After living with someone for 18 years you begin to know them quite well. You know what they think, what they are going to do next, how they will react to a given situation. You can brush your teeth at the same time at the same sink and not get in each other’s way because you know how the other person will move and where and when. Your life together is a ballet in which you move together, perfectly choreographed, in perfect harmony.
Then, one day, that person does something that makes you realize that you don’t know them at all. That person, who you used to think of as an extension of your own mind and soul, does something, an action, not premeditated, that makes you realize that you are living with a stranger, someone you don’t know at all. In fact, maybe you have never even met them before.
You are standing in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. He is preparing the drinks- gin and tonic. As it should be. Tall glass. Ice from the freezer. Gin. Bombay Sapphire, well chilled. What else is there. Tonic. Then it happens. The thing that rends your world. Instead of pouring the tonic into the glass, he pours it into the gin bottle.
And sloshes it around!
Has he gone mad? What are you doing?
“Oh, the bottle was empty and I didn’t want to waste any.”
Your mind reels. People, well, I mean real people, just don’t do that kind of thing. When the bottle is empty, it’s empty. You just open a new one. You don’t turn the bottle upside down into a glass to let it drain out, every last drop, drop by drop. You don’t stick your finger into the top of the bottle and then lick your finger. You don’t hold the bottle up to your mouth and lick the top. You don’t stick your tongue into the top of the bottle and lick around hopeful that there might still be a drop there. You just don’t do that kind of thing. We aren’t paupers. We have manners.
And then I think, why didn’t I think of that?