IT STARTED with Halloumi fries. So far, so peak notions. We were mere minutes into the summer holidays and were all still finding our groove in the new routine. It was less ‘foraging’ and more ‘smash and grab’ from the fridge whenever and however you pleased as opposed to rigid mealtimes. All of us were rubbing along together quite nicely until I walked in on my husband and son gorging on the aforementioned fries.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Both looked at each other, then looked at me.
Those are MINE! I was all day looking forward to sitting down with my bowl of them to watch my shows.
Neither offending party appeared to show any remorse and their attempt at an olive branch ceremony involved my husband extending a solitary fry toward me and saying,
He further defended his wanton scoffing of my fries by stating: “You never said they were just for you.”
“They’re from the bloody ‘Specially Selected’ range. That means they are ‘special’ and for my consumption only.”
By this brazen act of rebellion and disregard for my special snacks, it became abundantly clear that the entire lot of them needed to be reacquainted with my glossary of: ‘What I say versus what I actually mean’, presented in collaboration with, ‘you should all be psychic’. The following are perfectly rational, sane and, in my opinion, fair, examples of such.
Himself: “Do you want anything from the shop?”
What I say: “No.”
What I mean: “He had better not set foot inside this door without a family size bar of Galaxy or I will shoot red hot lasers from my eyes.”
Himself: “Are you sure?”
What I say: “I already told you… no.”
What I mean: “If that chocolate is not in his hand on his return I will spit in his eye and place a hex upon him. I will also hide the batteries from the remote.”
Himself: “I was going to make something to eat; will I put extra on for you?”
What I say: “No thanks.”
What I mean: “There’s no need. I’ll just eat yours. All of it.”
Himself: “After the matches, I’m going to head out with the lads for a few.”
What I say: “Fine.”
What I mean: “Your options for sleeping arrangements after a day spent glued to the TV are as follows — the bath or the cat’s litter tray.”
Himself: “I’m sorry I broke the remote… that last try was very emotional.”
What I say: “It’s fine.”
What I mean: “It’s far from ‘fine’. The fact that I even had to say it’s ‘fine’ twice today means it’s anything but, ‘fine’. If I were you, I would consider moving out at this juncture.”
Kids: “Can we have something to eat?” Multiplied by 12.
What I say: “Yes. Just not my snacks.”
What I mean: “I don’t know why I bother telling you not to eat what is clearly my designated sustenance. You will do it anyway and I will think to myself that you are indeed your father’s children.”
Himself: “This is such a chick show.”
What I say: “Sorry, what?”
What I mean: “Oh, I heard you good and proper mate. I’m just affording you a three second window to adjust your tone and misogynistic opinion before I have to do it for you. In three, two…”
Himself: “I know this has happened before, but honestly… it was not my fault this time.”
What I say: Silence.
What I mean: “Run.”
I could run the whole ‘Exhibit’ alphabet with similar scenarios. It is my prerogative to never have to feel obliged to explain to my husband what I truly mean in the daily humdrum of life. Just like the fact that I know that should ever a tornado of sharks descend upon us: I will be more than amply equipped to deal with same due to careful analysis and consideration of the ‘Sharknado’ franchise. So too, do I view these subtle mind-games as a form of brain-training. If Mystic Meg was able to forge a considerable career with her psychic aptitudes; then maybe Himself could forge a sideline in translating and interpreting what women actually mean?
The possibilities are endless: Weekly group meet-ups of beleaguered men (hefty membership fee applies); merchandise in the form of
t-shirts, car stickers, hats (all with an exorbitant mark-up); a book deal (ghost-written: we’re
too busy to write it ourselves), exclusive interviews (The Late Late Show and he talks for
nothing less than a pint of Heineken and a packet of Taytos) …
Himself: “I’m not doing any of it.”
What I say: “Oh yes, you are.”
What I mean: “Oh yes, you are.”