Let’s Not Talk About It

For the past few years G and I have been involved in a continuous and somewhat circular conversation that is going nowhere. Perhaps every marriage has a conversation like ours? Maybe each has a different topic, or point, but I imagine the process is the same. It’s a little like being a road trip, except the road is a ring road on the highway of marriage hell.

The road trip begins at an optimistic little town called should we. After packing the car together with a spring in our step and a sense of adventure, we leave should we and head towards a beautiful location called it makes perfect sense. We love it makes perfect sense. We agree continuously while we stay here. We often finish each others sentences and share our perfect sense anecdotes with strangers in local cafes. But once we’re back on the road we inevitably find ourselves at an uncomfortable juncture. We’re at the what if juncture. One of us wonders if we should take a different route and turn left while the other refers back to the original plan. It has to be right. This is where the plans that were talked of in should we and it makes perfect sense start to look shaky. We pull over and look back over the map, one of us thinks we caught the other rolling their eyes, the other stifles a yawn. Exaggerated deep breaths are made. It almost looks like a stalemate and then there’s a break through. We choose a different path but in the same direction, it’s all okay, we agree to keep going. Suddenly the scenery begins to get really pretty and we find ourselves close to lets do it. 

Let’s do it is having a carnival, there’s people in the street and one of us is keen to join the parade. As we turn to grab the arm of our partner we realize they’re not even looking.  They’re back at the car with the map in their hands staring at the what if juncture, they knew we should have turned left.

We both get back in the car. The excitement has worn off, one of us is looking longingly at the parade that has now disappeared into the distance while the other is highlighting the practicalities that appear to be popping up everywhere. As we drive away the road appears to change, speed bumps are followed by pot holes and kilometres of unsurfaced detours. Things get ugly, there’s road kill and litter everywhere.

It’s at this point that we stop at a cheap roadside motel and discover the rooms are more expensive than we thought they’d be, and instead of a parmigiana and a cold beer at the local pub we’ll be sharing a bag of hot chips and continuing on. This is the part where we drive in the worst kind of silence, married silence. One of us eventually then suggests we need to think about it some more. We both know that in the language of marriage this translates to lets not talk about it at all – it’s too hard. We arrive home, put the bags inside and get back to the everyday.

And then one day, after enough time has passed to forget about the road trip, like it’s never happened before, the topic is raised again. Should we?

Every May. Every freaking May.

Every May we talk about whether we should buy a car so we don’t have to rent one in Australia.

The conversation always comes straight after the quote from the car hire company arrives. The quote that leads you to believe that hire cars must now come with personal chauffeurs and on call masseuses. Renting a sedan is expensive, but renting a van to fit a family of six involves hemorrhaging cash on a daily basis. And to enhance the experience of being completely fleeced, you’re then going to be spending your holiday being mistaken for the local courier or locksmith; your hard earned cash is going towards a van that is going to be white, square, automatic, and have the power of a mini bike. Once you’ve got your jet lagged family and the sixteen pieces of luggage squashed into every crevice of the vehicle, you will hit your first incline and mistake the weight of your suitcases and children for a carnival cruise liner. Your new van appears to have the power of a vespa.

In January this year when we were returning out latest postal van to the hire company, we agreed it was time to buy a car for Australia. We then agreed on the make, the model, the timing. And then we hit the ring road and talked about it some more. Insurance. Wear and tear. Who’ll start the car when we’re not there. What if? By the time you add it all up. Maybe we should?

I’m about to contact the hire company again.

What’s your conversation? Or is it just us?

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  1. We (Husband and I) want to buy land and build a house. We can afford the deposit for land (just) but it won’t be the great bit of land in a nice suburb – it’ll be a tiny block in the (very) outer suburbs so Husband will spend 2 hours every day driving to/from work. So maybe we should wait and save up a bit more and maybe we’ll be able to afford something a bit bigger? But the prices of everything is beginning to climb. By the time we save up a bit more, the price of land will have climbed even higher and we’ll be back in the same financial position we are in now (or possibly in a worse position). So should we or shouldn’t we? Because if a heap of land hits the market then maybe the cost of land will fall? Maybe Husband will get the pay rise he’s been promised for the past year (that has never eventuated)? So maybe we should wait? But if the price of land goes up……..


  3. REALLY! You should write that book! I’d love to give it to all the prople in my life that are important to me….

    You really live my life and I live yours but you are sooooo much better writing about it 😉

    Thank you! And have a wonderful summer with that hired van 😉 !

  4. Ha – our argument is nothing like that – it generally involves someone (9 times out of 10 related to me) throwing a curveball requiring reorganisation – which can be as innocuous as swinging by a different shop to collect something – and my poor husband doesn’t handle curve balls at all… I swing between the just blurt it to him and get his pain out of the way and the protect him from the knowledge of change and slip it in hoping he won’t notice. Neither extreme works. A warning shot and then a follow up once he has settled is the only method.

  5. Love this Kirsty! We have this same circle here too 🙂 Perthwife – I can totally relate to your story – we are having the identical one right now.

  6. Hi there, this is the first time i have ever commented…. but I thought as a Navy sailor who often leaves her car for 6 months at a time not being started, I could solve that ‘who will start the car’ issue. Noone! You dont need to. Just disconnect the battery. It will be fine. `

  7. It’s the garden. Do we fix it up a bit or wait until we can actually afford to do a decent job of it with a proper plan which will likely not be for another 5 years. No point spending money on something that will be ripped up in 5 years but every year it’s the same – the garden looks so dead and pathetic that we really should do something but no point spending money blah blah blah and around and around we go. No definite solution. Actually, the same could be said for anything on the house, be it door knobs, carpet (cheap option now or wait 5 years…) Good luck with your van decision 🙂

  8. Let’s buy a house close to the school. Or maybe it should be closer to work or you will never see the boys. If it’s closer to the city the mortgage will be too large. Let’s buy something that needs some work. I am over renovating – we’ve done it before. But that’s how we’ve made money in the past. But we’re not looking to make money, we’re looking for a home. Think of the time investment. Yet we’ll probably have more space. But at the moment we’ve had less space and we’ve managed fine…. And on, and on, and on. Not sure what we’ll end up doing!!! x

  9. Great post! We have been on the renovate here or buy something bigger roundabout for a year and in 2 weeks we move to our new (bigger) place! So yay for us! There is finally a resolution! Ours wasn’t every May it was EVERY WEEK!

  10. You have just reminded me that we have not rented our car this summer yet!!

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