Frequently Asked Questions
I get asked various questions about the Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About page, and quite a few of those questions I get asked frequently. So I've made an inspirational leap. Here's a page where you may find the biting hunger of your thirst for knowledge satisfied. Hold on - 'hunger', 'thirst', that's not right. Damn. (Supportive Inner Voice: "Quick, Mil - keep going and no one will notice.) I am not trying to indicate 'Now, stop bothering me with your emails, OK?' here, no, I'm always happy to hear from anyone who doesn't have their bowels in their head. I'm merely providing a service, that's all. I give. That's what I do. I love you all. Send money.
Because I have only a vestigial sense of humour and am also, let's be honest, not the brightest person in the world, I actually believe that the TMGAIHAA page isn't a collection of amusing things, but rather a place in which you've poured out your feelings, perhaps as a form of therapy or a cry for help. What am I?
Well, if you're a
regular visitor, you might be asking this and the answer is 'I've offloaded
it.' It was simply getting too big. Hugely pleasing as a thing that scared
the semi-literate, but a bind for everyone else who had to wait ages for it
to load. I didn't want to split it over several pages. Why? Um - because I'm
quirky, what can I say? If you're not a regular visitor, then you're
probably asking 'This is only a bit of the total page? Oh my wheezing
Lord!' Well, yes. You should have turned up earlier, shouldn't you?
I've now made the removed Things available, but only to those people on the Mailing List. This is because, for technical reasons, I want to keep down the number of hits it gets. Oh - and also to ostentatiously slight the casual page visitors who are, of course, just a bunch of lightweights.
NO, NO, NO, NO. Nothing that's in the book has ever appeared on this site - the book's a novel. Look here. Gah.
Try looking here.
Because I have only a vestigial sense of humour and am also, let's be honest, not the brightest person in the world, I actually believe that this page isn't a collection of amusing things, but rather a place in which you've poured out your feelings, perhaps as a form of therapy or a cry for help. What am I?
You're a twat.
Writing something in the Guestbook seems to be the usual next step.
Yes, I get asked this an awful lot. And here's the thing... there's no movie-script story to it. She didn't crash a truck into my house, we weren't matched by a War Games-style 'computer dating' computer that had spontaneously gained sentience and was now pursuing its own agenda, it wasn't some kind of Stockholm Syndrome affair where I fell for her after she held me hostage during a bank heist gone wrong. Really, it was all very low-key. Perhaps I'll cover it in one of the Mailing List mails one day, maybe.
Lord yes. As I've said before, the secret of a successful relationship is to become irretrievably embroiled in a bitter struggle to the death. Anyway, if we weren't still together the title of the page would be Things My Former Girlfriend And I Argued About. Which, admittedly, would be a shame as it would mean losing the snappy acronym TMGAIHAA in favour of the clumsy and crashingly uneuphonic TMFGAIAA.
Oddly enough, no.
Tsk, all right then, I suppose so. But just twenty or thirty - and nothing involving goats, understood?
Oh, OK, you can include one with the goats. But just the one and that's it.
No. And yes. And 'haven't we covered this already?' It's absolutely all based on real incidents, but my only concern is to be funny for my own idle amusement: I'm writing humourous anecdotes here, not compiling reports for the news. But then, if you didn't realise that already, then you won't be reading this anyway, because you'll have headed straight to the Guestbook to share you perceptive insights with the world.
Mostly she doesn't bother about it - it's an Internet thing (Margret on the Internet: "It's rubbish."). She does read it every so often, though, and thinks it's funny. Margret, you see, unlike some people, is smart, understands English - subtexts and all - and has a sense of humour. We've only ever had two arguments about the page and they were minor. By which, naturally, I mean that they were screaming, howling rows lasting about three hours each, but they were minor by our standards (they were also about things so tiny and incidental that no one else would have even noticed them, let alone managed to fan them into a row). The last time she read the page her only comment was "You're such a liar." Which she later modified to "Oh. Right. I'd forgotten about that." It is true, however, that lately, after she's done something Margret-like - trying to reverse the car over me or whatever - she has taken to saying, "I suppose you're going to put that up on your page now, aren't you?" To which my reply, naturally, is, "Darling - it's not my page, it's our page."
Nope, it's just about Margret and me. Some of you men might think you're in the similar situations, but, well, OK, go back to the earlier days your relationships. Did you ever have an argument with your girlfriend that resulted in her throwing you out of her flat and locking the door? Leaving you in a rather tricky situation regarding how to get home? There you go, then. We're similar there. Now, was it winter? Were you naked apart from a cotton t-shirt? And were you standing somewhere along the Swiss-German border? I do believe, however, that arguments - about stupid things - are not simply normal in long-term relationship, but actually a sign of intimacy. People only have these idiot rows with people they are genuinely close to: partners, siblings, parents. It takes time and real love to discover where someone's buttons are: but then you can happily push them until one or the other of you is institutionalised.
But also, it has to
be said, regarding generalities - this:
Many years ago I was sitting watching a music show with my girlfriend of the time. Culture Club came on - it was their first TV performance, I think. After about fifteen seconds, Former Girlfriend punched my arm, hard.
Me: 'Ow - what was that for?'
Former Girlfriend: 'Because you fancy her.'
Me: 'Her? Who?'
Former Girlfriend: [pointing] 'Her.'
Me: 'That's a him. It's Boy George.'
Former Girlfriend: 'Oh. Right... Well, you'd fancy him if her were a woman - he's just your type.' [She punches my arm again, hard.]
I simply attract this kind of girlfriend.
Me. Obviously. Jeez - have you read the whole page and learnt nothing?
Yes, thanks. Hugely happy. Both Margret and I are really quite sickeningly happy together and the kids are so well-adjusted it actually frightens me.
The fact of all this, our being happy, appears to really, really piss some people off.
It just felt like the right time to say, 'OK - enough.' I've only ever done it for my own, idle amusement but if you count up the whole of it - that's to say, not only what's on the page now, but also the stuff that's been removed to keep the size down (but is still available to the Mailing Listers, natch) - then it's well over 50,000 words. That's longer than some books. Not my books, no, but some books nonetheless. It's sufficient to sate my idle amusement anyway. What's more, I enjoy writing the Mailing List Mails, because the Mailing List filters out most of the dolts. It's fun writing for people who have the intelligence to get it, but it can be rather wearying when you know that what you're doing is completely lost on the idiot minds of most of the readers. Look at this email that came in a few days ago. Not because it's in any way special, it's not - it's simply the most recent email I have to hand as I type this. The writer - obviously - is not on the Mailing List. Are you saying that I should not concentrate on the wise and luscious Mailing Listers, but instead continue to update the page so that laughable dimwits like this have something against which to bluster in the hope of quelling their own homosexual angst? Pfff. I think not. So, we have a situation where I believe it's time to stop updating TMGAIHAA, twinned with anyone I'd remotely want anything to do with being on the Mailing List in any case - so they'll still get the odd TMGAIHAA-related thing, amid the general rambling. It's simply a plug whose time to be pulled has come.
I get asked this so often that I've now put up a page, here.
No. The clue there would be in the 'girlfriend' bit. We've been together for, at time of writing, about fifteen years, however, and fully expect to be together until death. Longer if Margret dies first as she's made it known she intends to haunt me - appearing suddenly in front of my car while I'm out driving at high speed on wet roads, that kind of thing.
What is it with you Americans and marriage? You seem to have some kind of confusion that makes a ritual inseparable from the thing it announces. I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but if you don't have a funeral, you're still dead, OK? No, we're never going to get married. And we've spent the money it would have cost us on a loft conversion.
Wow! You're really impressive - and so masculine. I wish I were more like you. You're great. And not just an heroic figure to all men either, but a huge success with the ladies too, I have absolutely no doubt about that. You've slept with lots of women haven't you? Just loads. Yes you have. Thanks for your input; we all thought you were dead manly and irresistible to anyone with a uterus already, but your words just confirm it. Cheers.
So, you're a teenage girl then, are you? Bless. Not really the deepest of readers? Well, no, because reading is so much effort on its own that thinking too would be sheer torture, wouldn't it? Never mind, don't bother yourself with anything beyond the simple noise that the letters make when you add them up. Really, I mean it. You enjoy the carefree years you have because, you know what? You're going to end up marrying Impressive Man, above. Oh yes you are.
Hello, I'm American. What I'd like to do now is dribble out some pop psychology I saw an airport paperback writer talking about on Oprah once and which I've slavishly used as the basis of my whole life since because I really can't go to the effort of thinking anything through for myself. Clearly, I don't have the reading skills or the intellectual depth to claw my way above the crashingly literal, so I'll use this embarrassing lack of subtlety as a misplaced springboard from which to launch into a critique of your relationship. I'll probably say something like, 'For the sake of the children', I simply won't be able to stop myself. Depending upon how I feel, I might even state that, 'I have a good sense of humour' too, a fact which, tragically, I, myself, genuinely believe to be true. Can I have a 'I Don't Get It' badge please?
Certainly - there's a box of them by the door.
Absolutely not. Some of the brightest, funniest, most erudite, down-to-earth and self-effacing people I know are Americans. (Or Canadians - which is the same thing. Yes it is. I'm not listening - Yes - It - Is.) Even my limited experience suggests most Americans are extremely pleasant people. I'm just sorry that the majority have to share a country with such a large minority of yawping, jingoistic, humourless, moronic wankers.
Let me repeat what I just said there so there can be no possible mistake. We have, dear people of the Internet, a hard core of morons. They are: dull-eyed, humourless (though they think they aren't), wearisome, insistently vocal and - consistently - American. However, how-ev-er, the large majority of Americans are quite, quite lovely. I adore them all. If one of my children ever came home and said, 'Father, I'm in love with an American.' I'd swell with delight. I'd have a feast prepared and bells rung. Americans are ace. I genuinely do like Americans. Excluding (for obvious reasons) the French, then the only set of people I think are more rubbish than not are the English - sullen, littering drunks, clutching a mobile phone in one hand while in the other there is a lead which ends in a crapping dog. OK? Is that plain? America - come here, I want to kiss each and every one of your pretty faces. Plus - plus - you have a US president who projects a national image of intelligence and class now. Who among us (that is, the entire rest of the world) would have thought we'd ever see the day when 'US president', 'intelligence' and 'class' would share a sentence, eh? Wow. At this rate, the next thing you know you'll be able to open a Louisiana school science textbook at the 'Evolution' page and not just see a big picture of Jesus killing all the dinosaurs.