My piece from my column in the Irish Examiner a few weeks ago was a little romantic tribute to yer man and myself on our 28th wedding anniversary.
It was our wedding anniversary last week. For more years than I care to admit, yer man and myself have been married, and it looks like neither of us is bailing out yet.
What’s our secret, aside from luck, patience and yer man agreeing with me, even when he doesn’t?
I’d swear it’s having two televisions.
Each evening I get to sit in the sitting room, queen of a medium-sized TV, while yer man sits in the kitchen watching a rather tiny one. With no rows, I get to watch what I like, while yer man watches anything, as long as it’s on RTE.
Sitting in our separate rooms we are content. So different to when we first met.
Way back, when we were but a sparkle in each other’s eyes, we couldn’t spend enough time together, although in hindsight, perhaps I made a little more effort than he did. On my days off, from nursing in Dublin, I’d race for the train to Cork to be with him. On his days off… he played football.
This thing called GAA was an unknown to me, and it took some time to understand that up against his club team, I lost every time.
So, I began to research the game, understanding the rules and going to matches to watch him play. However, it’s safe to say I wasn’t a diehard supporter. While others cheered in the freezing cold and lashing rain, I would sneak off with a book to my warm car, usually parked where I’d no view of the game whatsoever. Once the match was over, I’d appear and listen to the post-match analysis around me.
“Great point by Johhny Welsh.”
“Awful dirty play by number 4.”
“Unlucky for Joe Connor not to get that goal.”
Later, I’d be quite the expert when yer man would inquire how I enjoyed the game.
During those early days, we spent many waking hours together. Nowadays, we’re happy just to wake together! Although occasionally in the evenings we like to visit each other’s lair.
The other night yer man strayed into mine. I was flicking through channels when I stumbled upon The Antiques Roadshow.
“That’s definitely rubbish,” I said, as an old plate was held up for inspection.
“We used to have something like that at home,” said yer man. “I think we threw it out.”
“In today’s market,” said the appraiser, “you could expect this to reach up to £3000.”
“£3,000,” said yer man, “I hope we didn’t have one at home! Do you know,” he said, shaking his head, “I’d say we have stuff in the back room upstairs worth a fortune.”
“I doubt it,” I said picturing the useless items cluttering our spare room.
“What about those towels we don’t like?” he said.
“The ones we got for our wedding decades ago?”
“Yes. They were very good towels,” said yer man, “There was a logo on them.”
“But no one’s ever heard of them,” I said.
“Well that probably makes them more valuable.”
“But we’ve been using them for years.”
“Oh yes,” he laughed, “I forgot that. Well, what about the clock I did up?”
“Mmm, it’s lovely, but I don’t think it’s valuable.”
“Really?” he said, making for the door, “Well I don’t think you know much about antiques.”
It was on the tip of my tongue to describe him as one, but then I realised, that would make me one also.
And perhaps after all these years we are? If we presented ourselves might they say we are like two matching candlesticks… individually not worth very much, but together priceless.
So for one time only, here’s a photo of yer man and myself dressed as love’s young dream.