I was lying to myself that it was just the stress of her course making her insufferable, and doubtless she was telling herself comparable lies.

I had and evidently still have a tendency to protect her by suppressing stuff. I should get over that, as it's unhealthy. She was often upset. For about four years I managed to deal with this by cheering her up when she cried. About half a year before she broke up with me, I gave up. I'd had a particularly annoying drive down. She had greeted me with barbed words, and my snappish response had driven her to tears. At any point in the last four years, I'd have suppressed my irritation and dedicated time (as much as two hours on numerous occasions) to cheering her up again. This time I was just too annoyed. I decamped to the Student Union and had a few drinks with friends, returning later, when her tears had died down without my help.

There are a few things to say at this juncture. First, I shouldn't have done that. Second, she shouldn't have refused for four years to get any help with her depression. Third, I won't put myself in a relationship with someone suffering from depression ever again! I really can't emphasise that third point strongly enough. I started out a perfect gentleman: considerate, polite, sweet, &c, &c. I ended up walking out in anger on a woman who was in floods of tears. That's the mark of a monster, and I knew it.

I hated myself as a result of that. I hadn't lived up to my self-image. I had done The Wrong Thing. There were a few other instances when I screwed up badly during that period, but I shan't go into them. In my opinion, that was the co-equal worst. I realised later on that she had stopped loving me first, but while her conduct was wrong, we always blame ourselves more than others. So after her ultimatum she broke up with me about two months before the wedding was to have happened. In a niggling sense, it was annoying to have booked a reception at a hotel for four grand, which I then cancelled. Friends urged me to hold one anyway, but it didn't seem right.

I think she got the wrong idea about me later on. We stayed in touch. I moved to London, first looking after a friend's place, and then after my Uncle's. I'd not bothered her about the money for the reception; her family is poor as church mice. But before we'd broken up, she'd got a bicycle and some accoutrements. I can't now recall what it came to (the best I can remember is a couple of hundred pounds, but whether that was £250 or £500, you could beat me with sticks and I'd not know). Anyway, I'd offered to pay. She had accepted with the firm provision that she would pay me back. Frankly, I didn't care. I had plenty of money in those days, and I was buying my affianced a bicycle. But she was very specific about it.

The last time I had any contact with her was in 2005 or so. I'd been out drinking with some friends, and irritably texted her about the bike. She assumed my interest was purely based on money. I guess, being poor, that was a natural assumption to make. Impoverished readers, I'm not trying to insult you but to excuse her. Even now. I later sent an email, thoroughly sarcastic in tone, asking about the money. Maybe it's not her being poor that's the issue, but my former richness. I didn't want a load of money. If she'd sent it me, I doubt it would have then meant anything. Although today it would mean a great deal! :-D I was disappointed in her failure to honour her promise to repay me. I hadn't wanted her to; I had tried to persuade her to accept it as a gift. She'd refused, and insisted that she'd pay me back. Yeah, it's 2011 now. I haven't seen a penny yet.

When relationships go bad, eh? I dunno. It does erode one's faith in humanity rather: one can't trust oneself to be a good man, and one can spend 4.5 years loving someone who doesn't turn out to be a good woman. Meanwhile, fruit flies are still buzzing me! I don't miss her. I don't want her back. I really hope she's happy with her husband. He's the guy she was dating before she came to uni. I never met him, but I know he must be better able to make her happy than I ever was. That's worth something, eh? Maybe I'll fall apart, but on the other hand, she'll still be happy. I feel like I'm in a Disney film even being like this, but it does make me smile to think of her being happy. God save me from ever seeing her again, mind, but I'm glad she's happy!

Mm, the weekend will see me start throwing models onto the Ebay pyre. Tsk.

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