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Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Skills of Appeasement

My beloved was unhappy.

My beloved was unhappy with me.

My beloved was unhappy with me for a completely unknown reason which probably contravenes all of the universally accepted laws of cause and effect.

But it was still my fault.  I've been married to my beloved for 35 years, and I know these things.

All the little signs were there.

  • The returning home kiss reciprocated, but reduced in time by 0.035 millisecond.
  • The slight narrowing of her eyes whenever I get within 0.5 metre of the computer (otherwise know as "The Machine of Satan" or "Your Electronic Mistress" or in extremes "That bloody Machine")
  • The slightly pursed lips whenever I mention my household repair and renovation schedule for the weekend. (Mowing the lawn, cleaning out the goldfish pond, killing all her flowers by mistaken addition of glyphosate to the fertiliser watering can etc)
  • The longer than expected pause (0.5 - 1.6 seconds) before answering whenever I mention how late I'll be home from Nuova Lazio High.

Therefore it was my job to put right whatever manifestation or non-manifestation of my behaviour or non-behaviour which has caused the slight unhappiness in my beloved. (It gets a bit complicated when you really and truly don't know if you've done anything wrong.  BUT I know better than to actually ask what the problem is. That way lies madness, despair, and possibly a long and heart-rending discussion on the status of the relationship, or even worse, the status of the "sex life")

I started the negotiations in a very restrained and subtle manner.

"Fancy seeing a film at the weekend Dear?" I asked.
"What's on" was the reply.  The reply didn't display a lot of enthusiasm, so I was probably on the wrong track.
"What about the King's Speech, or True Grit?" I said.

At this point I should add that there were more films that I would really like to see, such as Rango or the Adjustment Bureau, and I knew that there were some really girly films that my beloved would like to see, like Black Swan or Love Birds, but that I'd rather wade through broken glass whilst being attacked by a pack of rabid and feral cats than actually go and watch.  There are limits to the appeasement process.  If you go too far, too quickly, then this will be remembered for future reference, and you might have to watch a never ending series of love/relationship/girly films for the foreseeable future.  Be Warned.

"Maybe" was the less than positive reply, but I took that as enough interest to allow me to approach "My Electronic Mistress" to start checking the film schedules.  Even as I read the details of the possibilities of the screen, I could tell by observing certain subtle signs of my beloved's continuing discontent.  The rigid shoulders, pursed lips, fixed and distant stare all told their story.  (That these signs are also used by cats to display pre-attack warnings is purely coincidental)

Cat Attack
Maybe I'd have to up my game a little bit.
"Have you heard of any other film you might like to see my Dear?" I asked, dreading a response of "Love Birds" etc.

Then came the response I hadn't heard for a long time.  Never in fact.  Actually it was completely out of the blue.

"I don't enjoy sitting in a darkened room watching some big white screen" she said.  "That's not what I'd call a good night out"

I was flabbergasted.  I cannot count the number of films we've been to see together, plus I knew my beloved went out to see a film every week with her ladies' group. 

This was more serious than I thought.

I asked the dreaded question.  "What would you really like to do this weekend dear?"

The Ambeli restaurant in Wellington is expensive.  The food is delicious, being a meld of Sicilian/Cypriot?Arab cuisine, and the service is impeccable.  Friendly and cheerful, without being obsequious.  Perhaps some of the sauces and vegetables are a little salty for our tastes, but still delicious. It is expensive, about $120 for a shared starter and a Mains each.  No wine, I had to drive).

Fairy Stories at the Circa Theatre.  A small cast, led by Sir Jon Trimmer, perform a medley of sketches, illustrating various fairy stories through mime, lip sync and dance.  I won't say any more on this entertainment, except that I probably more enjoyed the amateur dramatic show I sat through last year. See entertainment .
Put another way, all of my sins had been atoned, and we were back to our normal levels of love and mutual commitment.

Until next time.
Next time, we'll go and watch a Japanese girl team baseball match


  1. TSB (of RBB), you've got to help me.
    I promised Angry Jesus that you'd lift his comment ban before the day was over. I know it was silly, but I was under pressure; I didn't want to lose face. You must lift the ban today! Do it for me! Please!

  2. "Repent and promise not to do it again, and all will be forgiven."

    I can't be fairer than that.

    Repent or Burn.

    No other method is acceptable. Sorry, but he started it.


    I'm looking for 3 10Dk classes to cover tomorrow????

  3. "I can't be fairer than that."
    I guess not, but you're trying to convince the wrong guy.

  4. Sometimes the comments are almost as good as the posts in here.

  5. Richard [of RBB], seeing it's youthat is asking I'll relent, and as long as AJ keeps his comments to his usual christian rubbish then I'll take no more action.

  6. TSB (of RBB), you spoil me. I will be forever grateful, though not grateful enough to want to cover 10DK.
    I'll try to get Angry Jesus to take your link (on my site) out of purgatory. I'm sure he'll be happy to settle this little misunderstanding. Be patient with him though - it is close to Easter, and you know how he goes a bit funny at that time of the year.

  7. Alistair: Thanks. I think. We aim to please.
    However, if you can make sense of most of the comments that float around, you're either worryingly perceptive or you've been partaking of "certain substances"

  8. Aye - I'm a part-time smug druggler......

  9. Alistair: Oooh, you are witty :=) No I mean it. I'm half way through your post on that devious cat you live with. Very funny.

  10. "Electronic Mistress". Gold!


  11. Hi again Tracy, welcome back. If you liked this, try the honeymoon. It's a barrel of laughs, as are the 2 sequels.

    My Beloved still occasionally calls it "that electronic whore of Babylon", but I think that's a bit extreme.


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