The Wife in the Bath

Homelife Crisis 5 Comments

So the hubstacle and I were discussing divorce yesterday.  As you do.

I don’t quite know how we got onto the topic, but I think it was something to do with the kids.  I think it was Herbert whose conversational opening gambit was “so when you two get a divorce…”!

Thanks kid!

It wasn’t even like there’d been any arguing.  (Of course, the Grumpster and I NEVER argue.  Our home is a haven of married bliss. *cough*).

But if a teensy bit of bad temper had crept in, I could hardly be blamed.  I am confined to the sofa on account of SEPTIC TOE.  So it is quite a miracle really, all things considered.

Runners foot_Fotor

I was already banned from running for a fortnight due to Comrades-bodged tendon, so this is only a minor additional inconvenience.  But I am starting to go a little stir crazy.  And the constant milking it might be starting to wear a little thin on the family…

But no, it hadn’t turned nasty.  Herbert is just a bit random.  (I have no idea where he gets that from).

So, I was thinking about the Wife of Bath, as you do.  It came to me in the shower. Which is in the bath.

Incidentally, we had to study it for “A” level English. In the “old English”, which is nothing like English. It was a minor miracle if I read any of my set texts, and true to form, I couldn’t be bothered with Chaucer;  I think I read some in translation and relied on the teacher’s notes for the rest.

[Kids – particularly you Herbert – I know you don’t read this, but if you chance across it accidentally, learn from my mistakes and do your homework and be a good student.  No good will come of being as lazy as I was.  Good SACE results are a golden key to the door of opportunity].

Not surprisingly, considering my diligence in the sixth form, I couldn’t really remember anything other than the good wife was gap-toothed which she was keen to point out as the sign of being a lusty lady. (I have a gap, too, but I put it down to genetic predisposition.  Not quite so poetic…)  And she was married several times over.  Although her ex husbands seemed to be despatched via a grisly demise, rather than a visit to the divorce courts. I guess that’s progress for you.

So I suddenly had a desire to (re?) read it. Didn’t they write somewhere: Google, and you will receive.  Well, I did, and you can also access the prologue and the tale.

Funny how words change, but the world doesn’t! She might have been writing nearly a thousand years ago, but the themes the Wife tackles in her story are just as valid today.  Nobility and privilege.  Love and appearances. (Did the old hag in the story really transform, or was it the power of gratitude that made the knight see things differently)? Equality in marriage. Chaucer wrote a very modern woman.

I didn’t see this back in the day.  If I’d been paying a bit more attention I might have drawn a few parallels.  I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, (although my lack of regional accent in a regional school meant I was singled out as a “posh snob”).

“The noble is the man of noble deed”.  (Line 1170)

But my lack-lustre attitude to school was honed on the back of being bright enough to coast lazily under the radar without my grades dropping too far, and I took that as a green light.  I deed as little as possible!  But all good things come to an end, and I got the grades I deserved.  Oops.

These days, I’m pretty sure the running I do has more than a little to do with trying to run away from the person I was back then.  After all, you can’t run a marathon, let alone an ultra, without putting in some amount of consistent effort. But I do see that I don’t push as hard as I could when I’m out there, so maybe that’s what the mission is between now and Comrades 2016 – to do the noble thing and put that extra effort in.

Anyway, the good news is there’s only one area of contention around a divorce settlement, and that would be splitting of the canine assets.  He would get the dog-dogs and I would keep the cat-dog.  No argument there. But then Oscar would have nothing to pounce on in an evening, except a huminion, so he needs to be able to visit his furry beast friends.


The solution is that the Grumpster and I will need to have houses next-door. At first I thought we could have a combined back garden, allowing the dogs to roam between the two. (And the kids could nip round when they need feeding). (And I could nip round when I need some laundry doing). But then I remembered that the dogs consider the backyard to be an alternative toilet and I’m not having doggy-doo in my new backyard!! So I have concluded we’d have to maintain a fence between the two. I can see the benefit of one of Oscar’s demands in his manifesto – a cat-flap would be a must, otherwise there would be constant complaining from either side of the fence. And a human gate would be handy for the emergency access reasons mentioned above.

Anyway two things I’ve figured.  1). My inability to be domestic, possibly down to laziness or disorganisation, maybe just a perfect mix of both, means divorce ain’t on the cards.  He does domestic and I do erm… delightful, so I’m thinking I’m a keeper! And 2) I reckon the Good Wife would be a blogger if she were around today…

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