There is a conversation with my girlfriend which takes place almost every day. It is ingrained in my mind because it never changes. It is like a blimmin Groundhog moment every day: I know exactly what is going through her mind and she knows what I am going to say in return. Why do we do this in relationships? It goes like this:
“Are we ready to leave love?” I ask.
“Yes.” She says.
“So lets go.”
“Sure, have you got everything?” She asks.
She continues the questioning, brushing off my usual sarcastic reply, “Phone, fags, wallet, keys?”
“No, no, no and no.” I reply.
“Great! Let’s go then.”
“After you.” (Always the gentleman, me.)
She then proceeds to walk out of the front door. So far, so good, it’s all going to plan. I take the keys which I don’t have out of my pocket and start locking up.
This is the part where we divert from the plan and onto the groundhog plan:
“Wait!” She says. “Have I unplugged my hair dryer?”
“No. It’s on in the bathroom and the bath is running.” I reply – so far the score is Me: 0 Groundhog: 1.
“Just let me check.” She adds.
“Ok, you go and check.”
She checks the bathroom taps, lights are turned on and off again and there isn’t a hair dryer in sight.
“Shall we go then?” I ask.
“Have you switched off the gas?” Come on, I asked a simple yes or no question and what do I get in return? another question! Me: 0 Groundhog: 2.
“No, I have left the heating on full and there is a pot of boiling water on the hob.” I reply. Touché – take that you groundhog!
“Wait, let me check.”
“But we just checked everything before walking out of the door the first time!” I say to which She makes a face and I, like any sensible male when faced with such a face succumb to the face’s demands.
“Okay! Go and check.” I say. Now the groundhog OCD plan is in full swing.
She walks back into the apartment for the umpteenth time and proceeds to check the balcony door to see whether it is locked.
“That’s not the gas on off switch love, that’s the balcony door.” I say.
“I know, I was just checking if I closed it.”
“It looks closed, it always looked closed since I closed it about an hour ago. We don’t have a poltergeist you know.” I say to her and then under my breath, “I bloody wish we did sometimes, at least then this whole farce would be worth it.”
“What did you say?”
“Nothing.” I say and smile.
She walks into the kitchen and I follow her only to see her bending over the hob.
“What on earth are you doing?”
“I am checking to see if the gas is off.”
“No you’re not. You are checking for a leak right?” I ask, incredulity on my face. The process of leaving the house began at least fifteen minutes ago when we checked everything the first time.
“You are really, honestly, bending over the hob and smelling each and every place where there could be a gas leak right?” I ask again.
“Ummmmm. Yes” she says, sheepishly.
“I think that the back balcony door is open and I have left all the lights on in the bedroom and the water in the bathroom has turned itself on again and your possessed hair dryer has plugged itself in and the iron, I forgot about the iron that might be on. Would you like to check again?”
“No.” She smiles, while now it’s been a minor age since we first walked out of the front door.
“Are you sure?” I ask before walking out the front door again.
“Yes, let’s go!” She says with certainty this time.
“Whoppee fucking do! Finally.” I say and begin to take out my keys to lock up the front door. And what does she say to me? Honestly, she really doe say this – always:
“Have you got everything, phone fags wallet keys? And you were joking about the iron right?”
And my reply is:
“So are we ready to go?” She asks…
And then it begins again.