I have a friend who occupies a senior position in a large company. His job requires him to practise the ‘seagull’ style of management at various branches around the country – i.e. fly in, scare everybody witless by crapping on them from a dizzy height and then fly out again, leaving a massive clean-up operation in his wake. Not my idea of fun, but he seems to manage it with flair.
Mr Seagull seemingly has it all: a successful career; a modern house in a fashionable neighbourhood; a giant idiotmobile in the garage; and swimming pool full of grass cuttings from the enormous lawn. There is only one large, disease-ridden fly in this otherwise idyllic ointment: his marriage. What began as a perfect Mills and Boon romance has degenerated into a bitter soap opera of resentment, regret and recrimination. It’s quite bizarre seeing the same two people who simply couldn’t bear to be apart from one another transform into two people who simply can’t bear one another.
The wheel turns inexorably, doesn’t it? One more check box I can tick off on the great clipboard of mortality. I’m long past the point where I’m congratulating my friends on their nuptials. Now I’ve reached the stage I’m commiserating with them over their divorces.
I grow old.