Tell it like it is

Regular readers will know it’s usually me who throws the occasional bomb shell into my relationship. But last night, over a particularly delicious moussaka I might add, it was Guido’s turn to drop one.

I always get very suspicious when he suggests we dine out on Greek food. There’s usually something fishy going on and I’m not referring to grilled sardines. It means he’s been mulling over thoughts. Thinking which words he wants to get off his chest.

And talking of Greeks, Guido and I have history with them. One of our first dates involved meatballs. Years ago we discovered a little faux taverna tucked away in Soho where there’s music and the waiter taught us to dance syrtaki and smash a plate and drink ouzo. Then more recently, of course, Guido proposed on one knee in The Real Greek on Bankside. So when I found myself sitting opposite him last night with a bowl of taramasalata something had to give.

“Pass the olive oil, would you?” he asked. “Oh and by the way I’ve seen a vacant café site for sale in Denmark Hill,” he said casually grinding some black pepper from the mill. “It’s looking a bit dilapidated right now but its a terrific price in a great location so I think we really should give it some serious consideration.” He dunked his pitta bread. “But anyways, how was your day?”

Guido does this. He feels obliged to verbally sandwich life changing ideas neatly between the plain old hum drum in the hope that the distraction means that whatever he’s breaking to me, he hopes I take it better. It’s a bit like tuning into your favourite TV show only to find the episode you’re watching gets substituted midway through a plot line. So when he said pass the olive oil and how as your day, what he really meant was how do you feel about packing up and starting our lives over on the other side of Southwark. Denmark Hill? He might as well have suggested Outer Mongolia. He’s obviously never been stuck in traffic there.

I wiggled my finger in my ear just to make sure that I hadn’t only been hearing the maitre’d playing his off key mandolin.

I stayed cool. I pretended to read the label on the back of the wine bottle. Take a leaf out of Guido’s book I thought. Play him at his own game. Do just what he would do by layering what you really want to say between the unimportant.

“This wine is completely delicious”,” I said, taking the tiniest of sips. I dabbed my mouth with my napkin. I cleared my throat.


As you can tell I remained perfectly calm.

When we got home Guido suggested that I get more practice in sandwiching my words between sub text. Especially the bit where you slip in the important part between the hum drum. I totally got his point.

And I can assure you I told him exactly what I thought of that.


66 thoughts on “Tell it like it is

  1. marriage is a dance, bob and weave, spin round, jump, collapse, waltz off into the sunset.

    so whatcha gonna do? would moving the spanish onion benefit or hurt business? or is guido thinking of opening a second onion?

    may there be abundant salami and mayo this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guido’s conversational style is mine too, I do the same thing, it’s called civilized conversation, obviously Guido is a gentleman. However screaming in a restaurant, is so Eastender can’t believe you did that. The move is not so drastic at least it is not East Dulwich I understand you are puzzled, it’s not Regent park but hey, home is where Guido is.


  3. Guido sounds like Carlos, who loves to drop a bomb between tidbits, too.
    I might not have shouted in public, but I am a master of the Shouted Whisper which is far more deadly.


  4. Well JP this is some rich beef to chew on. Perhaps a second location? The Spanish Onion sounds like such one of those little hidden gems I love to find, where the food is always delicious, and the atmosphere is quaint and the people are the character. I just have the feeling Guido will be bringing a lot of food to you in bed this weekend along with mayo and a mandolin player to serenade you………… now could you pass me the gin dear?


  5. Oh, man. I probably would have broken a plate for good measure with my response. Moving can be quite traumatic if it’s not to a place that’s perceived to be as good or better than when you’re at right now. I’m weighing that myself as I think about where I want to live in the future.

    Now can you pass me the olive oil? 😉


  6. Wait… what… what was that? Sorry you lost me at “took you out to dinner and proposed on one knee”. Okay I actually have relationship advice for you so here it goes, wait until after you get home from the nice restaurant to blow a fuse, otherwise he will just start to spring this stuff on you and skip the restaurant. This way you still get the guilt meal!


  7. Love reading your posts. I am usually the one who drops the bomb in our relationship. William however just listens and then will process what I have said. However we both far too conservative to do any radical. Keep us posted. Ivan.


  8. JP, as someone who moved 5 times in 11 years, thanks to the US Army, I probably would have had a mini meltdown. My husband mentioned moving one more time before we retire and I started laughing because I thought he was joking. He wasn’t, but he also knows what I think about moving again. I’m not looking forward to it, but in the end I’ll go wherever he goes. Glad to hear you and Guido made up 😉


      • Yes, which is why I laughed. There are paint samples all over the walls. One is too dark, another is too light. We can’t find one we like and he mentions moving. He can move on finding paint. 🙂


  9. Testing the waters ever so gently, I love it. Public place, can’t really explode, like you really would have, Sounds like Guido is a smart man and knows you well. Remember this famous line; ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death’. so remember to live, live, live. Be brave, be adventurous just don’t sign your name to the lease. lol.


  10. Aw. How romantic. Moving and enduring months of renovations on the fixer-upper sounds like an excellent, relaxing way to strengthen your relationship. Plus the extended commutes through London will give you ample opportunity to reflect on Guido’s decision with love and gratitude.


  11. I am often amused by Mr Muffin’s take on how things go. He is famous – some would say infamous – for dropping bomb shells at dinner parties, at other people’s homes. Like the first time he had a posting overseas – well being it was Mexico I guess it was really overland but I digress – he announced it at a dinner at a friends’ place where there were people we had never met before at table with us. For Egypt it was at a family gathering with his mother and father and several aunts there. I honestly forget where the announcement for Jordan took place but Poland was at Christmas dinner. It sounds like he and Guido went to the same school of diplomacy.

    But like you I am level headed about this sort of thing and it’s obvious that you and I went to the same school of calm cool logical response.


  12. Practice makes perfect, and can be so much fun, whether your actually making sandwiches (it’s close to dinner so I might be focusing a little too heavily on the wrong thing), or whatever ‘sandwiches’ is a euphemism for 😉 Good luck with all the changes and keep us posted ❤


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