Keris Stainton‘s new weekly column on married life…
I’ve been married for 11 years. Yes, to the same man. I can’t quite believe it actually. First of all, I don’t feel old enough to have been married so long (I feel about 15) and second of all, we are complete opposites.
Our “courtship” (as I believe the young people are calling it these days) was really fast. We met a few times and didn’t like each other much. I thought he was boring and rude, he thought I was obnoxious. Then there was drinking. And then kissing. And about three weeks later we were engaged. A year to the day after the drunken snog-up we were married.
The thing is that old “marry in haste, repent at leisure” saying is all too true. In a year, you can’t possibly learn enough about a person to know that you want to spend the rest of your life with them and so you end up learning things after you’re married. Things that perhaps if you’d known before, you would have thought a bit harder about this whole marriage business…
See, David (that’s the husband) is shy. He hangs behind me when we go into restaurants (it drives me MAD). Even now he can’t talk very well to my family. He is catastrophic on the phone to any sort of business or salesperson. But he is not at all self-conscious. I’m not shy. I’m happy to talk to anyone. But I’m terribly self-conscious and always worrying about what people think of me. So when David got up to do karaoke on our honeymoon I was … mortified.
He chose The Beatles’ Ticket To Ride. It was going okay. He’s not much of a singer, but he makes up in enthusiasm what he lacks in talent. But then at the end of the song there’s the “my baby don’t care” bit which was far, far too high for him. You could see the panic on his face. An older woman sitting next to me asked me, “Is that your husband?” I nodded, mutely. She gave me a pitying look and patted my hand comfortingly.
And that was just the beginning. There’s been the stand-up comedy, the air guitar championships (more than once!), even a recent best man’s speech had me in paroxysms of horror. But the thing is, David undertakes each of these things with enthusiasm and energy. It’s just me that finds them mortifying. I should learn from him really. But I can’t, I’m too embarrassed.