Advice and helpful suggestions

April 1, 2012

in Personal, Two of us

Domestic life is full of minor problems and inconveniences. And I’m a addicted problem solver. So as soon as something irritates me I start thinking about how to avoid the irritation.

Well, not always quite as soon as – I had clothes hangers all caught up with one another in a totally infuriating tangled heap for years before I thought long enough to decide to make a small rail to hang the empty ones on. But that’s the kind of thing I mean.

However, if I suggest any such problem solution to Charles he is liable to go ballistic. Why? Well, I think it’s because he thinks I’m criticising and controlling him. I innocently thought it would be good to put the cutlery in the dishwasher baskets with all the spoons, knives and forks in separate sections, so I could just pull them out by the handful to put them away.

POW!!! (*draws a curtain over unpleasant scene*)

Advice – it’s advice, isn’t it? – that’s the problem. No-one wants it, no-one uses it. Or at least it’s very very rare that we hoover it up and use it. Though when a friend told me about ecloths I was on to it the same day, so sometimes it’s possible to take advantage of good advice. Confusing.

It helps with Charles that we live at opposite ends of the house, because he accepts my peculiar ways of doing things at my end of the house, mostly. I think that is manners. But I don’t think you’d find him often thinking ‘that’s a good way of doing that’ and imitating one of my idiosyncratic systems.

Suggest better ways of doing things to gardeners and you get – POW! (*more curtain over more unpleasant scenes*)

All this does confuse me. I now try never to offer anyone advice unless they demand it. Beg for it. Lick my boots and cry. I fail a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time working out good systems!

And it does make you wonder how we ever evolved, doesn’t it? ‘Here, if you bash this rock like this you can make a handy meat ripping thing’. ‘Nah, I always just chew it off ..what are your incisors for?’

PS Strange – I think there’s more interest in the dishwasher than in ‘why don’t we welcome advice?’

Anne's sofa copyright Anne Wareham

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