LUCY MANGAN: As a Remainer I can forgive my die-hard Leaver husband for Brexit – but not for his pig-headed ignorance over loading the dishwasher
Living with someone before getting hitched prepares you for a lot of things – and the marriage tutorials our lovely vicar gave us in the weeks before the wedding helped me and my now husband prepare for a few more.
We talked about how we might cope if one of us had an affair, got ill, lost our job or if a parent died. But somehow the question ‘what if the UK decides to take itself out of the European Union after a closely and emotively fought referendum and you found yourselves on opposing sides of the most profound change in national circumstance since the Second World War?’ didn’t come up.
Now it has – with this Election adding yet more fuel to the raging national bonfire. And I find myself, a Remainer, married to a die-hard Leaver as the flames lick ever higher.
Prince Harry and Meghan have just announced they will be spending Christmas at the Duchess of Sussex's mother Doria Ragland (pictured during Royal wedding preparations in May last year). New mums get to go home to their own mothers so they can relax, cry, gaze at the baby in adoration for 14 hours straight or sleep through the entire thing
People (especially those who couldn’t understand why I married a Tory in the first place) are horrified. ‘What are you going to do?’ they ask me, wide-eyed and sotto voce. ‘How will you manage?’ Lawyer friends skip straight to drawing up the decree nisi.
But why? He is the same man I married, and the reasons I married him remain unchanged. He is clever, funny, faithful, thoughtful, devoted to his family and, while I find his take on dishwasher-loading (and fridge-filling, and what constitutes a neatly made bed or a tidy sitting room) insane, my love for him somehow endures.
No couple agree on everything. I consider Brexit to be the same type of disagreement as we have about filling domestic appliances efficiently – different in scale, not kind – rather than a moral schism as some seem to think I should.
Thanks to the rants about the EU’s infelicities he had scattered so generously throughout our 12-year relationship, I knew why my husband would vote to leave by the time the referendum came around. I knew they were respectable reasons even if I didn’t see them as persuasive myself.
As a Remainer, my husband can be forgiven for voting Brexit (pictured, Boris Johnson at the launch of the Conservative Party's General Election vowing to 'get Brexit done') but not for his pig-headed ignorance over loading the dishwasher. We are two people, not one. I understand entirely the impulse to make Brexit some kind of ethical test – it shades into that very easily – but it’s one that should be resisted
And he knew and respected my arguments for wanting to stay. (In 2016 they derived mostly from my basic life philosophy that unless something is broken absolutely past repair, Don’t. Fix. It. I have added much more detail since.)
What became harder after that, of course, was to separate ourselves from the emotions swirling increasingly violently round the issue. I was upset, for example, not so much by the result of the referendum but the path by which we got there – to my mind strewn with misinformation and appeals to people’s worst instincts from politicians who cared more about their own position than the national interest.
In the morass of confusion and upheaval that has followed, it has been hard not to join in with the growing tribalism and start to see everyone on the opposing side – including my husband – as The Enemy who plunged us all deliberately, maliciously into this horrible mess.
But of course they – and he – aren’t and didn’t. Not all of them anyway. And Leave-Remain is not the unbridgeable chasm between me and my husband that our friends think it must, or should, be.
We are not required to align on everything. We are two people, not one. I understand entirely the impulse to make Brexit some kind of ethical test – it shades into that very easily – but it’s one that should be resisted.
I think Brexit was and remains a bad idea. Mr Mangan remains in informed disagreement – unlike with the dishwasher where his position is one of simple pig-headed ignorance (combined with the utter depravity of regularly turning it on half full to, as he puts it, ‘stay ahead of the game’). And so, on we go…
- I for one am glad Harry and Meghan are going to Doria’s rather than Sandringham for Archie’s first Christmas. New mums get to go home to their own mothers so they can relax, cry, gaze at the baby in adoration for 14 hours straight or sleep through the entire thing if they want to. Doesn’t matter if there’s a monarch on the other side or not. That’s the rule, and it is absolute.
- It was Equal Pay Day on Thursday and every man who had ever professed to be a feminist, woke or an ally to women told all his female co-workers what he earned so that they could start redressing the balance. No, of course they didn’t. So, see you again this time next year, which will still mark the point in the year at which women effectively work for free for the rest of it.
Omg... I'm, like, so TAYLOR 4 EVA
OMG, so, like, the story is – this guy Scooter Braun bought Taylor Swift’s old record label including the rights to like, nearly all her old songs, ’kay? So Taylor was all, like ‘I’m gonna rerecord everything and own that instead!’ which was like, way cool, yeah? But now the American Music Awards wanna give her Artist of the Decade and Taylor put up this really cool post on Insta saying Braun won’t even let her play a medley of her hits during the show! Like, dude?! Be cool!
Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Records along with Taylor Swift’s six-album catalog. But the singer has claimed Braun won’t even let her play a medley of her hits during the American Music Awards where she is expected to be awarded Artist of the Decade
And she says they won’t let some guys making a Netflix documentary about her use it either! So she’s set all her fans like me on them and asked other music stars to support her. SO. COOL. TAYLOR 4 EVA!
The madness in the Method
Twilight actor Robert Pattinson pricked luvvie pomposity last week when he pointed out: ‘You only ever see people doing Method when they’re playing an asshole. You never see someone just being lovely to everyone going, “I’m really deep in character.” ’ His view is reminiscent of Laurence Olivier’s remark to Dustin Hoffman after the American exhausted himself in preparation for a scene in Marathon Man. ‘Dear boy,’ said Sir Laurence, kindly. ‘Why don’t you try acting?’
Actor Robert Pattinson (pictured at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Hollywood Reporter Celebration of the 2020 Golden Globe Awards Season) said last week: 'You only ever see people doing Method when they’re playing an asshole. You never see someone just being lovely to everyone going, “I’m really deep in character
- We are coming up on what’s now called ‘cuffing season’ – the time of year when young, single people try desperately to couple up so as not to be alone during the run-up to Christmas. Dear God. The late, great Victoria Wood once said: ‘I wouldn’t be an adolescent again if you bumped my pocket money up to three and six.’ Stretch that another 20 years and to a professional income and you have my sentiments entirely.
The blend of pessimism and common sense that sees most of us more or less safely through life wins again.
Vaping, more and more evidence attests, is bad for you. Let’s pause for an eye-roll so large you see your own frontal lobe and say: ‘Reeeeeaaallly? You mean pulling assorted artificial particles and chemicals into your delicate pulmonary system is not entirely risk-free? Who ever would have thought it?’
- I’m beginning to wonder if I’m secretly a little bit German at heart. The news that the Teutons are about to begin compulsory vaccinations, with £2,000 fines up for those who don’t comply, fills some with horror (erosion of liberty! curtailment of choice!) – and me with delight. Have you seen what some people do if you allow them freedom and choice? They give up herd immunity and bring back measles for all.
- One million pounds’ worth of sex toys were stolen from a lorry in Northamptonshire this month. Out of compassion for the police investigating, who have had quite a time of it, I am declaring this space a pun-free zone. Not even going to slip one in at the last minute.
A cargo of sex toys worth £1million was stolen from a lorry parked overnight in a lay-by (stock image)
Endless anguish of an Insta mum
Clemmie Hooper was outed for secretly attacking 'muminfluencers' and claims it doesn't happen enough
The only real surprise presented by the ‘scandal’ of Clemmie Hooper, right, the midwife and mummy blogger outed for secretly attacking rival ‘mumfluencers’ through various fake accounts, is that it doesn’t happen more often. Clemmie made her money posting glamorous photos of herself and her four children on Instagram.
The sheer amount of effort that must take is enough to drive anyone demented.
It’s hard enough having to drag your kids to the park for an ice cream.
Imagine having to dress four of them immaculately, brush their hair to gleaming and then get them to pose for the 100 photos required to get that one perfect shot as they pant to be let loose on the slides.
And then repeat this every goddamn day to satisfy your followers and sponsors. Work is home, home is work. Reality is faked and faking it is your reality. It’s a wonder her exhaustingly curated house of cards didn’t collapse sooner. I wonder if a tiny part of her is even slightly relieved.