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On Brexit, biscuits and love

Theresa May Brexit or not, but this wife is certainly ready to quit

Theresa May Brexit or not, but this wife is certainly ready to quit   | Photo Credit: Sreejith R Kumar

Find out who’s in, who’s out and why loyalty is important

This man, my husband, after retiring, has found his true calling in life. Not just calling to me for coffee. Now, he advises the government. He doles out expert opinion on their policies, which bills to pass, which ministers to sack — furthermore, he has started on the foreign governments too. The TV, I remind him, is a one-way medium, and why is he giving free advice when he’s never given away anything free in his life?

‘Theresa May!’ he brandishes his Marie biscuit.

‘Or Theresa may not,’ I reply, whisking the coffee cup away just before his flailing arms knock it down. ‘Exit, not exit — why are you so bothered? It’s not like I am exiting, no? Some other woman in some other country — why are you losing hair?’ Truth be told, he has no hair left to lose anyway.

‘Did I finish my coffee?’ he looks around. ‘Where did my cup go?’

Forty five years of conversation without even talking about the same things! This time, I will fight it out till the bitter end. ‘This woman exiting is all you talk of. Do you know how many times I myself have exited in our married life? And you haven’t even noticed. Are you even listening?’ I shout.

‘Yes, yes,’ he nods. ‘I always listen.’ This is not at all true.

‘Yet, each time I return. Do you know why?’ I poke at him with the newspaper roll. ‘Out of loyalty to our union.’

‘But misplaced loyalty, if you ask me.’ He points at the TV. ‘What has the European Union actually done for them?’

I glare at him while he smiles back at me benignly, doing that weird thing that husbands can do, like garden lizards seem to — where their eyes work independently, one on you, one on the TV.

‘I am exiting again this time,’ I clench my fists (arthritis exercise according to Dr Rao). ‘You are insufferable. I have raised your children, I have remembered the strange places you left your spectacles, I have stuffed my ears with cottonwool because of your snoring.’ I rise, along with my voice, to theatrical levels.

‘Where are you going?’ He suddenly notices me standing there, red-faced. ‘Is your acidity playing up again? Oh, did the doorbell ring? Must be the handyman for the maintenance cheque.’

See? I should have left years back. ‘I. Am. Exiting!’ I announce louder.

‘Okay,’ he says, settling back. ‘I wouldn’t mind a coffee when you come back. And please, my chequebook too — I keep forgetting to write out all these monthly payments.’

Forty five years of monthly cheques for him, and 45 years of cottonwool for me. I return with our coffees to hear him refresh his rant: ‘Theresa May!’

‘Theresa May,’ I smile. ‘But I won’t.’

Where Jane De Suza, the author of Happily Never After, talks about the week’s quirks, quacks and hacks.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 7:58:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/on-brexit-biscuits-and-love/article26744846.ece

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