7 questions that make normal relationships tick

Relationships are tricky things, aren’t they?  And great communication is one of the pillars that sustains them.  I recently read an article full of questions to help you better connect with your partner. But I won’t be using them any time soon, because questions about who would play me in a movie of my life are not the questions that make a normal relationship tick.

We all know that the real questions that matter are:

  1. Did you put the bins out? This is basic gamesmanship.  Whoever asks the question first has cleverly implied that the other person should have put the bins out.  That person is now obliged to shift their lazy arse off the sofa and put them out, whether they think it’s their job or not.
Couple questions Mark Wright

Last person to ask has to put the bins out.  Those are the rules

  1. Is this the best thing that’s on the TV? This is a euphemism.  What the question really means is ‘The programme you have chosen is utter tosh and I don’t want to watch it’.
  1. Where’s the remote control?  This question is like using the indicator in a car.  It signals that you want to change channel.  If you can’t find the magic buttons, it’s probably because your partner loves the programme that you have just dismissed as tosh and is sitting on the remote.
couple questions wrestling

Give me the remote control and nobody needs to get hurt

  1. Why did you do that?  I think we all know that this is not actually a question.  It’s a reprimand taking the grammatical form of a question.
  1. Could you unload the dishwasher?  Also not a question.  This is a politely phrased command.  Everyone in a long-term relationship knows that you fail to unload the dishwasher  at your peril.
  1. How do I look?  This is a question, but it’s a trick question.  There is only one correct answer and if you don’t know it by now you will probably never be able to hold down a stable and fulfilling relationship.

    couples questions Elizabeth taylor

    Was the dress code for tonight smart-casual or casual-casual?

And finally, a question that probably doesn’t feature in every relationship, but which is one of my favourites and which I give you for free to use at your leisure…

  1. Does anyone mind if I eat the last biscuit? Psychological warfare at its absolute best.  I mean, who would be so rude and selfish as to answer ‘Actually I mind, because I want to eat that biscuit myself’?
couples questions biscuits.jpg

Biscuits skilfully created by my children with the help of their Devoted Granny

Thanks to Great British Chefs, The Daily Mail and Millelac County Times for the photos in this blog and Devoted Granny for all the biscuits I ate.

3 reasons ’70s parenting sucked

There’s plenty to love about the ‘70s.  Big hair was in (helloooo Farrah Fawcett); the Bee Gees were rocking out; and a cheese and pineapple hedgehog was all you needed to turn your party from slightly drab to the height of sophistication.

70s beegees

Unfortunately the ’70s were also the decade that gave us men with their shirts open to the navel, black vinyl car seats, and some shockingly poor parenting.  If you still think that restricting access to the iPad is the worst thing a parent can do, take a moment to remind yourself about parenting ’70s style…

  • Today, you can’t leave a dog in the car without someone phoning the police about your irresponsible behaviour, but in the ‘70s, leaving your children in the car was the go-to solution for any parent who wanted to do a spot of shopping but didn’t want the hassle of trekking their kids about with them. This wasn’t bad parenting.  It was the norm.  And by the way, if you remember fighting with your siblings for who sat in the front seat whilst your parents hung out with their mates at the pub, you’re one of the lucky ones.  I was an only child, so normally there was just me, the car radio and a luke-warm bottle of pop.
  • In the 70s, tanning yourself to a deep shade of mahogany was the height of fashion, and sunbathing until you could fry an egg on your back was the quickest way to get there. It certainly never occurred to any of us, least of all our supposedly responsible parents, that lying in the sun until your skin turned crimson and went slightly crispy might be a bad thing.  My mother was ahead of her time in buying factor 4 suntan lotion, but some mums I knew sent their kids out coated in Baby Oil.  I blame every wrinkle I have today on my parents’ remiss attitude to sun protection.
70s tanfastic

Tanfastic lets the sunshine in.  It’s not loaded up with sunburn protection like old folks and kids want. Tanfastic is for you 15 to 25 year olds who can take the sun.  Especially if you want to get superdark.  Superfast.

  • Health and safety was not really a thing in the 70s, which is why people treated it as a genuine infringement of their human rights if you suggested that they might want to wear a seatbelt whilst driving.  If you needed to take a bunch of kids somewhere, you just jammed as many of the little blighters in the car as would fit.  My husband claims he once travelled home from a party lying across the dashboard.  I don’t have any evidence for this, but it would certainly fit with my experience of a squirming mass of children travelling sardine-style in the boot of some helpful mummy’s  estate car.  I’m genuinely surprised that so many of us made it through the decade without serious harm to life or limb.
SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Everything the safety-conscious parent could want: an ill-secured car seat with a steering wheel that will brain your child in an accident

All this and I haven’t even touched on some of the lesser offences committed by ‘70s parents.  Like dressing their children in shades of brown, as if they wanted us to look like a giant turd.  Or the fact that everything we wore was a fire-hazard, because in those days clothes only came in ‘flammable’ and ‘super-flammable’.

70s brown clothesSometimes I worry that I am failing as a parent because my children don’t eat quinoa salad or read Dostoevsky in Russian, but then I remember the ‘70s and, you know what, I’m doing OK.

Thanks to Scarymommy.com for the photo at the top, which comes from a hilarious article on 70s parenting.