I am fascinated by the idea of comfortable silence, the notion that if you're truly happy with someone, if you know them inside out, you don't need to talk. Well obviously you need to talk - pass the ketchup, that sort of thing - but not all the time, and certainly not the sort of nervous garbling I tend to revert to when faced with a roomful of people I've not met before.
One of the things I've missed most about my husband being away is actual adult conversation. This morning I'm ashamed to admit in tiredness I cried down the phone to him as I described the awful night we'd had (there's a post on sleep coming soon!) and, with toddler T at nursery, he suggested baby C and I had a lazy day today so I could rest. I cried harder, 'But I don't want to stay in the house all day, I want to talk to someone'. Yesterday I said only a handful of words to other adults, a quick transaction in the Co-op and more than half of the other ones with my mouth wide open to the dentist, 'ahhh ah ah ahhh, ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh', well he appeared to know what I was talking about. I wasn't schtum for the rest of the day of course, but there are only so many conversations you can have about 'cloud monsters' before you start to go a little crazy.
This afternoon I met a fabulous friend for a catch up chat. It felt very, very good to talk. But as we put the world to rights over hot chocolate and smoothies (yes I know real grown-ups drink tea and coffee, but not us two!) I wondered whether this week in a fit of melancholic pique I am actually mourning something I never really had.
Were my husband here right now, what would we be doing. Well I'd probably be doing this, typing on the laptop, rubbish telly in the background, and he'd probably be doing what I assume he's doing right now in his new flat, playing on his phone, rubbish telly in the background. Even in the same room, sharing the same sofa, chances are we absolutely, definitely would not be talking to each other.
So instead of complaining about the lack of conversation, maybe I should be celebrating the fact that the comfortable silence remains. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
1 year ago