Thursday 27 July 2017

After 17 years Himself and I find ourselves washed up on the couch

Justine O'Mahony

SEVENTEEN YEARS after our first date, Himself and Myself are celebrating the occasion on the couch! Well I say celebrate, but that's not strictly true. Himself didn't even remember although he pretended he did when I got thick and wouldn't give him back the remote control.

Anyway you can't really describe something as a celebration when you're wearing a onesie and your other half is wearing a tracksuit bottom and pair of slippers! To be fair, I didn't remember the date either - December 19 to be precise, until I was half way through a hot port (God don't I live fast and dangerously?!).

Dying to catch him out but secretly hoping he'd remember every boring detail, I turned to him and said, ' tonight is the 17th anniversary of the first time we met.' He tried to look thoughtful, buying for time and said, 'I know.' 'Go way you big liar! You didn't know!' I said irritated as I took in his disgraceful attire. Mind you mine wasn't much better. In fact it was probably worse.

'How did it all go so wrong?' I asked him dismally. 'We used to be so young and attractive. Now look at us. We've turned into two old slobs.'

Himself didn't seem to have any problem being referred to as a slob and rubbed his beer belly affectionately.

I, on the other hand, like to believe in the inner recesses of my mind that I am still a lithe, lovely spring chicken, the kind of girl that men whistle at and want to buy drinks for. In reality, men offer me their seats in pubs now because they think I'm too old to stand!

AS WE sat there with our feet up on the coffee table, eating Bombay mix and drinking oul granny drinks, I reflected on the first time we met and how the bloody hell we'd managed to last 17 years.

'Do you remember what I was wearing that night?' I asked him foolishly. 'I do,' he says, 'You were wearing a short back dress.' ' No I wasn't. I was wearing a long blue dress,' I correct him. 'Who was I with?' I asked. 'Deborah,' he replies referring to one off my oldest friends. 'No I wasn't,' I say, getting annoyed. "I was with Roisin,' my one-time flatmate. 'I'm surprised you don't remember that seeing as you fancied her,' I tell him testily.

This is not going well. 'Well at least tell me what I was doing when you came over to me?' I ask hopefully. 'Ah I know that one. You were being chatted up by a gobshite and I rescued you,' he said proudly. At last he got something right. 'What was his name?' I asked enthusiastically. ' Robbie,' he pronounces without hesitation. 'Actually his name was Declan,' I sniff.

I really don't know why I bothered starting this game. It's not as if after 17 years he's going to suddenly turn into one of those men who remembers anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions without being told outright. He's not going to suddenly start buying me flowers or writing me love poems no matter how much I want him to.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks and after 17 years if he doesn't know what I was wearing on our first date, he's never going to know. 'Do you want another hot port or would you like something stronger?' Ah, you see - I knew there was a reason I married him!

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