This article is taken from the November 2021 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issue for just £10.
So I went to this divorce lawyer my friend Anouska recommended, just to get a sense of my options. Anyway, after an initial consultation, during which we established that we don’t have a pre-nup and Will hasn’t had an affair and is just pathetic, she suggested we try couple’s counselling and come back to her after “giving that a shot”.
Seemed weirdly un-mercenary for a solicitor, but then I got the bill for this frankly average advice. Let’s just say it would easily have covered a year’s Botox, or a term’s extra-curricular activities for her thick kids. More on those in a sec.
Will has become about 50 per cent more woke since meeting Talitha, and now talks a good talk about toxic masculinity
Obviously Will and I have had couples counselling before, but since I hadn’t told him about the lawyer he was baffled when I announced that we were going back. To be fair, the actual catalyst for the divorce lawyer has faded a little.
Said catalyst was Will becoming unhealthily attached to a deeply annoying mother called Talitha, from Lyra’s school. Long story short, Will went to her for Reiki, convinced that he had Long Covid even though Talitha was actually the source of his Covid (lol) following our staycation in the same village in Norfolk. Anyway, the whole Reiki thing turned out to be a non-starter because, before Talitha “gifted” him with her healing vibes, she insisted he open up to her about his father. I could have told her this was a beginner’s error.
I can see how she thought it might work. Will has become about 50 per cent more woke since meeting Talitha, and now talks a good talk about toxic masculinity. But you can get him to do all the lion’s breath you like, there’s no way Will’s going to actually slag off Field Marshall Savage-Gore.
Speaking of Will’s dad, we’re at an impasse over funding. Basically, the pressure to enrol in every extra-curricular club on offer has ramped up to insane levels since school returned to quasi-normality. Most of Hector’s peers do three clubs every weeknight, plus extra sport on Saturdays and swimming on Sundays.
Lyra’s class is just as bad, except that with eleven-plus looming half the clubs have been replaced by alpha tutors charging £300 per hour. And even though Minnie’s boarding, the school keeps asking me to pick stuff from an “enrichment menu” to make sure she is never knowingly under-occupied.
Most of Hector’s peers do three clubs every weeknight, plus extra sport on Saturdays and swimming on Sundays
Anyway, we’re borderline skint after the playroom-into-home-cinema conversion, so I got Will to ask his dad to fund some of this enrichment shit. My parents already pay all Hector’s school fees so it’s tricky to go to them with the begging bowl.
I assumed Will’s dad would least be up for bankrolling Hector’s cricket. But his bloody mother got in there first, dismissing the kids’ after-school schedules as “bonkers”.
This is massively missing the point. Nobody cares whether their schedules are sane (for the record they’re bonkers). The point is, if our kids are only doing half as much as everyone else in St John’s Wood they risk social pariah-dom. Which is doubly relevant with the return of birthday parties.
When I made this point to Will, he went on a rant about how, pre-Covid, I used to spend every weekend moaning about the hell of kids’ birthday parties. I told him this should be the focus of our first therapy session — i.e. his pathological need to find and belittle inconsistencies in my pain. This did briefly shut him up. Which is always a #couplegoal as far as I’m concerned.
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