Why it’s important to drink a cup of tea when things are going wrong
Things have been weird for a while. Not a good weird, just a bad weird.
There has a been a stilted air between the Consultant and I. The conversations have been awkward like the sort of conversations you have with Great Aunts. You know the ones who are a bit racist but you have to be polite to because at some point you may inherit from them.
Not that the Consultant is racist, I’m just talking about the sort of slow pauses where every tick of the clock feels like a cycle of the moon.
On Thursday there was another swish party and I had invited the Consultant along as my plus one. This was held at a famous London landmark. They had changed some bits inside and so invited a load of the press along to see the changes. It was the best possible way to see the tourist attraction because.
1) You didn’t have to queue and it was free.
2) At the slightest pause waiters would offer you vast amounts of food and drink.
Everyone there was having a great time larking about doing things that the normal visitors wouldn’t be allowed to do while swigging wine. Everyone except me and my plus one.
The Consultant was being cool and distant again. Apart from a brief period in the middle where she relaxed enough to have some fun. Then she went all distant again, it was like she couldn’t even look at me.
I checked in the loos to make sure I hadn’t accidentally drawn a swastika on my forehead or anything like that. I hadn’t so I couldn’t understand the disdain.
At a couple of points in the evening we would be talking and then she would run off almost mid-sentence. The first few times she did this it was to grab canapés, which is of course a noble task, but it happened a couple of times later on where she ran off and then sent a text message from the other side of the room. It was weird.
We parted company fairly early in the evening, I had another two bashes to go to and she wanted to go home. The parting was if anything painfully unfriendly. I was baffled.
On Friday I had invited her over to the house. Biscuit was out so The Consultant and I had plans to spend an evening together. You know one of those nice evenings that smug couples go on about.
I cleaned the house and then popped out for supplies. She arrived while I was in the shops and was waiting outside the house.
I let her in and then started constructing the elaborate meal designed to impress her. She played a dancing computer game while I cooked. Compared to previous cooking experiences it was very awkward. I’ll be typing that word a lot in this post.
We ate the food. It was excellent crispy pork with a selection of interesting side dishes, as always I’d cooked far too much, so I couldn’t even get half way through the pudding.
We chatted a little on the sofa and things looked like there were going to get a little bit rude but The Consultant was having none of it. There was a plan to watch a film but she couldn’t decide what to do. So instead of watching a film we went to bed and I had one of the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had. Oh and nothing naughty happened.
So I’d invited her around, cooked a complicated and fancy meal and she couldn’t even look at me in the eye. This was the point at which I decided we needed ‘a chat’ I didn’t want to have another chat but there you go. Sometimes you’ve just got to have chats.
The conversation everyone dreads
I woke up hours before her so I read a little. Her multitude of alarms went off and she asked if she could take a shower so I loaned her a towel. While she was cleaning I went and got some Danish pastries and warmed them up in the oven. When I heard the shower stop so I made tea, to her exact instructions. She likes her tea only slightly warm with a dash of milk.
We sat down with the pastries and I said, “What’s going on? Things seem painfully awkward between us.”
There was a pause. I’ve had enough awkward grown-up conversations to know that you need to just wait out the pause. The pause went on.
“You don’t seem to be interested in me.”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t ask me enough questions about things to do with me. Like about my work or anything like that.”
Her voice crackled a little bit.
We explored this subject some more. I wasn’t asking her enough questions about her. Which was the cause of the frantic running away on Thursday. I did say that I was interested in her more than her body and I was sorry if she felt I wasn’t asking enough questions. I suddenly decided to list a comprehensive list of facts about her that I had learned and committed to memory. The Consultant Themed Pub Quiz didn’t impress sadly.
We raised the subject of the cold shoulder and she admitted she had been doing it because she was so angry with me, which was also why naughty times were off the table. Reasonable I suppose but perhaps communicating this anger would have been better than me having to tease it out of her again.
We also talked about how we seemed to get on better drunk and that we were having the sort of awkward stilted conversation that a couple has when they have been married for 60 years and they have nothing left to say.
I said this didn’t bode well. You never get a good bode do you?
The conversation was punctuated with vast gaping pauses, which is sort of to be expected. The clock ticked slowly in the corner.
I said how I didn’t want to feel so awkward and stressed by a relationship and this should still be the honeymoon period. She agreed. And that I found it to strike up conversation with her when she was giving me the cold shoulder the whole time.
Then I said that I wasn’t sure there could be a future in this, but that I didn’t want it to end. And I asked her what she wanted.
She said she didn’t want it to end either, we hugged.
She asked if I’d like to meet up this afternoon as originally planned. I said okay because it would give us both time to think about things. After she left I noticed she had cried a little on my shoulder.
Typing out this entry has cleared my mind. It is not going to continue. I’ll meet up with her though, because something should be done face to face.
It’s a big warning sign to have things go wrong this early on, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life constantly battling to tease this stuff out of her while fighting her cold shoulder of rage. For the last couple of weeks I’ve asked her repeatedly what’s up and it’s only now she has come out and admitted something.
I can’t decide if ‘We don’t talk enough about me’ is a valid complaint or not. So I think we can leave that one for now.
Biscuit will probably back me up on this one. I’ve been stupidly stressed by it all for the last few weeks. The fun to hard times ratio has been way out.
Marriage percentage 0.5%
* If a girl starts acting all weird I should call her out on it instantly and not relent until I get the answer.
* Yet again I prove I have terrible taste in women.
* She never made me breakfast, not once, and I know one shouldn’t count these things but I’ve given her loads of lovely well thought out gifts. She has given me a cold.
* A girl being fabulously well dressed counts for a lot, but it’s not the basis of a relationship.
Of course I still don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, what do you think?