I love my husband. No, really, I do. But after 30 years of marriage we do get on each other’s nerves at times! Take Sunday morning.
Him: My knee hurts.
Me: Oh dear. Why?
Him: (becoming animated) we were playing on hard ground yesterday so the ball was quick-
Me: (interrupting in a desperate attempt to get him to stop) Did you get hit on the knee by a cricket ball?
Him: (ignoring me) I was batting sticky-leg-before-wicket-straight-on (this is just a rough translation, you understand) and I’d just clipped the ball on the outside of my bat-
Me: So you got hit on the knee by a cricket ball?
Him: Smithy was running the crease on the left hand side of the leg-over googlie and the Umpire was biased because he’s only got one eye. Jonesy was giving their team a bit of rag which was a bit out of order when I was 99 for 56 in the fifth division league of gentlemen
Me: (desperately) My ears are bleeding…
Him: (oblivious) yaddah yaddah yaddah cricket…blah blah blah… sixer… scoreboard bat…
Me: Please stop talking!
Him: and the ball glanced off the outside of my knee
Me: So you got hit on the leg with a cricket ball.
Dear reader, before you write, with outrage, that I am a mean and uncaring wife who takes no interest in her husband’s sporting career – you are right. I have tried, truly, to a) understand cricket and b) give a flying fig about it, but it just isn’t in me. Just because we are married, doesn’t mean we’re joined at the hip. You could equally argue that since I glaze over at the first syllable of crick-, he really shouldn’t inflict these details on me. Or that I should be more blatant than saying “Please stop talking” as that is too subtle a hint, but it wouldn’t have any effect. Husband of my heart clearly derives pleasure from talking about his exploits on the cricket pitch whether I am listening or not.
Today, I am going to be driving for five hours with him in the car. I asked him, this morning as I taxied him into the office, “please don’t criticise my driving every five minutes on the journey – I find it stressful and you might find it painful when I thump you.” He took that opportunity to list all my perceived driving faults, in detail, with specific examples. I could feel my blood pressure rising, the vein in my temple started to throb and I had a vicious urge to punch his bruised knee (caused by being hit by a cricket ball, don’t you know?)
So, darling, if you’re reading this, I’m going to put it in black and white: I have been driving for 32 years. I have had fewer accidents than you. I have incurred fewer speeding tickets than you. I drive myself all over the country, generally without incident or upset. If you trust me to deliver us to our destination safely, then keep schtum. If you don’t, then drive yourself. Either way, I am begging you, publicly – please don’t criticise my driving. Or talk about cricket. Or rugby. Or ANYTHING else that involves a bloody ball.
Taken from my new book, Oh Crap – I’m 50! A Journey from Fearful to Fabulous (Sometimes) – now available on Amazon
© Jo Blackwell