This week I was returning home from walking the dog and the couple I wrote about recently came around the corner. I heard them long before I saw them as if they’d continued on in a perpetual state of argument since the last time they appeared, him skulking moodily with a cigarette hanging from his thin lips, and her shouting filth at him while she hopped about from side to side some twenty yards behind.
I heard her call, “Give me back my bank card then and I’ll be gone babe, and this time I won’t be coming back”.
It made me feel sad. Not just because it’s not very becoming to have such frequent public spats but because she was pointing out to everyone, but mostly herself, that this is not the first time she has tried to get away from a place where she doesn’t feel valued.
I couldn’t shake her words. Something keeps us hanging on in situations which are not good for us. Sometimes it’s because we are waiting for someone else to offer us something better instead of realising that usually, we could have given something better to ourselves.
Opening the new 1kg box of “Shreddies” I bought from the supermarket I fill the bowl and pour on the milk. I was unsure if it had been wise to buy such a big box considering that nobody else likes them but checking the price per 100g I found that buying in bulk was far cheaper.
After three or four mouthfuls I remember that I don’t like “Shreddies” either and I stare at the huge box on top of of the kitchen shelf contemptuously. Daisy licks her lips expectantly realising that I’ve made a terrible mistake.
It reminds me of a bizarre conversation I once had with a Sky TV salesman who knocked on the door one evening.
“We can match the price that you’re paying and you’ll get 30 extra channels,” he said with a beaming smile.
“But I don’t watch most of the channels I have already” I countered.
“Yes, but who wouldn’t want extra channels for free?” he replied in a way which suggested he actually thought he had a point.
On that occasion, I managed to avoid succumbing to a “Shreddies” type marketing ploy, but I suspect it was mostly because I didn’t want a satellite dish stuck to the front of my house.
When it comes to accepting more of the same for “no extra cost” it’s worth considering whether what we’ve got is actually what we wanted in the first place, what the real cost truly is, and whether we are “settling” because no “special offer” from elsewhere has caught our eye.
Sitting outside enjoying my coffee on what may well be the last of the truly summery weekends the bees are humming around the flowers on the pumpkins and a little robin perches on the fence watching me. I’ve not seen him before and I wonder if maybe he’ll still be around in a few weeks when the nights start drawing in and the colder weather comes.
I say to him, “If you’re looking for food in the winter come back here. I’ve got a load of “Shreddies” to get rid of and at absolutely no cost to you.”