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Suzanne Power: Beware the slow steamer with a volcanic temper

In the same way you get signs saying 'Beware of Dog', there ought to be a similar one for: 'Beware of Seether'.

Everyone fumes, but someone who sits on top of their anger makes everyone else suffer for their emotional haemorrhoids. The only way you find out if someone seethes is to work with them, or live with them. Moody people can masquerade as amiable for short bursts but eventually you're going to do something to p**s them off and, as judges, they believe in long sentences.

One of my friends fell in love and told me: "We never row. It's so peaceful. We just seem to be in perfect harmony." Unless you're Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney doing something terrible to a keyboard, this is denial. This is volcano tennis.

My friend realised when she tried to veer her new man away from what she calls 'worthy boring causes'. "He was always going to meetings for political and environmental issues and making me come and calling them dates. He just liked watching other people row. When I got bored and wanted to go to the cinema he told me I was 'trivial'. I helped myself by giving up on him after six months. He wanted to improve my mind, I just wanted him to improve my body!"

When a seether explodes they spout decades of lava into the atmosphere. You might be his latest girlfriend, but the one who scratched his New Order 12-inch, the one who dumped him at the disco, the one who dented his bumper and the one who rubbished his favourite side all come out to play in his head. You might only leave the lid off the toothpaste but, because he never voiced his displeasure with any woman from his nappy changer to the woman who got his promotion, he'll view it as a mortal sin.

From a male perspective, female seethers are the sort that look like they've been drinking turps when you're 10 minutes late. They make princess demands and will not have sex with you unless you're Prince Charming and George Clooney perfect. You will spend your life picking up after these women. They've been spoilt rotten by their parents and have exchanged their pigtail strops, for cross-armed silences.

I was away with a friend and his female seether. She spent all day looking like Victoria Beckham at the beach and all night pursing her lips because he was having a laugh and "drinking too much". Seethers think enjoying yourself is drinking too much.

When my male friend finally got sense he dumped Princess Curly Wurly, my pet name for her perfect corkscrew hair and tiara, and she punished him by making sure his travel arrangements for work were completely fecked up. For every flight he took he was marked down as either a nervous traveller, a vegan, a kosher-food man or was booked in beside a family of four with toddlers. "When you're doing long-haul flights every two weeks it's a bit annoying. But it's better than going out with her," he said.

Seethers like to fume about all the ones who left them. They like to tell their new recruits how awful the exes were. If he can match all his socks and she can't leave the house until you put out the red carpet, you'll never be perfect enough.


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