Thursday 9 October 2014

Your Partner Prefers Your Rival’s Book

Signs of a problem: partner is chuckling; all your books are still neatly arranged on the shelf.

The symptoms: burning sense of betrayal; despair; anger; humiliation.

You arrive home to hear your partner in the bathroom chuckling. He’s reading a book on the loo. He loves it! you think. You rush inside to find your partner seated on the porcelain throne. The sight before you is the most repulsive thing you’ve ever seen – it’s not your book!

You expect him to hurry after you saying, “I can explain!” but he doesn’t even realise the gravity of what he has done; he’s cheated on you with another author.

“Who is it?” you demand, as he emerges from the bathroom pulling up his pants.

“Does it matter who?”

“Of course it bloody matters!”

Then he delivers the killer blow; his voice speaks the name of your arch-rival.

“Nooooooo!” you cry. He never laughed like that with your book.

It is important that you handle this situation with sensitivity. Your partner’s eyes are not yours to control. He is free to use his eyes as he sees fit and if he chooses to use those treacherous eyes to read the words of another, then telling him to rip up the pages and burn them could be considered over demanding and optically possessive.

Far better to find your rival’s worst ever book, and present that to your partner as a deterrent. Check eBook stores – does your rival have a title with three stars or fewer? If so, that’s the one to go with. If not, trawl through your rival’s old blog posts, starting with the oldest; somewhere along the way you will find an abandoned novel or a ropey short story. If needs be, email your rival and ask for a copy of a title that has been withdrawn from sale.

Now, present your partner with the runt of the rival’s litter. Confiscate the ‘funny’ title and let the affair prepare to die.

If, a week later, your partner is still reading work by your rival, lock him in the cellar and feed him only on pages of your rival’s work. “How much do you like him now, huh? Huh?

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