When you’ve been married as long as we have you develop a private language that isn’t always easy to deconstruct.
It’s the history that obfuscates or, occasionally, elucidates. All those years of hurt, resentment, anger, happiness and, ultimately, disappointment.
Here’s a typical example:
Me (glaring): Have you farted?
The Wife (staring back blankly but boldly): No. I am quiescent, at the moment.
Two things about her reply drive me crazy. First off, there’s only two of us in the room and SOMEONE has farted. Ergo, SOMEONE is lying. Secondly, the quiet malevolence of the phrase “at the moment”. I spend the rest of the evening surreptitiously sniffing the air, my evening ruined, waiting for the next eruption.