I WAS 12 years married at the weekend. Quite how this has happened remains one of life's greatest mysteries. I find it remarkable that I actually managed to get someone to marry me, never mind stay married to me. And for 12 years too!
After 12 years living together ( Well 14 years if you count the two we were living over the brush) there are few secrets and fewer surprises. I know now not to expect any great lavish gestures come anniversary time. In fact the only reason he remembers at all is because I beat it into him for weeks beforehand.
He started off great, as most men do, setting a wonderful precedent for our first anniversary, by bringing me to Adare Manor. And then it all went downhill with me having to remind him every year to buy me a present or risk death by slow and painful means.
Every year I ask him has he organized anything and every year he gives me the same response, "sure you're better at that sort of thing." Then I rant that just once I would like him to surprise me.
"Didn't I bring you to Inchadoney one year?" he says looking mildly offended. "NO you bloody didn't! Your mother gave us a voucher as a present," I shout at him.
"Well didn't I bring you to Monart another year?" he tries again. "THAT was my fortieth birthday present from my family that YOU booked to coincide with our anniversary, you snake," I roar.
He actually looks pleased with himself that he managed to pull that one off. The words cute hoor spring to mind.
SO THIS year I decide to cut to the chase and not even pretend he's planning an anniversary treat for me. I book a nice restaurant and overnight stay and tell him to pack a bag, I'm taking him away. I know when I'm bet. He may have stuck with me for 12 years and put up with my daily melodramas but he's never going to do the sweeping me off my feet thing.
We stop in a little village near the restaurant for a drink. Some of the locals in the bar start to chat to us. The New Ross Standard is on the counter. I start flicking through it and stop to read what words of wisdom I wrote last week.
"Do you know her? Is she a friend of yours?" asks one man pointing at my picture.
"Eh……that's me. I am her," I answer, preparing myself for a barrage of abuse. He looks at me astounded and says, "You are Justine O'Mahony??"
"Yeeeees." I've a feeling this isn't going to go down well. He turns to Himself, pokes him in the chest and declares, "You. Are. A. Saint. Fair play to you. You're a saint and I'm going to buy you a pint for putting up with her."
So there we are, all three of us - me, Himself and His Friend all cosy in the pub on my 12th anniversary talking about what a cheeky little madam I am and what a tough life Himself has. "You'd have served less time for murder," says His Friend helpfully.
Himself is lapping it up, nodding his head in false modesty as His Friend pats him on the back once more and sympathises with him for being stuck with Yours Truly.
I tell you one thing, I'm staying at home next year…..that's if we're still married.