I’ve never really been that good at relationships. Don’t get me wrong I’m a magnificent fiancé to MrsT2b and lavish her with gifts and shower her with love and affection at almost every opportunity and even though she might protest that this is a gross exaggeration, take it from me it is all true and any protestation that it isn’t just a plea for attention! The relationships that I’m not very good at though are friendships. I’m genuinely envious that most of my peers and many of my contemporaries have Facebook friends numbers that run into hundreds and spend weekends socialising with a combination of old chums, former school friends as well as a large extended family. With almost no exceptions I have not seen a single old school friend since the day I left back in 1986 yet many of my other friends still seem to stay in touch, get together regularly and even go to each others weddings. I’ll tell myself that I’m not really that bothered but actually I’d quite like to go back in time and have not only have got a whole bunch of phone numbers but also bothered to have called them more than never. I have met some brilliant and amazing people and formed great friendships with them but then when I either move jobs or change mobile numbers the friendships seem to then fizzle out which I guess is down to both of us and not just me. What I do have though is an amazing group of core friends. Friends that I know I can call up at anytime, arrange to get together with and when we do eventually meet up we can talk like we’ve never been apart. A great example of that is my very good friend Charlie. I worked with him a decade ago before he left to seek fame and fortune in green new pastures and I never saw him after that until last September, when he flew from Italy to Bristol, hired a car and then drove 200 miles to come celebrate my birthday bash with a surprise appearance. Since then we have only met up once but we could literally sit there and talk all day as though we had been mates since childhood.
And then there are relationships with things other than people. I had a beautiful friendship with a ford Capri that I once owned which was, even until this day, was the best car I have ever owned. True, it had no power steering and an engine that had less horse power than an asthmatic turtle but my god was it an epic piece of kit. It had a sunroof which once succeeded in trapping me by the mullet and it had a sound system that could make Motörhead sound tinny, but I forgave it these failings because I loved it. When I bought that car I was single and I saw it as a way of impressing the ladies and so successful was that plan, that within 2 years of buying it I had a girlfriend, a baby and a mortgage. After discovering that ‘Flo Jo’,as I had called it (google it and you’ll understand) was less family orientated than Fred West, I decided to change it for a Ford Sierra which was ideal for transporting a family from A-B, so long as they weren’t that bothered if they actually made it to their destination on time or even at all. I also have a love hate relationship with beer in so far as I love the fact that it makes me invincible, highly entertaining and keeps me warm even during very cold nights out,but I hate the fact that it makes me very fat, slightly paranoid and a lot poorer. I also have a hate relationship with tv weather presenters. I ‘Get’ the need to appear chirpy and engaging when telling us that it’s going to be so wet that we’re going to start developing webbed feet and I ‘get’ the need these days to give the job to attractive people as opposed to the munters of yesteryear,but why are they so dramatic all the time? They present the weather as though they are auditioning for RADA, emphasise all the wrong words and then come up with some patronising claptrap such as advising us to cover up our rhubarb or tell us that if it gets cold then we should put a jumper on.
Relationships require an effort being put in by all parties and when that effort becomes one sided or ends all together, it seems that the writing is on the wall especially when you take into account the amount of effort that is required to keep a relationship healthy. It seems barmy that if you were in a relationship that you wanted, treasured were keen to nurture, you would then chose to wreck it with some poor judgement or poor behaviour.So with that in mind I have decided to divorce myself from Millwall football club. I’ve been a fan of Millwall for many years now, not quite man and boy because, as I’ve said previously in other posts,I was a bit of a glory hunting Liverpool fan during my youth, but certainly an ardent fan since my late teens and early 20’s. In the days when I didn’t have to work on weekends I would go to every home match and some away ones too, often doing day trips as far away as Manchester and the west country.From a sporting point of view, the quality of entertainment on show has always been somewhere between depressing and uninspiring with the very occasional moment of joy but like many relationships that fails, it’s become too one way for me now. I can put up with the mediocre standard of football even though it does produce the occasional Wembley appearance and I can even put up with the poor results but during our most recent appearance at Wembley our fans let us down. Yet again. Fighting amongst each other and managing to attracting the attention of a worldwide audience, the fans with the worst reputation in English football had done it again and let us down. Let our country down too. I have stood on the old terracing and sat in the stands singing the chant of ” no one likes us, We don’t care” which is a little tongue in cheek but also designed to deflect attention away from its awful, sometimes justified reputation.
As far as my relationship goes with Millwall it’s now become too one way though now. The incident at Wembley has, for me been the final nail in the coffin. I was ashamed by it and want to not only disassociate myself from it, it is with regret that I do not want to continue in a relationship with it. The reason that it is so difficult a decision to make is that almost without exception,no matter how abysmal their performance, week after week die hard fans turn up often getting rained on and ripped off in order to show their support and sing their clubs tribal songs. You hear expressions spoken such as ‘ it’s in my blood’ or ‘ my family have been fans for generations’ and people like me feel an allegiance to their club in the same way that church goers feel about their convictions. But this is a relationship that has become too one sided. The club bosses and the fans have all failed to clean up their act and that for me spells the end. So for that reason and despite all the investment in time,effort and emotion that I have put in over the years, I have decided to get a divorce from Millwall. All of this came about when Hayden Tillett, an old friend of mine, announced that he was going to start taking his young son to a rival club as he didn’t want to expose his lad to to the industrial language and sporadic violence that is common place at Millwall,and instead wanted his football experience to be one of a more family type environment. Like all separated couples I will of course often wonder what they are up to and in the case of Millwall take an interest in their results but I’ll find myself not caring a single bit if they win, get demoted or even promoted. I am, as far as a football team is concerned now fully single, on the market and open to offers, even for just one night.I just need the equivalent of a new ford Capri now to help me get into this new relationship.