Our pioneering advice columnist Dotty returns to air our your dirty laundry. This week, it’s how to shut your partner up during your programs.
My husband insists on speaking through all the programs on television. It drives me nuts because I hear him instead of it. What can I do?
Signed Deafened, Woy Woy NSW
I hear you, darling. My late husband Edouardo was a terror in this regard, always commenting on what newsreaders were wearing, deriding politicians for merely existing, complaining that Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote was the harbinger of death, and wondering how Richie Cunningham’s father came to be a sheriff. I often missed out on who the murderer was because his voice was a booming foghorn in the lounge room.
I can’t tell you how many times I had to explain that Earth was the third rock from the sun, because he was so busy grumbling about how ridiculous it was for John Lithgow to land a job in a university when he was educated on another planet. And to this day, I don’t know how Casablanca ends because Edouardo, rest his soul, was muttering something about beautiful friendships or some such nonsense. Lord knows, even on his deathbed he couldn’t shut up, barking orders about what flowers not to have at his memorial service (he banned gerberas if you can believe that, calling them “frivolous”) and telling our dear daughter Clémence it was about time she left her no-good husband Dennis and played tennis. Or went to Venice. Something like that, I’d switched off by then.
Sorry, darling Deafened, I did get a little carried away, but I’m so sympathetic to your problem that I’m sharing my own experience with you as a sisterly or perhaps motherly form of empathy.
What I’d suggest is that you watch your favorite shows on the computer or some other modern device – my, haven’t viewing habits changed in recent years! Good heavens, I recall the days of my youth when my sister Euphonia and I had to take turns choosing what program to watch. Euphonia was a worry, really, always wanting to watch The Love Boat and mooning over Captain Whatshisname. I, on the other hand, was far more academic, preferring medical documentaries like Quincy, M.E. and M*A*S*H. That’s because I thought I’d become a doctor – although I soon realized I didn’t have the stomach for it. That’s when I switched to psychology because I want to help people, which is why I took on this column. I simply can’t stand advice columnists who are so self-involved they can’t see the woods for the trees. Not me. I’m here for you, Deafened from Woy Woy. I really am, darling.
Did I mention getting another television? Or maybe you could consider just getting another partner. I know that’s a bit extreme, but sometimes it’s best just to cut loose and begin again. And if you’re watching re-runs of Luther, you’ll be able to listen to his sexy silky voice without interruption. That’s rather a powerful argument, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Glad to have been of help. Ta ta for now.