Although we live together, Norman and I have a somewhat strained relationship. The trouble is, we don't really appreciate each other. Norman doesn't appreciate the care I give him - all the cleaning and tidying I do, for a start, not to mention feeding him whenever he is hungry. I've tried to be a good friend to him - but he just isn't interested. He's completely unresponsive when I try to talk to him, just doing his own thing as always. He is SO grumpy.
I have to say, I don't appreciate him either. Yes, I know he helps me with the shopping - but it's only because it's too much for me to carry on my own. He's useful for helping me take the kayak down to the beach, or comes along when I want to go surfing - not that he ever joins me. He seems to have an aversion for water and doesn't even like to go on the beach. Where's the company in that? It's enough to make me want to go on my own.
Then he always looks so SCRUFFY - he could do with a good spit and polish at least. I don't think he's actually had a bath for a couple of years now - it doesn't bear thinking of. As for the smell...old socks and bad BO. It's not so bad when we're out, although he's not exactly the sort of friend you'd want to be seen with. But otherwise - who'd want to sit down with him for a quiet cup of tea? Not me.
I mean, we were out together the other day, but he wouldn't even go at the pace I wanted. He dragged his heels, going as slowly as he could get away with, grumbling constantly. AND coughing and spluttering, pretending he was having trouble breathing. Of course, I wasn't having any of that and just carried on as normal, pulling him along without taking any notice. You just have to ignore that sort of behaviour - they all come round to your way of thinking in the end.
That's exactly what happened. After a while, Norman decided he would have some fun and just took off at a terrific pace. He didn't say anything and wouldn't admit to enjoying our little outing, but I can read him like a book. It's as if he's saying, "Oh no, I won't, oh no I WON'T... oh, all right then!". I wasn't prepared for that and had to hang on, clinging on to him as we careered round bends and corners without a thought for who might be coming the other way. Fortunately, the way was clear and he slowed down to a more reasonable pace after a few minutes. I do think he should show me a little more consideration. There was an amazing amount of 'get up and go' in him - he's not young any more, after all. Who would guess he was 25 years old?
Young, do I hear you say? Oh, for a human, that's young. But for a Renault 5 - geriatric isn't the word for it! For a car,25 years is well past 'sell-by' date, so actually, he's doing extremely well!
Hmmm...maybe I DO appreciate him after all!