I shan’t try and translate any of her essential ‘amusingness’ – it’s a kind of ‘how she says it’ sort of thing. Upon hearing that my Newly Gay Friend had briefly flirted with heterosexuality again before getting a new boyfriend she puffed her cheeks out, rolled her eyes, and said in the manner of an elderly Aunt, “Oooh he’s flighty isn’t he?” She’s 29 and uses the word ‘tomfoolery’ a lot. Like I say, you sort of have to hear her talk.
Anyway, it had just come up in conversation.
WMAW: But I thought you’d only just moved into that flat. You were quite pleased about the garden.
Blonde Colleague: Don’t even get me started-
Me: Shush. Yeah. But the washing-machine broke.
WMAW: So you thought ‘ah well, I’ll just move house’?
Me: Pretty much actually.
It was, of course, a little more complicated than that.
The flat was rented from a friend of mine; a situation that only the very idiotic get into but my back was sort of against the wall at the time for a number of reasons. Looking back on it, it was a fucking horrible place but was an improvement on the previous three years of shared-accommodation hell and it’s funny how quickly a person can get acclimatized to their surroundings – however unpleasant – and kid themselves that they’re acceptable.
One saving grace was the fitted kitchen complete with all white goods that came with the deal.
Except the washing-machine broke.
I explained this to my friend the Seven-Foot Sociopath.
SFS: No problem. These things happen.
Me: Thanks. So I’ll just arrange to get it repaired myself? I’ll get a receipt and take the money out of next months rent?
SFS: [Slowly putting down his pint]. No, that's on you. You have to pay for that.
SFS: It was rented to you part-furnished. You’re responsible for the furnishings.
Me: So when I move out I’ll be taking the furnishings with me then?
SFS: No. There’re mine.
Me: Yes. I’m not paying to maintain your kit.
SFS: Look, I did you a favour, you had nowhere else to go, I didn’t ask you for a deposit did I? Not like you can afford one either. Sooo-
Me: We’re not going to argue about this.
And we never have. And although what I said was “We’re not going to argue about this” what I was thinking was “Fuck you, fuck your flat and fuck your poxy fucking fuck of a washing machine that made my clothes smell a bit funny anyway you fucking lanky streak of cocking piss.”
Within two weeks and much negotiation with my new landlord I move into a really quite pleasant furnished house that includes a fully-functioning washing machine. Leaving an unrepaired-one behind.
The World’s Most Amusing Woman listens to this story agog.
WMAW: So rather than pay out – what? Fifty balloons or something – you MOVE HOUSE with all that upheaval and cost on a point of principal?
Me: Yes. And a washing-machine.
WMAW: [After some thought] Remind me never to give you an ultimatum. I think you are the most stubborn man I have ever met.
And perhaps I am – something that has not always gone in my favour. But what I know is this:
I would rather look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and see the sort of idiot who would cut off his nose to spite his face than see a pussy – someone who’d roll over and take it for the sake of an easy life. I’d rather the stress, the logistical nightmare of a house move and the cost of hundreds of pounds than the knowledge that I am someone’s ‘bitch’.
As a postscript to this absurd episode; I did fret a little about telling Seven-Foot Sociopath that I was moving out with less than two weeks notice a fortnight before Christmas. He was out of order, but it’s a hell of a time to land someone in it.
Upon telling him, he replied with-
SFS: Actually I was wanting to talk to you anyway. We’re putting it on the market in January.
He had some bullshit idea that I'd buy the misery-pit from him. With all my millions I can only presume.
Which sort of vindicated my general pig-headedness. If I hadn’t been quite so stubborn, hadn’t possessed the small amounts of resourcefulness, ability and determination that I occasionally rely on, I would have been well and truly fucked.
So perhaps there’s a moral there somewhere.
And no. I don’t think we’re friends anymore.