The truth about marital compatibility

People lay awake at night fretting about whether they are compatible with their intended partners.

She’s a catholic; I’m a protestant.

He’s a socialist; I’m a capitalist.

Even Romeo and Juliet had the problem. He’s a Montague; I’m a Capulet.

Waste of good sleeping time.

Compatibility in bed (as Romeo and Juliet would confirm if they were still alive) will get a young couple through anything.

Almost anything. Bugger religion, if you’ll pardon the expression. Bugger politics.

But if you use a brush to do the washing up, and she uses a cloth – you’re doomed.

If he hums while he’s driving, she’ll kill him one day.

If he pulls the hair off the comb and drops it on the floor, he’ll be found one day with his head stove in by the vacuum cleaner and the hose end hidden painfully from view.

These are the stuff of divorces. Trust me on this.

My wife has thrown away the washing-up brush. In its place there is a limp, sad, cloth, festooned with little nodules of porridge, like barnacles. It smells vaguely of the sullage tank.

And she expects me to wash up with it.

“Where’s the brush?”

“I threw it away. The bristles had gone soft and it had bits in it.”

“I can’t wash up with a cloth. And definitely not this cloth. I wouldn’t use this cloth to wipe my bum!”

“Oh, don’t be so… childish.”

The other thing about a porridge-encrusted washing-up cloth is that you can’t kill anyone with it.

But you could be charged with manslaughter, wiping the crockery with a cloth like this. Anyone who eats off the plates afterwards is going to die.

And there’s another thing — if you use a cloth you can’t use hot water because if you do you can’t get your hands in it. With a brush you don’t have to place your hands in it. You can scald the crockery to a state of sterility and then hook it out with the brush.

If it happens that your wife comes up beside you and rinses out one of her grotty cloth to wipe the table with, and melts the skin off her hands in the process, that is not your problem.

People should know better.

Stay out of my water! I am washing up!

And if I hum while I’m driving that is a Good Thing. It helps me concentrate.

“You do it at the bloody traffic lights, when nothing’s moving!”

“So… we haven’t had an accident yet, have we?”

“No but you’re heading for one, sunshine!”

These are the things people should worry about.

When the parents sit the happy couple down for the Serious Chat, they don’t need to be asking whether a Buddhist-Mormon marriage is wise.

They need to ask: how do hold a knife and fork?

Do you fold your lavatory paper or scrunch it into a ball?

Where do you drop your underwear when you’ve taken it off?

Do you leave slivers of toenail littering the carpet by the bed?

And it makes the inevitable separation less painful.

It’s one thing to weep in a tower over the loss of a loved one because he has the wrong religion. It’s another thing entirely to maintain the pain of separation when you know that somewhere in a far distant land he’s standing in front of the mirror pulling the hairs out of his nose.