I’m Back

5 May

I was watching American Idol: The Final Six and I loved Lee’s rendition of Shania’s song. I can never hear it without thinking that she must have written it about the Hub and me. No-one gave us longer than six months when we got married. I can’t say I blame them, really: if arguing was an Olympic sport we’d be tested for steroids every time we came out from under our pile of medals.

Our first year was the worst. I don’t think we had one squabble-free day. Most of them were non-violent, however…apart from one. I don’t remember what we were arguing about – not that it mattered; we never need an excuse to disagree. That day it escalated to the point where I stormed off (I do that a lot). I am a great door-slammer; the Hub warned me not to slam that door – before you get to thinking he’s a domestic tyrant (which he is, but I don’t want you to be thinking it; we all have our secrets), let me explain that he is not a door-slammer and doesn’t understand the therapeutic benefit of shaking a house to its roots in a loud and violent manner. We lived in a row of townhouses and, although he never cares what anyone thinks about him, he is not an inconsiderate man and he doesn’t see why the neighbours should suffer just because he’s the most irritating person in the world.

Being young and newly-married and furious with him, no-one was going to tell me what to do so I ran to the nearest door and slammed it, then looked at him. ‘Do it again,’ he said, ‘and I’ll put you over my knee.’ Him not being the boss of me, I stood there with the door and went, SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! As good as his word – he never makes a promise he’s not prepared to follow through on – he picked me up, carried me to the couch, put me over his knee and tanned my backside.

Don’t be too shocked, dear reader: this was South Africa in the Eighties and feminism and modern men hadn’t been invented yet. Besides, I was so enraged that I didn’t feel a thing. Or maybe he didn’t really smack me hard enough to hurt. It doesn’t matter, because as soon as he let go, I jumped up, ran to the door, and went, SLAM! SLAM! SLAM!

The Hub was pretty enraged himself and he came tearing over, put a hand on my shoulder, and I lost control. I grabbed the nearest thing to hand and hit him over the head with it. It happened to be his most prized possession – a framed, autographed photograph of the 1981 Man City FA Cup side. As the glass shards trickled over his ears and mingled with his blue tears, I legged it. The Hub, recognising that I was not, after all, the woman of his dreams but a harridan of nightmare proportions, went off on his motorbike as fast and as far as it would carry him – several hundred kilometres; he had a full tank – and rode back at 30kms an hour on reserve. The half a day that it took him to get back gave us both time to calm down. It must have been okay because we are still together twenty-five years later.

I don’t excuse either of us: we were young and stupid and had a lot of growing up to do; we did it together. We laugh about it now. But I’m still not allowed to be in the same room as that photo when I’m in a bad mood.  And he’s still the one I want for life.  Whether that will be in this house or the big house depends on how annoying he is on a given day.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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