Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Ankles and blankets

We are lying in bed. I am doing one of my 'habits', one that my wife finds less than endearing, and which I have christened 'washing machine ankle'. That's not exotic rhyming slang or a coded message, in fact it's a pretty basic description: my right ankle has, over recent years, taken on an alarming 'click' - so that as I rotate my foot in a circular motion, the whole ankle bone makes a series of small clicking noises at regular intervals, just like the dial of a washing machine when you set the programme.
ClickClickClick, goes my ankle.
"My ankle is still clicky" I announce.
"I can hear" says my wife, in the voice of a woman who has not only heard the click in my ankle every night for the last two years, but has also heard me remark on it with thudding monotony over the same time period.
"It doesn't hurt." I add. "It just clicks."
"Yeah, you've said before."
"Like a washing machine dial" I add.
"Yes. You've said. Many times."
There is a pause. ClickClickClick, goes my ankle.
"I wonder if it's because of the cold."
"No. It's because you're getting old. Bits of you are wearing out."
There is probably some truth in that, but I don't like to think about it. This week I found a grey hair up my nose, which I feel is both ominous and significant. When the hair in your nose starts to change colour, no amount of 'Just for men' hair dye can help disguise the aging process.
Action must be taken. I get out of bed and turn on the light.
"What are you doing?" she asks, in a voice that makes it clear that what she really means is Why don't you just shut up and lie still, so I can go to sleep?'
"I think my ankle clicks because of the cold. I need an extra blanket."
"Do it quietly.." she hisses.
A few minutes later, I return with the blanket from my office. This is a recent purchase, and one that I am delighted with: I bought it for £2 in a sale in the New Year, to address the issue that my office is so cold in the mornings that I needed something to stave off hypothermia while I waited for the radiator to kick in. I think the blanket is fetchingly brown and retro, and was fantastic value for money: my wife thinks it is the single most disgusting item I have bought in some time and loathes the sight of it. Its very presence in the house offends her artistic sensibilities.
As I appear in the bedroom door with it she reacts instantly, as I knew she would.
"Get that out of here" she says. "You know I don't want it in the house"
"Stop talking to me like I'm a naughty dog who has just dragged a dead animal into the house. It's just a blanket."
"It's not a blanket. It's a hatecrime against taste."
"Interesting - you don't think 'hatecrime' is perhaps is bit strong, no? To describe soft furnishings? You don't think that perhaps you've lost a sense of perspective on this?"
"No, I don't. Take it out."
"No. My ankle clicks. I need a blanket."
"I am not having that thing on my side of the bed."
"Oh, for heavens sake, why not?"
"Because it's vile. It's the worst kind of nasty Seventies design."
"You won't have to see it. The light will be off. I'm not going to sit up in bed all night with the light on, looking at a blanket..."
"Even with the light off I'll know it's there. I'll be able to feel it, leeching bad taste into the bedclothes."
"Give over."
I fold the blanket in half, and cover my side of the bed with it before slipping under the covers. I turn the light off, and settle down. Within a few minutes it becomes glaringly obvious that (a) I am now way too hot and (b) the clicking in my ankle was not because my feet were cold. Neither are facts that I feel I should trouble my wife with, because she would only get all righteous about it. Better, I decide, that she never knows.
"Give us a cuddle" I say.
"When you burn that blanket."
"No, I'm cold" I lie.

4 comments:

pw said...

Very funny. I would like to hear her side of the story... Does she know about your blog?

Anonymous said...

how you and your mrs ever got together I'll never know.... hang on just had a flash back to the bakery..tap tap "you know why"

Max

Misterimpatient said...

Thank God your wife hasn't a clue of this blog. Remind me again. Did you want more children?

PDC said...

Ohg good Lord yes, of course my wife knows about this blog. There would just be no way of hiding it. She has even, on more than one occasion, gotten fan mail...
She normally reads it before anyone else. As to her side of the story, well, perhaps a 'guest post' might be in order...