Iâm growing increasingly concerned about the imminent cessation of my military career. For starters it seems like Iâm going to have to converse with a lot more civilians. Supermarkets make me nervous, and Iâm beginning to suspect that Real Life may be very much like walking around Tescos on a hungover Sunday morning: loud, painfully disorganised and full of people suffering from spatial ignorance and the wholesale abandonment of manners and hygiene that results from drinking too much Sunny Delight in front of Emmerdale. Iâve got myself a nice new civvie girlfriend to break me in gently, plus she can introduce me to life outside the army. Sheâs so far taught me to use âpleaseâ when asking for something, not to point out deficiencies (however glaring) in any services offered me. If I MUST do so, Iâm not to point them out using my entire hand or by using phrases such as âshower of sh1teâ and âmoon-faced cnut.â When giving directions, I no longer get agitated by questions such as âIs that my left or your left?â and âHow far is Â¾ of a mile, in minutes?â but I am, however, worried about my interaction with the family. My parents are fine, dad did 22 plus a few and mum has the haunted, yet resigned countenance of a woman who has rarely known either the location, or the medical condition, of those closest to her. So it is I can go months without phoning home, let alone visiting, while incurring little more than a veiled, âwe were wondering about you the other day.â My wider family is a little different. The families of my uncles, aunts and cousins etc are much closer knit - i.e. although they also donât talk to each other for months, itâs because theyâve argued with each otherâs step mums, not because theyâve been in places like Copenhagen and Zagreb dressed as Braveheart. Iâm beginning to feel that some of my cousins etc think Iâm a bit of a cnut. And not a nice bit either. As seems to be the norm, every other member of my peer/age group seems to have married, wisely or otherwise. If it werenât for the fact that I like scratching my gonads in polite company, and the nearest thing to a âgrooming productâ in my bathroom is an orange-flavoured lynx shower gel (with little microscopic particles in) that I use for friction-wanks, people would no doubt be introducing me to their single mate Geremy and loudly proclaiming at dinner parties that they really like âPriscilla Queen of The Desertâ to make me feel included. Not only do I encounter this Heterophobia at every turn, but amongst some of my family I am always aware of the echoes of a dozen behind-closed-doors conversations about how negligent I am at the family thing, and how I only ever come back for funerals andâ¦well, funerals. I donât know what my parents have been telling them either, but they seem to think that I get paid enough to roll around in a hot-tub full of cash while I give orders to thousands of blokes, and that doesnât help. I would try to explain what it means to be a âMiddle Thirdâ Captain, but Iâd only depress myself further by thinking of some of the ones who make it to âTop Third.â They also throw their children at me. Sometimes literally. Itâs as if they think that bombarding me with E102âed-up kids with snot in their hair and chaos in their blood will somehow abrasively wash off my need to get drunk and laid until I die in a nasty âChampagne Twisterâ accident. Itâs not working so far Kids are mildly amusing at least, I wish all human relationships started by one wrestling the other to the ground, lifting up their T-Shirt and blowing raspberries on their belly button. Weâd be less inclined to start wars. So, my question to Arrse is this: should I be trying harder with the family and what should I be doing to make them love me?