Managing Life’s Marmite Moments

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The Lawyer and the Beautician are in Edinburgh for the Fringe. The Textiliste, the Vet and I go in a week so we are keen to receive recommendations. Last night we were told ‘Go to  Colin Cloud Kills – he’s amazing’. ‘What’s he do?’ ‘Amazing Mind Reader!’

We won’t go. I’d love it but the Textiliste would hate it. She may never reach the seats and, if she did, she would sit through the whole thing like someone at the dentist told they needed experimental root canal treatment which required access rectally.

She is of the school that says ‘I’ve paid to be entertained, not be part of the entertainment.’ It’s one reason we rarely see much stand up in Edinburgh. Me, I’m happy to be a fall guy, happy to see if these things really are as good as they are cracked up to be. She wants to watch and absorb, not engage and act.

It’s our relationship, in microcosm this managing of the Marmite Moments. If you are unfamiliar with this concept the name references a tarry yeast-based food spread that even advertises the fact you either love it or you hate it. I once described it as faecal paste so you can surmise which side of the toast I’m on.

Families, friendships, marriages (not wishing to suggest they do not fall into the previous categories), they all require a negotiation of these bear traps. Because if you don’t come to some sort of compromise the pent up explosion might be devastating.

Morning person or night owl? I’m a bit of both, the Textiliste is very much an owl so I get up to water Dog and make the first beverage of the day.

And that first beverage: tea or coffee? we’re both tea people but we know enough advocates of coffee as the starting stimulus to realise this is an issue for others.

White or brown bread? Skimmed milk or full fat. Tap running while cleaning ones teeth or turned off? Bath or shower? Towels jammed on the rail or draped neatly?

Newspapers dismantled or kept whole? Bookmarks or page corners turned over?

And we’ve barely started the day.

And into that mix we now throw technology and a whole new etiquette. The number of times you look at your phone in an hour, on a car journey, going round the supermarket? We are still working through our issues here but we have agreed on one thing. Stroking my tablet in bed is a technological intimacy too far.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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31 Responses to Managing Life’s Marmite Moments

  1. willowdot21 says:

    There are too many marmite moments in my marriage that I am amazed that we have managed 44yrs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Autism Mom says:

    Marmite moments are best managed with humor – at least in our home! I accuse him of failing Kindergarden 101 and he challenges me to a duel on the playground, sand shovels at 10 paces. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jan says:

    Our marmite moment is definitely doing the dishes – I don’t do it the right way so he does it. Sometimes being incompetent has its rewards! Enjoy the fringe – it looks like tons of fun – I’m definitely jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ali Isaac says:

    I would have thought that, too, until I met FoxyRoxy…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. musicwaffle says:

    We have a marmite moment over the state of the office desk. OH is minimalist and likes a clear desk. I am (in teaching terms) a visual learner and if I can’t see it, will forget about it. What looks like a pile of rubbish to him is strategically positioned information to me. He’s often thrown stuff away because he doesn’t think it’s important, to face a moment of marital tenseness from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Oh I get this dilemma. I had a colleague who I shared a rom with. His desk was called the volcano because all the papers were pushed into a sort of crater. He knew where everything was but if he was away it was a nightmare. Thanks for painting such a vivid picture

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gail says:

    Still enjoying your blog very much. Enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe and the rest of the Festival. Sadly, I won’t make it back this year. If you want show suggestion, my old friend from university is a stand up comedian. He has a Fringe show this year – see Silky, appearing at the Stand comedy club. He’s a Biologist and musician and is from the kindly, guitar strumming, no audience picking end of comedy. He likes Marmite.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sacha Black says:

    Pahahaha, phones and technology are a marmite concern even for younger marriages! ours is 3 this month, although over double that time spent together, and we have a ton of marmite moments.

    – music – dance/dubstep, or Mo town R&B and Magic radio station
    – She sucks the water off her toothbrush – I hate that sound and prefer to shake the water off.
    – What to watch is another issue

    the one marmite situation that works for us is a box of quality streets or roses – never an argument there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      You are right you need something to bond over – carrot cake fr’instnace. She doesn’t go a bundle on the icing whereas I grovel for it.


  8. Norah says:

    I like that – Marmite moments. Though it would be Vegemite for me. It’s a good thing opposites attract; though sometimes it might be easier if they didn’t! I’ve found that the development of patience or a sense of humour with differences is necessary. If they don’t work a good huffing and puffing from time to time might! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha Ha! Marmite being described as ‘faecal paste!!!’ I agree that getting intimate with the tablet at bedtime is not a great idea, but you are right, there are so many subtle little things that we might do which infuriate someone else, It is great if you can agree to a compromise! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marmite moments can be magical and funny as well. For example I turn off the radio because it is disturbing me while I am writing. He’s in the garden so can’t hear it anyway. He comes in to make tea and turns it on. Drinks tea and goes back out. I turn the radio off. He comes back in to pop to the boys room and turns the radio on. You get my drift?

    Stroking a tablet while in bed? Now that’s a new one on me.


  11. Charli Mills says:

    Is it truly that time of year again? I feel like it wasn’t that long ago I hopped a ride in your suitcase and experienced the Fringe Festival through your blog posts. Oh, I look forward to more, but I do agree with the Textiliste — not a part of the entertainment!


  12. Sherri says:

    Haha…stroking a tablet in bed is definitely a line that must not be crossed…

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Pottsy says:

    I love the idea of marmite moments! I physically shuddered when I read about turning the corners of book pages. My partner does this to his own books but I think I would force him to eat an entire jar of marmite if he ever tried to do this to any of mine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It’s such a personal thing this book thing. A friend said she’d no more share a favourite book than share pants which seems extreme but makes a point. Thanks for the comment Pottsy


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