In Which I Am Officially A Tight-Arse

1. Having done myself a mischief running a couple of weeks ago – only a mild mischief, though, I’m pleased to report – I went to see my local physio. He did various tests and then informed me that the cause of my trouble is overly tight muscles pulling the hip joint out of kilter. Specifically, the muscles of my hamstrings and gluteus maximus. I am a tight-arse. Its official.

Two sessions of acupuncture and deep tissue massage later and the pain is now no more than an almost negligible niggle. The skin of my rear end, however, is covered in bruises and I am under strict instructions to practice ‘firing’ those muscles whenever I can. So, I am sitting at my desk clenching my bottom, even as I write this. You can probably tell. πŸ™‚

2. I went speed-dating on Wednesday night with my friend Scrumptious Food Writer. It was not fun. We had 8 excruciating minutes each of Management Consultant Who Wished He Was James Bond Guy, Evangelical Christian Guy Who Had Experienced A Personal Miracle, two Guys Who Are Renovating Their Property And Installing A Pool And Did They Mention They Had A Pool?, A Dwarf Who Liked Drum And Bass, A Ballroom Dancing Engineer With A Laugh Like A Pixie Being Rubbed Against A Cheese Grater and a host of others, all of whom were completely forgettable.

I estimate that only 30% of the men asked anything about me. Most just talked at me, about themselves. One’s opening gambit was the astonishingly arrogant:

“So, impress me…”

I mean, really. I ask you.

And it was all my idea. I apologise wholeheartedly and without reservation to Scrumptious Food Writer who I know reads this blog although she doesn’t comment.

3. One of my dearest old friends posted some pictures of himself and his family on facebook this week and I got a real shock. He has visibly aged; his hair is definitely salt and pepper greying now. And that made me think about my younger brother, whose health worried me when I was last ‘home’ in the UK at Christmas. Part of the problem is that he no longer has any time for himself, either to exercise or just to relax. As soon as he arrives home he is met with a list of chores and complaints about how little he helps out around the house and about how exhausted his wife is. If he wants to go for a 30 minute run round the village the request is greeted with a flat “no” or a “yes” so grudging as to amount to a “I dare you”, as though this desire to spend even a little time by himself and for himself is somehow shirking his load.

Both these men are working incredibly hard, long hours with regular wearying commutes to support their families in a lifestyle they can’t themselves enjoy. Pretty thanklessly, too, it seems to me.

Of course, I wouldn’t dream of saying anything about this to either one of them. Its their choice and their life. And possibly neither would change it even if he could.

But it struck me that, while women are encouraged everywhere to make ‘me time’ and to feel themselves hard done by if they are left to carry the whole burden of household chores, there is no acceptable equivalent of ‘me time’ for men. Obviously, the exception proves the rule, here – I’m sure there are plenty of examples of relationships where this is not the case. At least, I hope so.

Anyway, the only point of all this is that I feel sorry for my friend and my brother. They’re both carrying huge burdens of financial responsibility and its concomitant stresses and it is showing in their health already, although both are only in their 30’s.

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22 Responses to In Which I Am Officially A Tight-Arse

  1. sledpress says:

    Don’t get me started on “do me something” women. My biggest question is why men marry these critical, selfish bitches. There, I said it.

    I have been keeping my own house paid for and maintained completely on my own for the last thirteen years, and for eight before that the most help I got from my ex-husband, sweet as he was, was essentially the amount of monthly cash you’d expect from a lodger. I drag men to gyms and onto running trails and give them nutrition coaching and personal training that people would pay money for. My Albino Ex was sliding into diabetes; ten years and forty pounds later he’s fine. But what did I get? “I can’t see ever moving in with you, and getting married is for people who want children.” Then he gave me four new tires in appreciation for saving his life, and dumped me. I can only conclude that they want to be abused. Maybe it gives them tender childhood memories of Mommy’s nagging.

    Maybe if you speed date again your opening sally should be “Sit up straight! Who told you you could tie a tie? I bet you didn’t scrub the tub or put your socks in the hamper before coming here. Have you taken out the trash?”

  2. Norwichrocks says:

    Yep, it has more than once occurred to me that if were less of a moral person and more of a downright bitch my life would probably be a great deal easier. However, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself in that life… πŸ˜‰

  3. Most of the men I know who are in this type of relationship did in fact have an emotionally abusive or overly needy mother. People do tend to repeat their imprinting. It makes me cringe to watch it, though.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      well, see, that’s what’s so weird. While that absolutely fits for my friend, it certainly is not the case with my mother. She’s pretty useless and vague, but she’s not emotionally abusive or needy. In fact, she’s reasonably affectionate – for an Englishwoman of her generation and background. So I just don’t get it.

      • How’s your dad? Men don’t always marry their mothers … sometimes they’re working out father-stuff with their partners.

      • sledpress says:

        I have also heard it said “Women marry their fathers and then spend the next ten years trying to turn them into their mothers.” (I did marry a man who resembled my father in several particulars but I would have to be diseased beyond all imagining to try to turn anyone into my mother.)

        Sometimes, though, I think more diffuse toxic memes do their damage. My aforementioned Albino Ex — whose mom was simple but hardworking and probably saved their family from bankruptcy — had an unwavering and insulting fixation that “women are all out to get your money” and liked to tell stories about women who had asked about his income on the first date. No important woman in his life fit the gold-digger stereotype, but he had sucked it up from the ether somehow.

        Possibly a lot of men are so conditioned to believe “women are all bitches” that they just accept bitchiness as a given.

      • Norwichrocks says:

        Bizarrely, that attitude of “women are all after your money” was, I think, a large part of the subtext of many of the men’s conversations at the speed-dating. I can’t explain why they’d go to such trouble to enumerate all the ‘substantial properties’ and cars/boats/pools they owned otherwise. Clearly they were hoping that this list of material possessions would attract someone. Possibly it worked.
        Just not on me. πŸ˜‰

      • Norwichrocks says:

        Hmmmm, that’s an excellent point, David. My Father was never particularly involved or affectionate when we were growing up and he absolutely dominated my Mother to the point of paralysis. So, possibly my brother is looking for the opposite of that relationship – not wanting to be the kind of husband and father that ours was.

  4. Well, you can count The Havens as a place where both partners work together for the financial health of the establishment, both work together to keep the gardens beautiful, and both encourage each other to have “me” time. But our relationship is not normal, I realize.

    So you are officially a tight ass. I am shocked that you have not also been instructed to do stretching at the end of the day to relax all those tight muscles. There are many wonderful stretches for all those deep rotators of the hips, which of course are the muscles responsible for pulling your hip joint out of kilter. My favorite is to lie down with one knee bent up and then cross the other ankle over your knee. Then you pull the bent knee up towards your chest. example here: http://www.drbackman.com/piriformis-muscle-stretch.htm There are lots of sites dedicated to teaching you to stretch. I also like this one: http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/piriformis-syndrome.php

    “Speed dating” sounds like the relationship-al equivalent of “fast food”, which as far as I am concerned is an oxymoron.

  5. modestypress says:

    Bulletin: Life is not fair.

    Note: Sometimes to men, sometimes to women.

    Don’t shack with a jerk. Unfortunately, to some extent or other, we are all jerks.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Splendid advice. I shall henceforth include the following question and statement in my dating patter:

      “Are you a jerk? If so, let it be understood that I will not, under any circumstances, shack with you.”

      πŸ˜‰

  6. piereth says:

    @ speed dating. Well, I just wouldn’t do it, my love, unless you like the social equivalent of turning over rocks and seeing what scuttles out. Impress me? Well, I never. It’s a short step from that to ‘Bring me my socks, woman, it’s what I pay you for!’.

    When are you coming to Blighters? πŸ™‚

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Well, it seemed like a logical way to meet a number of single men in a relatively short amount of time and with relatively little effort. I relied on probability to provide at least one or two interesting ones out of the 14 attending… and probability failed.

      I’ve always hated maths.

  7. doctordi says:

    Not loving the sound of any of this one bit. As amusing as you manage to make it, Truce, really the whole experience sounds fucking vile and well beneath your intelligence and charm. Run hard, run fast, run far. The answer clearly lies elsewhere, my dear.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Well, I’m delighted to hear you say that. It sounds arrogant even to think it of oneself, but yes, it was a trial. NEVER AGAIN, no matter how many ‘happy ending’ stories I hear from friends of friends.

      • doctordi says:

        I am amazed – and duly impressed – that there are ‘happy ending’ stories from speed dating, but I still think it’ll either be your thing or not, you gave it a shot, and your thing it most definitely ain’t. Thinking cap on…

  8. I guess I put too many links in my original comment. . .

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Aha, found it! thanks for bringing it to my attention – I’m terrible at checking the ‘pending’ comments folder.

  9. OmbudsBen says:

    I wonder if the speed date organizers can point to any success stories?

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