Dear Agony Aunt
My name’s John. I’d like to think I’m a pretty normal Brit; I’ve got a decent job and I think I’ve done pretty well in life. I love my country and I’ve worked hard. I get on well with most people and people are used to consulting me when they need help. I like to think I’m pretty easy going – so long as have my sausages for breakfast and a pint of real ale in the evening, I’m generally fine.
But I’ve got myself in rather a lot of trouble at the moment and need some advice.
You see, I’ve been married to Marie for the last 46 years. She’s not from these parts but we’ve muddled along pretty well all this time. She can be a bit bossy occasionally, and sometimes I get annoyed that her large family keep coming to visit and then don’t leave. But we’ve got on ok over the years. We’ve been able to provide for our family and it’s been good making friends with her extended family network – it’s certainly broadened my horizons learning about different cultures. To be fair too, the cousins work hard and help out with stuff that I can’t get my side of the family to do. (My side of the family tend to be a bit lazy). The cousins tend to gang up on me when it comes to Eurovision, but it’s all good-hearted fun.
One day a couple of years back, this bloke Nigel that I vaguely knew from down the pub started to tell me that I could do better. That I should ‘man up’ and take more control of my life. After a few pints, I got confused and without thinking of the consequences made a drunken call to Marie to tell her that it was over. I was leaving her. Call it a midlife crisis, call it a cry for help, I’d made that call under the influence, and I couldn’t take it back.
The kids were up in arms of course. The eldest James (who’s a bit left wing and likes to be known as Jock when he’s feeling militant) is keen for us to stay together and is distinctly grumpy about the whole thing and keeps threatening to never speak to me again. Gladys tends to keep her opinions to herself but has been known to butt in at the worst possible time. We don’t tend to listen to her much. It’s the youngest that the biggest headache; we fought really hard to have Paddy and he needs a lot of looking after. Marie wants access rights to Paddy but I can’t figure out a way to make it work.
The lawyers were pretty quick to get going of course. I’ve got Mrs June working for me, who’s a bit stern and humourless, but to be fair she’s been trying to make the best of a bad job. It sounds like she’s been having a tough time of it at work; her colleagues in the city don’t like her and seem to want to undermine her at every juncture for their own personal benefit. I’ve no idea whether the deal that she was trying to strike with Marie was a good one or not, but it’s all a bit of a mess and I don’t think she can now act in my best interests. I’m thinking of sacking her whole firm, but then as far as I can tell, Mr Fisher’s company round the corner is the only other feasible option, and he’s a bit of an idiot. If only we could do without lawyers.
It’s even got to the stage where I’m thinking about calling Marie to apologise and see if she’d have me back. I know her though – she’s proud and probably won’t want me. Even if she had me back, the trust is gone – she’ll keep things from me and will always be worrying about the next time I go down the pub. I really think that ship has sailed and it’s too late.
I’m really worried about being lonely and paying the bills. I think I need a new partner, but the dating game is hard these days. Donna’s meant to be a good catch, but I don’t trust her mental state these days, and she keeps on talking about walls and barriers. Jia Ling is very attractive, but I can’t read her. Kylie’s just laughing at me. I could look further afield of course, but it all looks a bit explosive and probably more hassle than its worth. I’m in conversations with Hans Christian but he’s very liberal round there and it would all be very different to what I’ve experienced before.
As you can see I’m in a mess and need all the help I can get. Any advice as to the way forward gratefully received.
If like John, you could also do with some advice, then do get in touch with us at BLT (firstname.lastname@example.org). We won’t be able to come with a miracle Brexit solution, but I’m sure we’ll be able to give you some options to help your future Indirect Tax or Management Consultancy career.
- by Guy Barrand