Tag Archives: marriage

Hearts, flowers and surgical stockings


When couples first get married and have that “no-one has ever been as much in love as we are’ smugness about them, it’s all about hearts and flowers, bedroom gymnastics, and romantic gestures.

God, I used to see it all the time when I was a wedding photographer. “There’ll never be another wedding like ours”, couples would coo as they glanced smugly at each other. It used to take all I had not to say, “Well actually, love, they’re all much of a muchness.” I always thought it would be too cruel to burst their bubble though so I’d just smile sweetly and agree that they were indeed unique. Often at the same time as wondering if they’d still be together when the ink had dried on their marriage certificate. What? Cynical? Me?

I remember it well. Vowing that we’d get old together and taking all that that brings with it but not being able to imagine it. Ah yes. Fast forward thirty three years. When it isn’t so much bedroom gymnastics as a low impact workout while trying to avoid straining the bits that ache, cramp or just don’t move in that direction any more. Flowers are saved for special occasions, a romantic gesture is giving up the tv remote control and love settles into a comfortable companionship.

When I first got married I had no concept of how marriage would change as the years went on. Some days it’s considered a success to have got through the day and not bludgeoned each other to death. Other days we are completely content when we snuggle up on the sofa and watch a bit of telly together, happy just to be.

What am I wittering on about?

Well, dear reader, let me tell you.

Boofuls had his long awaited hip replacement surgery a little over three weeks ago.

His embarrassment at me having to help him to wash. “I’m your wife”, I told him. “This stuff goes with the job description.”  Helping him into and out of the shower while holding a plastic bag over his stitches and using a hand towel like a windscreen wiper to keep any stray drops of water from seeping through. Cutting his toenails, helping him to get dressed and the truest test of love.

Back in the day when I was on my knees in front of him it wasn’t to put his surgical stockings back on.  My God, has there ever been a more difficult task than putting on and taking off surgical stockings? How times have changed.

Aside of the personal hygiene stuff. How did I not know that he has six million cups of tea every day? It wasn’t till I had to make them all that I realised. How is it even possible to imbibe that much liquid?

His frustration at not being able to perform everyday tasks and my poor nursing skills have meant that tempers may have frayed a bit recently. We have both bitten our tongues until they are black and blue but we muddle through.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t the grand gestures that make for a happy marriage.  Anyone who tells me they have never had a cross word in their marriage is either telling lies or one of the partners has been severely compromising to keep the peace. I think what it boils down to is still being able to love each other when the romance is in short supply and the reality of advancing years and ill health become part of your everyday life.

Mind you, the occasional grand gesture never goes amiss.

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Happy anniversary!


Despite all the odds, Boofuls have managed to stay avoid killing each other, running off with a younger model or dying of some medical condition for 32 whole years. In fact, after all these years we still actually like as well as love each other. There is no one else in this world that I would rather spend my time with, although Douggie the doggie does come a very close second.

Today, dear reader, is our thirty second wedding anniversary. Just to be clear, I mean mine and Boofuls, not mine and Douggie’s.

Although we don’t, and never have, made a big fuss about it anniversaries with cards and flowers and meaningless gestures, we do like to spend the day together.

Today’s anniversary outing is going to be to Plymouth to look at the poppy wave on The Hoe. It’s a warmish, dry and sunny day. perfect for a little jaunt out with my two best mates, yes Douggie the doggie is coming too.

Tonight we’ll be going to a very nice restaurant, sans dog,  where we will eat and drink far too much and reminisce about all our years together. Then we’ll drink a toast to the years we have left.

Lat night we were at a ‘we survived the summer season’ party thrown by some friends of ours. Lovely gay couple, he’s English and he’s Thai. That made for an interesting mix of food. Thai red curry, beautiful, spicy salads, hot and spicy side dishes…and a shepherd’s pie for Boofuls. How thoughtful was that?

The whole evening was amazing, relaxed, comfortable and just the right mix of people. Amazingly, for a room full of hoteliers, we manged to avoid talking about linen or laundry. I think all talk of linen should be banned until at least April of next year – but I digress.

When we got home we sat and chatted for a while. We chatted about life events that have overtaken a few people this year. We chatted about our own lives.  As we chatted it struck us that we have now lived more of our lives than we have left.

It was a strange realisation.

Life is so busy, we don’t often have time to just sit back and take stock. Never before have I considered my mortality and that the end might be nearer than I imagined. How did those years just disappear without us even noticing them?

For some time I have been banging on about buying a smaller B & B emporium or even retiring. Mostly for health reasons but after our conversation of last night it has made me think about it even more. We deserve to have some precious time together before one of us shuffles off our mortal coil and leaves the other wondering what the hell just happened.

I can feel another life shift coming on.

A love story


We all have our ideas of love. Some have a romantic, hearts and flowers and endless romantic interludes.

Anyone who’s been in a relationship for any amount of time quickly finds out that isn’t the reality of it.

Day to day life, health issues, niggly habits and taking each other for granted all take their toll on the hearts and flowers sugar rush of a fresh new relationship.

Despite all that, couples manage to stay together, the heady love they felt at the beginning of the relationship deepening  and evolving over the years.

Boofuls and I used to sit and watch old couples in pubs and restaurants just sitting together, not talking, both wrapped up in their own thoughts. “If we ever get like that it’ll be time for us to move on but we’ll never get like that, we love each other too much for that.” we’d say with the arrogance and smugness of a newly in love couple who thought no one else could possible have experienced a love as strong as ours.

And yet, here we are, twenty eight years later.

We are now that couple. The couple who just sit, gazing into the middle distance.

However, now we have an insight into it that all those years of marriage have brought about.

Content just to be breathing the same air.  Small talk isn’t needed, we don’t feel the need to entertain each other. We’re just happy to be close to each other. We don’t need to be gazing into each others eyes an declaring our love loudly and publicly.

This week I heard about the parents of a school friend.

Her parents had been married for many years. Sadly, her father died a short time ago. A massive shock to the whole family.

Her mother survived two long weeks without him and then she too passed away to be with her husband.

They are having a joint funeral.

Like Boofuls and me, they made a vow to be together till death parted them.

Their love has transcended death.

That’s a love story.