One evening last week, as the sun was nudging the horizon with it's big fat orange arse, I was heading to the shops, taking a shortcut through a park, when I passed a couple in their forties. The woman was walking behind the guy, and she was in mid-rant when I passed whilst the guy looked at his heavy feet. I picked up the following snippet of her rant - in that whiney tone that is both self-pitying and full of blame and hate at the same time - as I passed (pretty much word-for-word, although my memory isn't flawless):
"You don't know what I mean, you don't listen. Do you? You don't, you don't. Look, I'll do the same thing, but I'll not do the same thing. Yeah? You have to see it from my point of view. Did it occur to you..."
Then it trailed off as I passed.
Now to be fair, I didn't get the entire context of the conversation, but as I plodded onwards with the woman's blithering fading into the dusk behind me, it occured to me: Holy FUCK! I am so glad I'm single.
Is that what marriage is? Plodding along with some fucking woman dribbling self-contradictorary meanlingless shite at your heels? The guy looked broken down and despaired. Not surprising really. How could he react? Turn on her and tell her to shut up? That's domestic violence. Turn on her and slap her? That's domestic violence. Run away? That's domestic violence too ('emotional neglect') Say he wants a divorce? Bye-bye house, children and future income. He looked broken, resigned and pissed off.
I, on the other hand, gave thanks to fate for not inflicting matrimony upon thyself, and continued to the shop to buy some beers which I would be sharing with a couple of mates who were coming round that evening (one with his X-Box 360 in tow), whilst married-boy there was probably going to spend the evening with soap operas going in one ear and his wife's protracted ravings bludgeoning their way into the other.
These days a single man can embark on a brief stroll to the shops for a few cans of beer and encounter a hair-raising reminder of why he should damn well stay single.