31 May 2010
Hestia ponders the nature of love....
The phrase 'Other Half' is used by my hubby about his friend. Even when I point out to him that it's really a sort of romantic expression, he says he is using the phrase 'ironically'.
Which, given that he is a man whose humour level peaks at Oops TV, I doubt very much.
The Other half is his oldest friend - another bike-mad husband and father. They've been pals since they were at secondary school and they seek each other out at every opportunity - their eyes alight with the excitement of the MotoGP league table or drooling over a Ducatti motorbike with the same lust as sensible people (ie me) reserve solely for George Clooney.
After 30 years, I've just worked out that I'm jealous of their relationship.
When my hubby is on the phone to his OH, his conversation is punctuated with laughter and his words effervesce like bubbles in lager. When he talks to me on the phone he is monosyllabic and frequently sighs with the air of someone compelled to make small-talk with a pre-schooler while all the other grown ups are next door, getting drunk and playing Twister.
When they are together, there is much punching and wrestling going on. I have suggested, somewhat tetchily (and usually with a few G&Ts under my belt), that they might want to get a room one afternoon and just bugger it out of their systems, but they just look at me piteously as if I Don't Understand. It's a Boy Thing. This is What Boys Do - give each other dead arms, Chinese burns and swap stickers
Sometimes they even light little fires in the garden.
Can I just make it clear that they are not 9 years old, but men in their mid/late 40s.
This morning, under a sky bluer and clearer than a Pixar animation, I pondered aloud whether he might be going out on his bike for a ride. He said nothing. Which is never a good sign.
Later that morning, I walked into the lounge unnanounced and he quickly cut off a conversation with a hasty 'right, see you later' and I knew that he was arranging to meet Him just as surely as another woman knows that her man has been secretly arranging to meet Fiona from Accounts in a conveniently located lay-by.
'Shall we do something nice today? Just the two of us?' I ventured sweetly.
He shrugged and hung up the phone: 'Maybe,' That's hubby code for 'Probably not'.
I wandered off to get on with the mountain of washing that seems to be the inevitable result of 2 days caravanning with a man and a small boy.
Twenty minutes later he was standing at the back door in his leathers: 'Right, I'm off. Meeting T at the Rest And Be Thankful. Back at teatime.'
'Right,' I replied. That's wifely code for 'Fuckity Bye'.
I continue to peg up the washing, If he comes over and kisses me on the forehead before he leaves, then it'll all be ok, I promise myself. But he slides creakily onto the seat, kicks up the Ducatti's sidestand and rumbles down the driveway.
I wait to feel that familiar aggrieved feeling that tends to spike you in the chest like a Louboutin heel, but as I stare up into the endless blue sky, clothes peg in one hand, school shirt in the other, all I feel is empty.
Pic: motorcycle news - Valentino Rossi and Guy Martin. I feel like the girl looking over their shoulder - sooo not included :-)