Her say… His say…

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Stellar - - Contents - frances.whit­ing@news.com.au FRANCES WHIT­ING

with Frances Whit­ing and Rory Gib­son.

Ilost three read­ers last week. I don’t mean I took them on an out­ing and lost them in IKEA – I mean they will no longer be read­ing this col­umn.

I know this be­cause they told me so, writ­ing to say that be­cause I had shown my af­fil­i­a­tion to the yes vote in the same-sex mar­riage de­bate, they would no longer read any­thing I wrote.

All three read­ers’ let­ters up­set me – to lose one reader may be re­garded as a mis­for­tune, to lose three looks like care­less­ness, as our old friend Os­car Wilde might say. Now, the good thing was all three, who iden­ti­fied as long-term read­ers, ac­tu­ally took the time to ex­plain their stance to me, which I ap­pre­ci­ated, but you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care be­cause they’ll be back. Oh yes, mark my words. They might be all huffy and puffy right now, all “Oh, that Frances Whit­ing, she’s such a Mardi Gras-lov­ing, left-wing, wheat­grass-drink­ing tosser,” but later, oh yes, later in the cold, hard light of a Sun­day morn­ing, they’ll re­gret break­ing up with us.

And I do mean us. Be­cause we are, and al­ways have been, in this col­umn ca­per to­gether.

So I don’t know when they’ll start miss­ing us – per­haps at the first sign of rub­bish be­ing put out for kerb­side col­lec­tion, or in the first mag­pie at­tack of the spring. But miss us they will.

“I must get Frances’s eggnog recipe for Christ­mas…” they’ll start say­ing, be­fore re­mem­ber­ing, “Oh, that’s right, I can’t, I wrote ‘You’re dead to me’ to her.”

One of the read­ers ac­tu­ally wrote that, by the way. Well, the ex­act words were: “I never thought I’d write th­ese words to my favourite colum­nist, but Frances Whit­ing, you’re dead to me,” be­fore soft­en­ing the blow with, “But I wish you hap­pi­ness and good health, nev­er­the­less.”

Good health is a lit­tle tricky to pull off when you’re dead, but I ap­pre­ci­ate the sen­ti­ment. The thing is, as long-term read­ers of this col­umn, they will know their stance means they will miss out on such things as the yearly Re­motely Achiev­able List, the an­nual Most An­noy­ing Words List, the quar­terly Peo­ple Who An­noy Me List, and many other semi-reg­u­lar fea­tures of this col­umn, many of them con­tain­ing the word “an­noy­ing”.

They’ll also miss out on this col­umn’s hi­lar­i­ous and not-at-all-get­ting-tired ref­er­ences to Colin Firth jump­ing into a va­ri­ety of wa­ter bod­ies, as well as im­ma­ture ob­ser­va­tions about Don­ald Trump’s hair.

But mostly, I hope they’ll be back be­cause I’ve al­ways said, and hoped, that the things that unite us are stronger than the things that di­vide us.

“To lose one reader may be re­garded as a mis­for­tune, to lose three looks like care­less­ness, as Os­car Wilde might say”

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