In which I find myself in the middle of a tunnel, herding cats

So, its been a month now since my Viking Sousaphonist took the last chance I offered him and finally decided he wanted what I wanted, which is for us to be together. Except, of course, that we can’t actually be together until 15th July when I’m back in the UK and that’s not for another 7 weeks.

The first few weeks passed in a blur of sleeplessness, excitement, happiness and disbelief. The three months that separated us seemed like no time at all.

We made plans and started booking some of the things we’re going to spend time doing in July; campsite, art exhibitions, cathedral tour, family and friends… and I was so caught up in it all that I didn’t notice the long, dark tunnel I’d walked into until I was already so far inside that the light from the entrance was no more than a faint glimmer. The light from the exit? Still nowhere to be seen as yet.

Then the lack of sleep well and truly caught up with me. I stopped, finally looked around, saw nothing but pitch black tunnel, and started to run; I’m not even sure which direction I was running in.

I had imagined I was alone in the tunnel, with my VS waiting in the sunshine at the other end but, luckily, he was right beside me and took my hand to prevent me from running up the walls or tripping over and landing face first in the mire running along the floor.

[How much longer can I belabour this poor metaphor, I wonder?]

So, now we’re in the darkest part of the tunnel, trying to remain calm and pace ourselves. Meanwhile I’m attempting to organise my useless parents – sadly without the benefit of a Really Big Stick – so that they can meet him and see me while I’m there, with the minimum of fuss.

There’s no point in them coming to Norfolk to stay with my sisters because I’ll only be there for the first two days and my VS won’t be with me yet; we’re meeting afterwards – alone – in his hometown on the other side of the country. πŸ™‚

My Dad doesn’t ‘do’ London, so I strongly suspect they won’t meet us there.

That leaves a couple of days while we’re in and near Salisbury, seeing my VS’s mum and brother, my brother, and assorted wives, nieces and nephews.

Except that my Dad can’t stand my sister-in-law, the Salisbury-based one.

Or, given that my parents live on Anglesey for reasons too absurd to go into here [Anglesey is the bleak and horrid little island off the extreme northern coast of Wales], they could come down and meet us while we’re camping in South Wales.

Except that my DadΒ doesn’t ‘do’ trains and public transport… but equally he’s getting too old for long distance driving – especially when it involves long distances in the car next to my chattering mother (and god, how I sympathise on that one).

*rolls eyes*

Whenever people meet my father, they invariably think he’s charming and funny and lovely. What they don’t see is how completely, utterly and irrevocably selfish and stubborn he can be.Β So, we’ll see – maybe my parents will surprise me and make a real effort, but if they don’t meet him this time, they’ll just have to wait til my sister’s wedding in November. I’m not going to lose any more of our precious together-time chasing around the country after them. I’m only doing it out of politeness and a sense of it being the ‘right thing to do’ anyway, I don’t respect either of them enough to really care whether they get to know my VS or not.

In the meantime, both of us are making daily efforts to keep striking matches for each other, brightening the gloom while we make our way slowly but surely towards the sunshine at the end of this tunnel…

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14 Responses to In which I find myself in the middle of a tunnel, herding cats

  1. modestypress says:

    Does your dad “do” anything?

    • Woo says:

      He plays golf, chain smokes, reads spy and military thrillers, forwards email ‘jokes’, walks the dog, drinks heavily-sugared black coffee, harangues my mother, fixes electronic gadgets and eats a lot of steak and butter. He has recently taken to ending the occasional surprisingly warm email and has remembered my birthday ever since I moved to Australia. That about covers it. πŸ™‚

  2. July is just around the corner — you’ll make it! And good for you for limiting the time you spend trying to make a meeting “work” with your family — if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not as though you’ll all be spending a lot of time together anyway, in the long run. πŸ™‚

  3. modestypress says:

    Also, nobody says you have to “inherit” a family. You can make a family.

    Of course, if you do inherit a family, I guess you have to “do” something with it, but probably it’s something like dealing with a dangerous food–fugu, for instance, which requires 7 years of training, I am told, before one can legally serve it. So tell your family you will only see them once every seven years, or only after they have gone through seven years of training on how to deal with you.

    No, no, no need to thank me; always glad to help with practical suggestions.

  4. Please don’t waste too much effort on parents and politeness. They are both a little overrated. I am so happy for you!

    • Woo says:

      Thanks! And while I’m a big fan of politeness when it encompasses courtesy, I agree with you that the kind of politeness that simply forces us to do things we dislike is certainly overrated πŸ™‚

  5. azahar says:

    To hell with your parents. Just have a great time.

  6. piereth says:

    You will have to forgive me, or else delete my response to modestypress, I just couldn’t resist it. I’m stil lsmartinfg about how he came to your gallery show and spent the entire night with his back to your work.

    Will you be anywhere near Three Chimneys on your extraurban perambulations? We’ve a lovely double en suite for you and the VS if so!! xxx Gimme dates. Do the roar. You know.

    • Woo says:

      πŸ˜‰ understood

      Well, I would LOVE to see you and and show off my darling VS, but I suspect that with only 2 weeks together and several siblings and parentals to visit during that time, we may have to be realistic and postpone other visits til I’m back in November for my sister’s wedding.

  7. Teresa says:

    Fugu is a fine idea – my large family (10 of them) left after 5 days *in my house* (3 of those days with a collective stomach bug). I’m so done. Must fumigate the house.

    Dads don’t “do” anything they don’t want to – give him a pass and feed him a steak when you do finally make contact.

    Your VS sounds great – so happy for you!

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