HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF EACH OTHER
"Are you sorry," I said to The Husband, "that you married a hell-raiser? You could have had a wife who enoyed sudoku, crochet, origami, or baking... instead of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll."
We were lying in bed giggling, the morning after the night before - which had been one of those predictably middle-aged, middle-classed evenings that degenerates into inebriated bickering between friends, where everyone gets the wrong end of the stick, nobody will back down and it all ends in tears.
He laughed. "Don't be silly," he said. "You couldn't raise hell if you tried! You haven't had sex since 1993 and the only drugs you take are the ones the doctor gave you to stop you going mad. Its more sausage rolls than Rolling Stones with you."
He looked at my disappointed face and said, "Well, we're not as young as we were."
He's right of course. We're getting older and our hell-raising days are dwindling. We used to party all night and not go to sleep until the sun came up. We imbibed all manner of beverages and ingested all manner of substances*, cared little about tomorrow and lived wild and carefree in the moment. Carpe Diem was the motto etched on our souls. 'Decadent' was my favourite word. We were mad, bad and dangerous to know.
Now if we stay up past midnight I am grumpy for a week and my skin takes on the texture of old pumpkin. The truth is that I'd rather have a cup of tea and curl up with a good book than, well, anything else. I've even been tempted by those adverts for blankets with sleeves... and I enjoy a good period drama. (And by that I mean the corseted Sunday night BBC TV viewing variety, not the 'am I? aren't I?' time-of-the-month variety.) I like listening to Gardeners Question Time - particularly the bits about composting - jigsaws have a certain appeal and I no longer embarass my oldest son. Now I can't decide if my favourite word is 'microwavable' or 'elasticated'. I am bad at remembering things and bad at geography and bad at housework, rather than 'bad' in any glamourous Byronic sense, although the doctors tell me my mental health is still questionable, but what do they know? ("Quite a lot", says The Husband.) Now I am only dangerous when crossing the road.
The problem is that while The Husband knows - and loves - all this about me, I don't. I prefer the myth. He has to remind me to take my anti-delusion pills.
"You are not a rock-star, darling," he says, "Stop behaving like one."
*If any of The Husband's family are reading this, don't panic. The strongest mind-altering substance he has ever ingested was a prawn vindaloo at the Bombay Dreams Curry House in Norwich in 1987. He has only had the odd Korma since.