Today, I am mostly feeling like Prince Phillip – though if anyone dare so much as suggest I bear any physical resemblance to the dear old coot, there will be trouble! How so? Well more on that in a moment.
First, there is no easy way to write this: some uncomfortable news.
Those of you close to me, to Andrea, will know this already, have probably known this was coming for some months: Andrea and I are separating.
Uncomfortable. Not entirely ideal. But notice, please, I did not say “BAD”. This is an issue that’s been around awhile, but just not tackled. On my side, a number of reasons, not least the awful calculation – for that is what it is – of when one is “supposed to” broach such a subject with someone suffering a serious illness.
One very close friend told me (months ago) that the best thing to do was to start the conversation at the earliest possible. Their advice was based on having lived through a similar situation. Another equally close friend counselled me absolutely against it. There are no rules in this territory.
However, this does feel to be relief on both sides. We have moved very swiftly from being a couple locked in a toxic relationship to two individuals planning ahead.
It helps – at least I hope it does – that we have plenty of examples both from family life and from alternative communities of ways to do this. To carry on co-parenting, without fighting over the child or money or housing. The boy knows already and has reacted in typical boy mode. Oh, good. That means I’ll have two bedrooms and two Xboxes was the approximate reaction. Boundaries will need to be set at the point where he contemplates bedding down for the night on the basis of best supper menu.
More seriously, I think he is OK with the fact we are going to continue living in the same community, a few streets apart: that he has some degree of control over outcomes; that both parents are talking about managing the future relatively amicably.
Yeah, yeah. The best laid plans and all that. Still, there is no reason I can see at this moment why we shouldn’t manage to do this and we are (both) already looking for houses.
Of truthiness and cargo cults
But what of Prince Phillip? Ah, yes. I was unimpressed to be informed today that a bunch of t-chasers in the United States had now started posting wildly inaccurate stuff about me. They may be female and feminist, though given their propensity to anonymity and the sheer hilarity of some of their postings, they might equally be a spoof set up by the Westboro Baptist church.
“T-chaser” is also wrong: more like t-fleers (which so makes me want to type tea-leafers), given their aversion to all things trans.
As for the good Prince? Well, he is the subject of veneration, being worshipped as a deity by pacific “cargo cults”, who believe that through prayer, the benefits of technological advancement will just wash up on their shores. To Prince Phillip, a person they have almost certainly never met, and of whom they know very little, they attribute a range of mystical – divine, even! – powers.
Which is a bit like what happens when you get to be even a teeny bit (in)famous on the net. People who don’t know you at all suddenly lay claim to the entirety of your life.
I am. Of course, a terrible person already, having “come out” to my daughter just 48 hours before her A-levels, thereby dishing her chances of academic success and university. It must be true. It appeared in the papers.That factlet emerged from a personal interview between daughter and respected journalist, yet I don’t know how it got born: daughter says she never said that, while journalist says she did and its on tape!
Except, its totally untrue. Can’t be true, since its on record that I spoke to my daughter about these matters in her lower sixth year, approximately two weeks before some mock AS exams. Still, the rumour, now out there, persists.
Which is why the musing on cargo cults and truthiness and how much anyone ever knows about a break-up. There is my view of what happened, and there is Andrea’sview. I suspect that these views contain a lot of similar material, coloured by personal perspective to create two different narratives. Then there is the view of close friends on either “side”. And friends of friends. And blog interlopers: those who know little of us beyond the select view we choose to put forth in our respective blogs.
I’ve said, for now, about as much as I think it right or decent to say. If you think you have any right to more detail, then SPEAK to myself, to Andrea. And if you think that without meeting or speaking to me or her or any of our friends you somehow have the inside track to who we are as individuals, think again.
For you would then be acting no better than cargo cults.