Fighting is a craft in itself. Some do it horribly, other with such a talent that you walk away smiling. But sometimes they can make you really miserable. A British columnist, called Mil Millington, wrote a blog (first) and a book (after) all about the numerous fights he has shared with his superbly “mad” girlfriend, the German Margret.
Some of my favourite passages:
The key to a successful relationship is communication. That’s the First Rule. Margret’s corollary to the First Rule is the Timing clause. This states that the best time to initiate a complex and lengthy talk about, say, exactly how we should go about a loft conversion is (in reverse order of preference):
– When you see that Mil is playing a game online and is one point away from becoming Champion Of The World, Mil is racing out of the house to catch a train, Mil is in the middle of trying to put out a kitchen fire, etc.
– During the final minutes of a tense thriller Mil has been watching for the past two hours. Ideally at the precise point when someone has begun to say, ‘Good Lord! Then the murderer must be…’
– Just at the moment, late at night, when Mil has finally managed to fall asleep.
– In the middle of having sex.
I eat two-fingered Kit-Kats like I’d eat any other chocolate bars of that size, i.e., without feeling the need to snap them into two individual fingers first. Margret accused me of doing this, ‘deliberately to annoy her’.
She keeps making me carry tampons around – ‘Here, have these, just in case.’
‘Oooooooh, why can’t you carry them?’
‘I’ve got no pockets.’
Then, of course, I forget about them. And the next time I’m meeting The Duchess of Kent or someone I pull a handkerchief out of my pocket and shower feminine hygiene products everywhere.
Margret flooded the kitchen last week. Turned the taps on, put the plug in the sink, and utterly forgot about it (because she’d come upstairs and we’d got involved in an unrelated argument). She goes back downstairs, opens the door and – whoosh – it’s Sea World. The interesting thing about this is, if I’d flooded the kitchen, it would have been a bellowing, ‘You’ve flooded the kitchen, you idiot!’ and then she’d have done that thing where I curl up in a ball, trying to protect my head, and she kicks me repeatedly in the kidneys. As it was, however, there’s a shout, I run downstairs and stand for a beat in the doorway – taking in the scene, waves lapping gently at my ankles – and she turns round and roars, ‘Well, help me then – can’t you see I’ve flooded the kitchen, you idiot?’