I always welcome the weekend with a thankful spirit, another week survived, another notch on the wall so to speak. Often I’ll do the old traditional ‘counting my blessings’ which can be briefly summarised as: 1) The kids are still alive and well 2) OH has still got a job, 3) There’s food in the cupboards and, 4) We have a roof over our heads. If the sun has managed to peek out from behind the clouds for any amount of time, I take that as a number 5) on my list.
This weekend OH and I shared our seventh wedding anniversary. Seven years of making it up as we go along, raising (dragging up) two children, and generally bumbling our way through life, together. I’m proud of what we’ve managed. It always amuses me when I hear wedding vows at weddings I’ve been to where they say the lines ‘from richer to poorer, from better to worse, in sickness and in health’ etc; with all the flowery language and huge promises. Breaking it all down to everyday dedication to marriage, is a far different ‘kettle of fish.’
I’m sure this point has been made far more eloquently elsewhere, but the nitty gritty of keeping a marriage together is exactly that – the nitty gritty. The every day grind. Personally I struggle to make a coffee for my OH in the mornings when I’ve got a cold and can’t be bothered; I don’t like selflessly surrendering floor space to dead and dying computers that I trip over in the bedroom; I hate Star Trek and I struggle to watch his appalling sci-fi films without tutting all the time and looking snootily at the silly ferocious alien plots. Nowhere in my marriage vows did I agree to put up with these things!
On the other hand he copes with temper tantrums, (me, not the kids), a disaster zone goddess as opposed to a domestic goddess, I forget where I’ve put my keys / bank cards about a million times a day and blame S or D or the cat for the loss too. There’s many more things I do that are irritating and terrible, but I don’t want to list them because I’ll die of shame. I rip my toenails off and don’t put them in the bin for one. I am a bad person. Briefly summarised, we’re as bad as each other and are therefore perfectly matched.
I am amazed that he puts up with me. Having said that we love each other and look through the every day, dull, hum drum and still see the sparkle that drew us together in the first place. A wedding anniversary is a lovely time to focus on that, and so every year we try to get out for an anniversary meal at least.
On Friday night my mum kindly ‘Sat on the babies,’ and he and I went out for the evening. In the old days, a date would involve a bit of a fuss over an outfit, putting make up on and finding matching shoes. These days I simply don’t have the time. Mum arrived, the kids were pinned down and pyjama’d (made up word, but it does the job), and I just had enough time to brush my hair and change my ribena stained top. I think I looked presentable enough, put it this way, they didn’t throw me out of the restaurant…
We ran out the door to the tune of a screaming S. He’d realised we were trying to leave, and attempted to put his shoes on, failed and had resorted to crying, looking pitiful and clinging to my leg. D was very well behaved in comparison and kissed us goodbye, although she used guilt tactics as opposed to out and out yelling – ‘Mum, why can’t I come out with you? I promise I’ll be good.’ (angelic smile). I was not fooled!
Despite all the emotional and physical hurdles, we escaped and quite literally headed for the hills. I always get a brief thrill of freedom when it’s just T and me climbing in the car. No kids to strap in, bulging nappy bags or toys to remember. We just open the doors, climb in and sit down – hassle free! At the risk of sounding like a meercat, -Simples! (I can’t believe I just used that word….I may have to tell myself off later)
Not wanting to wander too far up the hill we went to JJ’s restaurant on the main street. This is a favourite restaurant of ours, and we’ve spent many an evening there – always leaving well fed and more than often a bit merry. It seemed fairly quiet for a Friday night, so it was a very relaxed atmosphere. We sat on a very comfy sofa in the bar area, discussing our meal choices and whether or not we were brave enough to order lobster. An expensive choice, but what the hell, it was our anniversary!
I had a black pudding and bacon posh sounding starter, with half a lobster for my main. He had mozzarella with cheese starter and then steak in pepper sauce. We would have had a bottle of the house red, but weren’t asked if we would like one, which was a bit of a disappointment. We just stretched out our welcome drinks and it was actually nice to leave the meal not feeling fuzzy headed for once.
The lobster was no-doubt beautifully cooked, but I just don’t think I like lobster. I’ve never had it before, when it arrived on my plate my first thought was ‘How many legs?!! It was very unfortunate, but the vast number of legs and pincher things, and random sticky out bits, and shell and bone just reminded me of a huge woodlouse.
After I’d eaten a polite amount, the lobster lay on my plate staring at me. Usually they’re very on the ball, but this time the waitress left me with the remains of my dinner for far too long. I sat messing with the pincers (probably incredibly bad table manners) trying to pretend they were funny whilst secretly feeling a bit sick. I was very relieved when it finally got taken away. Never, ever again! Underwater insecty things are obviously not to my palate.
We talked about the kids, about work, about lots of things. A very civilised meal for once (if you discount me playing with the pincers), no kids throwing food, no cooking, no washing up, no interruptions or spills or anything untoward at all. Calm, adult, normal, conversation. Heaven.
As we left, we were asked if our meals had been to our liking. In true British fashion, I said that they’d been lovely, the waitress commented that ‘the lobster did look gorgeous.’ I smiled sweetly, lied through my teeth and agreed that I had enjoyed it very much. I didn’t want to ask her how they’d managed to catch and cook a woodlouse that big.
The hill didn’t seem so bad for once, even though it was drizzling slightly. The streetlamps sparkled in the puddles, and we chatted and walked happily beside each other. All in all the evening was an oasis of calm. I almost wished for the first time ever, that our hill was even bigger and steeper than it already is, just so we could prolong the evening.
We reached the front door and stepped back into the bedlam that is our home, bracing ourselves for a hassled babysitter with a crying S. D is always out like a light, and no trouble at all – unlike her brother. They were obviously both fast asleep, we found mum sat in a completely quiet living room, no tv or radio on at all. When we asked her how it had all gone, she giggled and said the kids had gone to bed fine, with just the one mishap.
Apparently D had been messing with the stereo before bed and no-one had realised. When mum went to switch the TV on, a detuned radio noise blasted out of the speakers at a billion decibels. This woke the kids up, and probably worried the neighbours somewhat, but after some manic dialling of dials and switching off of switches, she managed to shut it off. Peace was restored, and there’d been no more problems. She’d just not dared touch the TV in case she did it again.
Mum left and we sat and watched The Big Bang Theory, not a very romantic end to the evening, but certainly a very contented one.
The next day a huge bunch of roses arrived at our door, I wasn’t expecting anything at all and quite literally said ‘So, who are they for?’ and meant it.
I cried when I realised they were for me, and then laughed when I read the card.
“To many more years of fun, here’s to you and your lovely bum”
Cute and funny, that’s my husband. I count my blessings for my him, for my children, for the many things that make my life worth living, including mums that ‘sit on babies’ at the last minute.
At the risk of being soppy, this blog post is dedicated to my ever loving, long suffering husband. Cheers! :O)
Little footnote : I read this to my OH and expected at least an ‘Aw..that’s nice’ or some other appreciative comment. He simply said ‘I don’t like the bit about the Meercat’ and carried on playing Grand Theft Auto. Charming! So, I’ve left it in anyway as a small act of rebellion. Like I said, I’m a bad person. (evil grin)
Link to a map showing JJ’s if anyone frequents the area and wants a nice place to eat. Highly recommended!