My husband has broken one of the new John Lewis Michelangelo 250 ml glasses (suitable for Red / White wine). The disappointment is heightened as not only were they were new, in a kitchen of old items, they were also part of a frugal set of eight, two boxes of four. So now we’re down to seven.
“We should have bought twelve in the first place”, I mutter. “We were CRAZY to buy only eight.”
“mmhh CRAZY” repeats my husband, “totally wild.”
I narrow my eyes. I sense some sarcasm.
“Let’s buy another box of four, and then we’re back where we should have been in the first place,” I say, undeterred. “Where other people are,” I needlessly add.
“Where other people are?” he repeats suspiciously.
I pity him; I know what is going on here. In his desperation to be left of centre, he is always unduly concerned by any attempt to do anything that normal people do – my aspiration to own eleven, rather than seven, Michelangelo 250 ml wine glasses, for example. (I actually hope, one day, to own twelve, but I know how to pick my battles).
“OK let’s just buy one, to replace the broken one”
“They come as a set of four”
“A different one, that comes on it’s own. It doesn’t have to match, does it?”
While he may be content with a prime number for a wine glass set, I am not. I know I can get him on the practicalities of the situation.
“What happens when we have six people over for dinner? We’ll need eight”
“Not everyone drinks wine”
“Would be nice to offer people the choice”
I have him pegged. He is a logician and scientist at heart and he can’t argue with the maths.
He pauses and thinks.
“OK. When we have people over, I just won’t drink any wine”. I am no longer sensing sarcasm. This is a genuine attempt at being helpful.
I am floored. He is missing the point entirely. It’s not about wine glasses – why can’t he see that? it’s about matching, even and pleasing numbers. It is about symmetry and middle class hopes and dreams.
“So, what will you drink?”
“Beer,” he says simply, “or, if I want wine, I can use a champagne glass, or sneak gulps from a mug in the kitchen in between courses.”
I have to remind myself he is not meaning to be so infuriatingly annoying. In his mind he is being helpful. I breathe and let it go. Trying to get him to see my point of view is impossible.
Instead, I furtively order another set of four glasses from the John Lewis website.
I strategically integrate them into our kitchen cupboard so as to avoid detection. Deep down he would be pleased.