How we go about living in Close Proximity to each otherThe dreaded virus has presented us with all sorts of challenges that we have never really faced before. Nothing is normal. The whole world is askew. We need help urgently. We need to know how we go about living in close proximity to each other.

Where we are now.

Even time itself is misbehaving. One might even say that it too is, ‘infected’. The clock ticks but doesn’t seem to move. Repetition rules. Variety is all used up.

God knows how many times I’ve walked up the stairs backward just for a change. But even that has become boring. The Grandkids thought it was funny the first time but now they don’t laugh anymore, instead they keep wondering out loud ‘Why is Grandad still alive?’

The real question.

The main problem, the question we should be asking is…‘how do we refrain from killing our partner of God knows how many years’. Or to put another way…’How do we go about living in Close Proximity to each other?’

If you are experiencing the problem of, and I put it politely that, ‘familiarity does indeed breed contempt’ here are a few ‘DO’S & DON’T’S that might help, but I doubt it.

1.The old prominently male standby of ‘going to the pub to get out of the way’ is of course now out of the question. You are trapped.  That is a given. You must accept it.

You could of course, ‘Drink at Home’. However, experience tells us that this may not be a good idea. Alcohol has a way of er… heightening the senses and making things seem worse than they really are. (Except as far as Lockdown goes, things really are worse than they really are.)

So,the first piece of advice for both partners is… STAY AWAY FROM THE DRINK.

As my old mum used to say…‘One drunk is bad enough…two could be the end of the world as you know it’.

 2. Although the temptation may be great, DO NOT MAKE TELEPHONE          CALLS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD (if unavoidable DO NOT make them       within earshot of your partner).

We must remember here that during the crisis our senses are on a knife edge. The ‘wrong’ word to a person on the end of the phone is easily misconstrued.

For instance: ‘He’s really been getting on my nerves. He can’t keep still, continually scratching himself and licking his bottom….’ .

Now to most of us it’s obvious that (let’s assume it’s the female on the phone), she’s referring to the dog. Unfortunately, to the heavily stressed male in a state of confusion because let’s say, there’s no football on the TV, will think (perhaps understandably) that this is a reference to him and his habits.

The consequence of this unguarded moment? All hell breaking loose.

3. This where the important term ‘SOFT FURNISHING’ comes into play.

Basically, remove anything that IS NOT soft furnishing. Vases. Pictures (in a frame). Phones (both mobile and Landline). In short anything that is constructed of a hard and solid material. Admittedly a rare occurrence, small animals might also be best stored in a neutral area as it has been known for them (sadly) to be used in a hostile manner (thrown).

4. DO NOT BE PRESENT IN THE KITCHEN BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. This is obvious so I won’t say too much about it except this. The Kitchen is a dangerous place to be when emotions are running high. The presence of sharp objects, heavy bags of sugar, pasta. nuts etc plus the danger of hot or boiling liquids offer too much of a temptation to do harm. So, it is common sense to AVOID THE KITCHEN AT ALL COSTS.


I realise of course the issue of who goes where is a problem in itself, so I would suggest ‘drawing the short straw’ as a method of deciding. However, one word of caution. Wear some sort of eye protection. Sunglasses, or a visor should suffice. A poke in the eye with a piece of straw is not, no matter how hard your partner may laugh, no fun thing and could lead to blindness.

So, there we are. 5  essential tips on how we go about living in close proximity to each other that might keep you safe, although as I say above, I doubt it, in these terrible times.

Stay safe.

the stratfordian



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