Friday, 20 January 2012
Day 20 – Enya – Caribbean Blue
Decades come and decades go. The 1980’s was over and the 1990’s were upon us.
So much happened to me in the 1980’s that I thought it might be a difficult one to top. The 1990’s however, proved to be as big a rollercoaster ride as the 1980’s – but for wildly different reasons.
It started off calmly enough, a calm that is reflected in this wonderfully mellow song by Enya.
By now we had moved to a three bedroomed detached house in Altrincham and W was happy and content. Her life plan was coming together and she was climbing the social ladder to the level that she wanted – to match that of her parents.
From my relatively lofty position, I was staring down to the life that my mum had envisaged for me. I was having dinner parties with bankers and managers, people who made conversation about promotions and career paths and not about life in general.
One of our neighbours wanted a personalised number plate so that people didn’t know how old her car was. As far as she was concerned, she was with the movers and the shakers.
I felt kind of uncomfortable with that.
I was entertaining people who drank brandy and port and looked down on those who liked a beer. Was I punching above my weight?
I didn’t really feel comfortable with people who urged me to climb the corporate ladder and appeared to judge me based on my car and how old it was.
My friends made me happy and as long as I was happy I was fine; as long as I could do what I liked I was fine; as long as I was able to buy what I wanted, go out with my friends, play football with the lads and enjoy my home life, I was fine; as long as I could travel I was fine.
And I could do those things – but there was something slightly wrong. The differences between my working class upbringing and W’s rather lofty ambitions were beginning to cause cracks in our relationship.
Looking back, it was obvious that W’s plan and my plan were diverging.
At first I thought nothing of it and I succumbed to her desires, under the pretence that I was somehow becoming a better person by mixing in circles that W felt comfortable with. She wasn’t that keen on my closer friends – she was friendly enough but I sensed that she considered them to be holding me back a little.
We had a big house and I loved it – I was happy. But W wanted more – not just yet but the signs were there.
Hints like “the house is too small” – we had a brand new three bedroomed detached house! Why did we need another one? It was easily big enough for a family of four. I didn’t understand it.
But I did try – in the interests of harmony.
At the time Caribbean Blue was released, we had a wonderful holiday to Greece and I recall walking along a cliff face staring out at the brilliant blue sea with a fabulous cloudless sky reflecting the sun’s rays as it made its descent to the horizon – and Caribbean Blue was in my thoughts – it was like paradise. On this holiday we were fine – I forgot about our differences.
We were abroad and I was relaxed. I was travelling.
We dined, we drank we danced and we talked.
When we got home, though, I was disappointed – not just because our holiday had finished; it was because I was stepping back into W’s world, a world in which she was happy and didn’t care about how I felt.
I should have been happy too but the problem was that I was increasingly outside my comfort zone as all of W’s dreams were coming to fruition.
The first feelings of discontent were beginning to show and I fought them. I wanted everything to work and I was determined, at that time at least, to try to make them work.
I therefore put up with it – I succumbed and I played the doting husband despite the increasing number of arguments.
I fitted nicely into W’s plans and tried my best to keep her happy, despite the dinner parties and the fact that more and more of the things I wanted were being shelved in the name of peace and harmony.
The holiday in Greece and Caribbean Blue remind me of a happy time with W – an oasis of calm and contentment – the calm before the storm, if you like – a time when, perhaps, the differences between our outlooks on life were tolerable.