One of my favourite things is to watch other couples have a row. I don’t mean drunken fights on the street – although those are fun, too – I mean those tense bickering set-tos that only married couples have. Hearing about one second-hand will do.
While we were on holiday our friends Henry and Jemima occasionally had a little spat and it was the most tremendous fun to watch it play out as usually Giles and I are the ones taking chunks out of each other.
“Wait!” I shrieked, whenever I saw a bit of a moment coming up, “let me get a fresh cup of coffee.” I sat at the table with my chin on my knuckles and occasionally refereed. (“Actually, Jemima, you did say that.”
It just makes me feel so much more normal as Giles and I go through phases where we are absolutely at each other’s throats. On a long weekend in Scotland we were about to have such a terrible row that I had to get up and leave Giles on his own in the kitchen with our hosts.
One of the best martial ding-dongs I ever heard about was to do with a Squatty Potty. A Squatty Potty, if you don’t know, is a plastic device that is made to fit around the stem of your loo, on which you rest your feet in order to raise you into a squatting position, which is impossible to achieve easily on a Western loo.
This, believers maintain, is a better position in which to perform a vital function. Just sitting, as if at a desk, scrunches up the colon, encourages straining, which leads to unpleasant side-effects.
Anyway so my friend bought this thing, with her own money, and installed it happily and proudly in the family bathroom. And her husband went nuts when he saw it! He was really pissed off.
It was something to do with his aversion to her slightly woo-woo health theories anyway plus just generally a very straight-laced approach to life and seemingly being the only man in the entire world who isn’t totally obsessed with crapping, his own crap, when he craps, how many times a day, how it went, how he was feeling before, how he’s feeling now, how much he weighed before, how much he weighed now, what he was reading…
My friend’s husband was furious that the purchase of this thing was not discussed. He was furious at the monstrous alt-health item bunging up his bathroom.
It was a most entertaining WhatsApp conversation I had with my friend at the time and I laughed heartily and sympathised. But I also came away newly informed about this squatting theory and, I have to say, I was quite converted. I make do with an Ikea thing, but I am pretty tempted to get my own Squatty Potty. I will, of course, inform my husband first.