St Valentine’s day

San Valentino, ah love is in the air and the aroma of fresh cut flowers fill the room like a summer meadow in full bloom, or at least that’s how it should be. In reality, its more a case of running down to the florist, grab a bunch of roses, hand over your credit card – I remember when I used to pay cash – baulk at the numbers appearing on the hand-held device waiting for approval and then grumble back to the car chocolates under one arm, flowers in the other wondering how much tonight’s dinner is going to cost. This Valentine’s Day business really is a business and based on guilt.

I would of course have preferred to have had a romantic dinner at home, but alas that is impossible given that the mother of my child appears to be permanently glued to the sofa and so would obviously ruin the ambience. It does make me wonder however when or even if ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ will ever get on with her own life and move on.

There are some creeping doubts that despite my having always maintained that she will be gone once my daughter leaves for university, the fact that there are only two years before that eventual day arrives, she may have little if any intention of moving on.

For 12 years now, I have been saying, I cannot ‘kick her out’ as she will take my daughter with her and I am powerless to stop her, but once my daughter has left for university, there is nothing to keep her here…well, that time is fast approaching and after several failed relationships – due to the unusual situation at home – there is light at the end of the tunnel. But is there?

I have this nagging feeling that ‘Ms Brodie’ has no intention of leaving, and why should she? She hasn’t had to pay any rent or mortgage repayments, none of the utilities: gas, electric, water, rates etc food is provided, meals are provided her only expenses are the monthly broadband subscription – a recent thing – my daughter’s piano lessons and clothing. So, after 16 years of having little any any expenses, she should be cash-rich but I fear she isn’t. Where exactly her salary has gone is anyone’s guess. Now that she doesn’t appear to be working – at least not full time – what chance is there that she will want to move out.

Which of course means there will have to be a confrontation, a confrontation I have obviously deferred for years out of cowardice. Do I want to traumatize my daughter for that is the inevitable outcome. I have seen it in several other children whose parents have separated, one is even going to therapy. By some miracle, my precious not so little one any more, has been spared any of these traumas, she is excelling at school, is a well rounded child, polite, courteous, a tad on the recluse side, but otherwise appears to have no visible trace or scarring from her unusual family life – psychologically who knows?

The dilemma of course has always been thus: I don’t want to upset my daughter, I don’t want to disrupt her schooling, her exams and now I am beginning to fear derailing her university studies in a couple of years time. When is it a good time time to have this ‘confrontation’ with her mother is there ever a good time?

Happy Valentines day.images


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