Last week Varinder accompanied the twins and I to our local hair salon. We all needed a haircut because a) I was speaking at a conference in Oslo that same week and b) the boys’ hair had grown way too long and they too needed to look their best as we were staying with our good friends Heida and Chris while in Oslo.
The boys reminded me of a couple of feral kittens. Completely out of control. Siavash was running around holding a mirror at waist height as if holding a tray. No body seemed to mind so I let him be. Two minutes later I heard a yelp followed by hysterical laughter. Siavash had parked himself and his tray against the long legs of a mini-skirted assistant. He had taken a good long look down into the mirror before the assistant realised what was happening. Goodness knows what he saw, but even at 2 years old I could tell he was very satisfied with himself.
Norway was beautiful (this was our second trip) and we spent four wonderful days in excellent company. The boys and I ate Reign deer, Elk and Whale meat. The best was the Reign Deer by far.
Returning home was an anti-climax.
Two days later V and I had a row. It was one of those, are you with me or without me kind of rows. I needed her unequivocal agreement that we could and we would move to Italy by Christmas.
She was all for it right up to the moment when she realised it was really going to happen (I put the house up for rent). Then doubts began to set in.
“I don’t want us to live in the middle of nowhere… ”
“OK we’ll live within an hour of Rome.”
“I don’t want to be left by myself with the twins while you spend a week in London or a week in Paris with clients… ”
“I promise to plan everything ahead so either your or my mum can come and spend time with you helping with the boys.”
“it will cost us more money than you think! Storage, paying a deposit on the new house to rent, travelling back and forth… ”
“Ryanair flies to Rome from London for 32pence!”
She was putting up barrier after barrier and I was getting tired of it. The climax came unexpectedly. I was peeing in the loo when she walked in looking for eye make up remover.
“Varinder, we need to present a unified front. We agreed we would do this and I have spent months planning it. We have brought in new technology so the entire company can work remotely. We can’t back track now. Anyway (my voice turned from aggressive to caring) think of the sun, the boys learning Italian and the quality of life. What do you say?”
She was blanking me.
“VARINDER WERE YOU LISTENING TO ANYTHING I SAID?”
She finally turned around and walked over to where I was standing having a pee.
“Yes.” She replied.
“Well, what do you say?”
She walked closer and craned her neck to look at what I was holding in my hand.
“You’re pissing on your trousers.”
Sure enough my stream had forked with only one prong entering the toilet. I looked around to ask her again but she had already left the toilet.
This is how frustrating rows can be with my wife. And as much as I love and worship the ground she walks on, she can drive me completely nuts with her one liners.
In any event, we plan to move to somewhere in Italy in the not so distant future. Why? Because we can. The boys are young and can attend nursery anywhere. We can work from anywhere we want to with ease thanks to the, email, airplanes and a team of employees spread from Tokyo to Sao Paulo.
The move won’t be without risks. But both V and I agree that it is better to do something and regret it than not to do something and regret it.
So, next week I’ll fly to Rome, rent a car and spend five days looking for a home. If any readers living in Italy can help, please email me. I shall report back with pictures in due course?
Siamack Salari is CEO of Everyday Lives, recording human behavior for commercial marketing.