Tonight The Squeeze and I had a fight on the way home from the cinema. So I had to get all Princess Shittypants. I had to.
Iâ€™d ridden in to meet him at the Nova to see â€˜Loveâ€™s Brotherâ€™ (which was rubbish by the way. Utter B-grade Aussie flick rubbish. Skip it), and we were having a great time laughing and teasing each other like irritating school kids in the cinema.
So we see this crappy film, which is ok-ish, but still crappy. And weâ€™re loading up our bikes outside the cinema, and I decide that I donâ€™t want to ride home with him.
Every time we ride anywhere together one of us a) gets hurt, b) gets the shits or c) pushes themselves too hard and gets really sore knees. Usually itâ€™s me. Mostly because he’s far better at being stalwart, and is generally infuriatingly even-tempered. I, however, am not.
I get shitty because he rides faster than I do. I ride really slowly (itâ€™s stamina, Iâ€™m sure; Iâ€™m saving myself) and I really enjoy looking at things and talking while I ride. The Squeeze rides really fast and likes to make his heart pound so hard he thinks heâ€™ll bust an artery.
So when we ride together, he has to ride really slowly. He either rides ahead and gradually picks up the pace so I start to puff and strain and get really shitty and yell at him; rides around and around me in figure eights til I get really shitty and yell at him; or hugs my tail real close, hiding in my wind shadow (no, durh, thatâ€™s not a euphemism for flatulence) and making me feel rushed, so I get really shitty and yell at him.
One of the first times we ever rode anywhere together, he was riding the Pub Bike and was still riding his motorbike, so he was a bit confused, balance-wise. Or so he said. One day we were riding home from the city and heâ€™d had a bad stack just a few minutes ago, ripped his big pants and hurt himself. In fact, that whole ride heâ€™d either ridden into things or fallen off his bike. Crossing the train tracks I hear this â€˜scrunchy skrrunch, crash!â€™ and heâ€™s ridden off the bike path and onto the tracks. Then I hear this â€˜rumbley CLANGâ€™ and heâ€™s ridden into the metal fence around the track crossing. Later, thereâ€™s a â€˜skreee boomphâ€™ and heâ€™s ridden into the warehouse on one side of the bike path.
At any rate, at the end of this big long Ride of Accidents, weâ€™re on the home stretch, riding down the road, just about to turn left into my street. Iâ€™m riding straight. He decides to turn left. Into me. Much clashing of bicycles and weâ€™re both down on the ground, gravel rash all over us, me all teary and my bike basket bent, him even more injured than before. I was so angry I wanted to blow him up. But I rode him in frosty silence, telling him he should have â€˜BEEN MORE CAREFUL!â€™ in a crazy-girl voice before going off for a restorative hot shower. Later, Iâ€™m over it and I canâ€™t figure out what he thought he was doing. Seemed he was turning into â€˜myâ€™ street one turn too early. I donâ€™t know why he decided that if he just turned, Iâ€™d turn too. Some crazy swing lead bullshit mentality I guess. Strong body lead. Thatâ€™ll fix her. His explanation was that he was just riding the Pub Bike like heâ€™d ride his motorbike. Yeah. Right.*
Ok, so with this in mind, Iâ€™m not really all that keen to ruin a perfectly good movie date with a dangerous bike ride and a case of the Princess Shittypants. I say â€˜why donâ€™t you ride ahead so we donâ€™t fight?â€™ He gives me a cranky face and says â€˜noâ€™. I explain my reasoning, and as I do, I get a case of the major guilts. This is a Shitty Thing to ask. I am a Shitty Girlfriend. I keep asking. He keeps saying no. I ride off. He tails me. Iâ€™m feeling so guilty my only recourse is, of course, a fierce case of the shittypants. In between moments of silence where we pass other cyclists or pedders, I explain my reasoning. I want to avoid a fight.
And then he plays the ultimate Guilt Card – â€˜soon we wonâ€™t be doing anything togetherâ€™.
I know thatâ€™s it, thereâ€™s nowhere we can go from here. thereâ€™s no topping this guilt card. But of course, Princess Shittypants canâ€™t back out gracefully. Canâ€™t apologise. No sir-ee-Bob.
So I donâ€™t.
I take the only possible option: The Sulk.
And I sulk all the way home.
And itâ€™s a damn shame, as itâ€™s the perfect cycling night – warm, dry, a gentle breeze thatâ€™s always a tailwind. It’s far too crap to waste with a Sulk. I try not to notice that heâ€™s patiently tailing me home at just the right distance.
And then we get home and he makes a delicious dinner and I know that I am a shitty girlfriend. And even WORSE, he shakes off his case of the minor shits in moments of returning home, gives me a friendly pat and a squeeze as he potters off to the kitchen.
It is SO goddamn HARD to maintain righteous fury with this sort of counter-activity.
*Itâ€™s worth mentioning that a week or so after this major stack, he crashes his motorbike on the highway outside of Ballarat. Hit a kangaroo
no, meatloafed a kangaroo, smangled up his hands, worried all his Primary Females half to death and was laid up for a couple of weeks. Just goes to show. Better a minor stack on a tredly than a smangle on a motorbike.