The ill-fated upcoming half-term trip to Norfolk has now ignited spectacularly embittered emotion. Last week the car’s dashboard was repeatedly kicked, and there were cries of injustice and resentment. “Why are we going away that day? I don’t even want to go on holiday! It’s not fair!”
Thankfully, this heartfelt outpouring of anger isn’t coming from me, but from my 10 year old daughter, whose two closest school friends are going to a trampoline park on Wednesday (the same day that Arsenal play Manchester City live on my telly, which I won’t be watching as I’m on the same holiday.)
Unlike daughter, I’d kept my bug-bear zipped up, or at least until I used it to try and temper my daughter’s temper as we drove home from collecting her brother from school. A pain shared is a pain halved, or something.
“But you can still watch it afterwards”, came the dismissal of my own application of woe.
“But it won’t be live”, I counter-pressed.
“But it’s (the trampoline park play date) all they’re talking about.”
And I get that. After the Manchester United win, I couldn't resist going on Twitter and hearing what a great time everyone had without me. So, do we hope Arsenal don’t win and that the friends have another fall-out at the trampoline park? What I can say for certain is that I’d much rather the girls don’t have a good time at the trampoline park, and therefore don’t go on and on about it, than Arsenal lose. As much as I have FOMO, I don’t want to live the pain of defeat, and I’m worried that the 115 charges brought against City for cooking the books will have a resurgent effect on their form.
I would be very bitter about the probable wrongdoing of a Nation State somehow helping them in the title race thanks to a siege mentality formed by that wrongdoing being challenged - but I have surprisingly not held on to the initial irritation at missing the big match. I’ll treat myself perhaps to the Etihad return in April, assuming it will be covered by Sky, which I can pay for via Now TV. Though there’s a chance, of course, that on the day I’ll decide that Match of the Day will actually be fine or that something else will be going on.
If I could just get to one game this season, it would be a success (and hopefully now that the touting websites have been drastically hit, the chances won’t be so remote) starting with the Palace sale on 14th - Valentine’s Day of course, obliging me to postpone romance for 30-45 minutes between 10am onwards: I’m more than up to it, having taken my missus to a fancy restaurant in Bushey the night Arsenal played at Bolton in the FA Cup in 2006-07 (and hopefully didn’t watch the recording when I got in😉.)
I guess if I was happy to watch delayed coverage of an Arsenal match back then, then the same should apply for the City game, even if the stakes, as they say on Strictly Come Dancing, are higher. Meredith and I need to get through this together. Meredith’s dramatic articulation of her dismay may have helped her deal with her issue, unburdening herself, while the missus remains blissfully ignorant of mine. This may be working out ok now, but on the evening she may sense something is amiss while we’re having dinner, or playing cards, or intervening between the warring kids. Then you can bet I won’t be praised for keeping it all in and riding it out, stiff upper lip and so on. But if I say about the match in advance, then I’ll feel like a child.
Just one who hasn’t vandalised the car yet.