Farts and Familiarity
It would be safe to say that, for most successful relationships, your beloved partner gets to see you at your absolute worst, yet still stays around and puts up with it. Right?
Is it any wonder then, that Hollywood marriages only last the standard time that intrigue and passion does - about twelve months. Is it then that these overly-cossetted celebrities realise that the daily indignities of morning breath, smelly shoes and farting is not at all acceptable within their unrealistically sanitised concept of long-lasting love?
Even a mathematical numbnut like me is able to figure out that the average length of a stars' marriage is miniscule compared to most in the real world. My own relationship is going on for nearly eighteen years now. Whilst Love Chunks and I are proud of this achievement, we also accept that there is very little of the intrigue and romance of our first twelve months together. But would we have it any other way?
My foggy brain thinks back to my dating days: when we thought River Phoenix was a drug-free vegan, Seinfeld was new and those crazy Branch Davidians were a bit over-zealous with their pop guns. The pre-date preparation always involved a shower, cleanly shaven legs, nice perfume, a hint of make-up and a new outfit.
And these days? LC leaves for work by 7am and sees me in my once-white towelling robe, ugg boots, matted hair, dragon breath and a face not yet unfolded from the shape of the pillow. He's still willing to kiss me goodbye and is even kind enough to say "See you tonight."
I can't even tell you then that I jump into the shower and spruce myself up in order to take the tram into the city for work at the office. Nope - no blow-dried hair, subtle mascara, snappy suit and the latest boots for me, unless ugg boots are still considered trendy in some parts. It's still shower time, but the professional business wear is traded in for jeans, t-shirt and an old polar fleece jacket with Milly's hairs stubbornly clinging to it.
After work - which, as a work-from-homer is when LC has served up dinner - it gets even worse. My serious writing 'uniform' is thrown aside and replaced with tracksuit pants and a shapeless windcheater that's able to hide the just-whipped-off bralessness. This is what the lucky LC comes home to every night.
Bedtime in the heady first days? Too x-rated, fun and exuberant to mention, with no concerns for the lateness of the hour, competing to win the 'who is most tired' competition or having to keep an ear out for the baby.
Today it seems as though I'm doing everything I possibly can to appear as unattractive and as 'nocturnally unavailable' as possible, but - honestly, truly - not intentionally so. After cleaning and flossing the choppers, locking all doors and switching off the lights, I drag my now aching body into the Marital Magic room.
LC's already in bed, reading. I hang up the dressing gown, kick off the uggs and slather lavender cream over my cracked hands (soaking stained uniforms in napisan will do that to you) whilst my wheat bag is being nuked in the microwave. This hot corduroy snake now smells like a horse trough and is draped around my neck which seems to be permanently cricked.
I then give my snozz one last full-throttled HONK into a tissue and spray two squirts of Rhinocort up each nostril before popping a valerian tablet to help me sleep and slipping on my triple reinforced anti-grind mouthguard. This infernal contraption makes me lisp, so dear old LC is treated to a slurpy "Goodnight Ssshweetie, Sssshleep well," as he turns out the light.
There is a bit of surreptitious fumbling in the darkness - I can't find my bedsocks and it's freezing in here!
But wait - there's more. Even in our unconscious states, we 'treat' each other to aspects of our physical selves that don't exactly leave us smelling of roses. Dutch ovens, for a start. I can't help it - if that's what my digestive plumbing needs to do, then so be it. LC manages to get his own back via his snoring; so sonorous our blinds rattle. Many's the time I've lain there in sheer wonder at the incredible noises his throat makes and him such a quiet person during the day....
If this was a movie, we'd wake up, entwined in each other's arms - his manly torso on display, my chest discreetly hidden under the sheets. We'd gaze adoringly into each other's eyes, kiss passionately and get right down to business. Unfortunately, reality is much harsher - there are bursting bladders and breath that smells like a camel crawled in our mouths and died there; not to mention the cornflakey boogers that have formed around our puffy eyes with a couple of dried white drool marks on the chin to complete the 'Sexy Sunrise' look.
At least the morning shower gives me a chance to clean up, wake up and tidy up. Not that any of this is a mystery to LC. In our one-bathroom house, he's busy cleaning his teeth and scraping away his whiskers whilst I'm surreptitiously trying to blow my nose in the shower and shave my armpits. Then our darling daughter bursts in, has a giggle at my soapy arse and yanks open the curtain: "Hey Mum, remember you said I could use your fancy camera today!" Er yes, I just hope it's not right now and that I'm not the subject but shampoo's in my ears and I can't see if you've got the camera in your hands or not and you've just dashed out again, hooting.....
In the movie High Fidelity, the Rob character (played by the gorgeous John Cusack) bemoans that his live-in girlfriend only wears sensible underwear and not the sexy, lacy stuff he'd see when they were just dating. LC laughed at that scene, commenting on the so-called dowdy panties that Rob held up: "I should be so lucky."
At Chateau Lockett, on Fat Days or Full-Laundry Basket Days the 'ol maternity knickers get dragged out - purely to flatten the tummy, mind. The dag in me likes to put on my socks before my trousers, so LC's had many conversations with me only clad in nanna pants and those knee-high tights that make the tops of my legs look like a mini mushroom cloud. Yet still he says, "See you tonight."
He's been helpful to me too, at times when I've been less than my best. "Pssst - you've got one of those dangly boogers in your nose," as I gratefully fumble around for the cafe's napkin to wipe it away. Or, less quietly, in a fluorescent-lit chemist, "Hey, here's the thrush cream you want!" He's emptied my sick buckets during migraines and tactfully told me that "Um, there's a couple of friends that you haven't flushed properly."
Never let it be said that I don't 'help' him as well. Many's the time I've politely pointed out that his nose hairs were long enough to hang beads on; have plucked out some scary long eyebrow hairs (you do not want to have eyebrows that will join up with your fringe); and nearly fallen to the ground in airless agony after visiting the loo too soon after he's been. Yet I too, say, "Yes, I'll see you tonight. Have a great day at work!"
He's the first person I clap eyes on in the morning, and he's the last person I touch, kiss, talk to and see at night. I wouldn't want it any other way. Although he could lose those pongy old slippers of his and there's one single hair growing on the edge of his ear that I could just reach over and *pluck*........