Early on when the G.O. and I realised that he and I were an “us” and were negotiating our way through a new kind of relationship, his wise words were it doesn’t have to be hard. Last week we clocked up 8 years of cohabitating, and that simple philosophy stands us in good stead still.
During the week one evening before the G.O. had arrived home, changing from my office clothes into my around the house ensemble I caught my reflection in the mirror, laughed and thought what a woman to come home to, lucky he’s not fussy… My attire, as usual, was a checked flannie over an old t-shirt, with equally old, faded ripped jeans and Ugg boots, and wild hair scraped into a sort of bun-knot.
The moment brought to mind a conversation last weekend after a family lunch to celebrate the G.O.’s mum’s 80th birthday. We were discussing various family members, and my M.I.L. mentioned a cousin’s wife “she’s the talk of the town, she goes to the shops wearing his old holey shorts”. I said nothing but I could see in my mind summer-me attired in a pair of the G.O.’s old boardies, nipping into the shops after the beach. I have never seen my M.I.L. and her sisters dressed in anything that could be considered casual… even the M.I.L’s gardening clothes put many items of my holiday clothing selection to shame. Different generation, I guess, is the explanation.
Later, after the G.O. arrived home and showered, I wandered past the bathroom and thought to tell him how lucky I was but before I could I just had to laugh, again. There he was: trying to tame wild hair that won’t see a barber until summer & beard that never will, outfit matching mine but even older flannie, blue truckies singlet, trackie dacks and of course Uggies. He couldn’t understand my amusement… “you look fine” was his only comment.
Last night as we walked, enroute to see Adam Hills’ Happyism show at the Enmore Theatre, the G.O. gave me a good shove. As I looked around to ask what the? I automatically high-sidestepped a young woman sitting on a bench calmly vomiting onto the footpath… “thanks Gorgeous” I said “that was kind of you”. He said “no problem, it’s always that last schooner”.
Walking home after the show we stopped at Bench to have a drink and share a couple of plates of tapas. As I forked one of the last 2 pieces of grilled haloumi I chose the smaller, leaving the other for the G.O. Reciprocally, as the number of garlic-chilli grilled prawns dwindled, he said about the last “that’s yours”, and so on as we divvied up the remaining tiny olives and maple macadamias.
It’s these simple freely conveyed gestures, like whoever is home first packing away the washed dishes and clothes, or caring acts such as making tea or coffee for the other, and topping up wine glasses… we once had a houseguest who sternly admonished me that delivering a glass of wine to the G.O. seated on the couch, would be the ruin of me.
Adam Hills may have touch the frog as his Happyism mantra but it doesn’t have to be hard works just fine for us.