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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.
 

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C H R O N I C L E

Mrs Monk’s

Would-Be Diary

9 April 2006 What To Do

Mrs Monk does not really know what to do. She has always had this problem for as long as I can remember. A simple thing like choosing what to eat in a restaurant is always traumatic, particularly for the waiter or waitress, because her uncertainty means much scribbling and subsequent crossings-out and then more scribbling and then more crossings-out.

Between the scribbling Mrs Monk likes to chat with the waiter or waitress about other matters; Questions and answers are usually exchanged which are not necessarily pertaining to the issue of lunch. Questions like, “Where did you get your hair done?”,. “What is the manager like?”. “Do they pay you well?”. “Where did you go to school?” And then more scribbling and yet more crossings-out, until we complete our order

I am never surprised that when the food arrives, Mrs Monk is obliged to point out to the waiter or waitress, that he or she got the order wrong,  However whatever food Mrs Monk is served, she would always have an eye for what is on my plate.

“I should have ordered that?” She would say.

“Why didn't you?” I would say.

At this point, I would anticipate what is about to happen since it always does happen. My neck would stiffen.

“Would you like to try some of mine?”

“No thank you?”, I reply firmly.

She is really after what I have on my plate, and if she is particularly keen to get her teeth into my dinner she will disregard my “No Thank You” and deposit a large helping of her lunch onto my plate and then demand an exchange.

“Well, aren’t you going to let me try some of yours, then?”, she might say and follow it up with an evil eye.

Mrs Monk does not really know what to do.

 

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She is terminally ambivalent about what to do, but she is, at the same time, as fixed as a fence post on what not to do

9 April 2006 What To Do

Mrs Monk does not really know what to do.

She had handed me an article which discussed the magnificient De-La-Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea. She knew this would interest me. I told her that this place is something on my list of  go-see buildings.

This very next morning, a Saturday, we soon got around to the tricky matter of how we might spend the rest of the day.

“What shall we do today?” said Mrs Monk.

Now you might think that such a question is particularly unchallenging, but then you dont know Mrs Monk, who enjoys excersising her veto unceremoniously.

“Anything you would like to do, is OK by me”, I said.

This safe answer is genuinely fielded by me, but with little hope of any satisfactory outcome since Mrs Monk does not really know what to do. I am playing for time at this stage.

Ten minutes later Mrs Monk repeats the question,

“So, what shall we do today?” said Mrs Monk.

To keep deferring to Mrs Monk to make the decision is the only safe option but I am aware that pretty soon she will hit me with the, “Why-do-I-have-to-make-all-the-decisions?” retort.

I make a safe suggestion, and head it up with the usual soft primer.

“Anything you would like to do, is OK by me”, I said. “Would you to go to Selfridges?”

She knows that there is nothing I would like less than to go to Selfridges? But she is not impressed by my magnanimous gesture.

I am offering Mrs Monk a free choice but Mrs Monk does not really know what to do.

She is terminally ambivalent about what to do, but she is, at the same time, as fixed as a fence post on what not to do. Top of any list of what not to do is anything that I might suggest, and that is the perennial paradox that we face every Saturday Morning: That, in order to assist Mrs Monk to decide on what to do, the very last thing that one should do is to actually suggest anything that you think she, or you, might enjoy doing together.

“So, what do you really want to do today?” said Mrs Monk.

“Anything you would like to do, is OK by me”, I said.

“Why do I have to make all the decisions?” said Mrs Monk.

We fenced like this as we always do for at least an hour and half, and the day was evaporating.

She had asked me at least a dozen times, “what shall we do today?”

Finally I replied,

“OK”, I said, “I would like to go to Bexhill on Sea, to see the De-La-Warr Pavilion

Mrs Monk hit the roof.

I took her to Selfridges instead, and we did not speak to each other for the rest of the day.

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