It is the sort of thing we would have laughed ourselves silly over a few weeks ago but there seems to have been a bit of a sense-of-humour failure since Beloved came home and announced his imminent departure to be with Bonk in a Notting Hill love-nest.
It's all in a perfectly noble cause, mind you: Personal Growth - his - and as he so very generously says, mine too. Sweet, really. I spent my first night of personal growth lying face down on our lawn chewing grass and keening into the worm casts. I have been doing lots of similar enhanced development work every night since.
Sadly, Beloved finds my reactions a little embarrassing. Having been brave enough to break free from the constraining shackles of marriage, he is standing in a shiny new world washed clean of all the cloying shards of years of wasted past. So when I finally lost it yesterday, and smashed our entire dinner service (very neatly in a skip) and sliced up my arms for good measure, he was tight-lipped. He told me tersely to change my trousers because the children would be upset if they saw the blood. Later he asked if there was anything that "sparked it off".
At moments like this, headlines flash before my eyes - such as "Aliens Stole My Husband". Is this the same man who used to balance peanuts on his nose for my entertainment and do walrus impersonations?
Of course, those were the days when M & S boxers were acceptable and he was happy to cycle to work looking a total nerd in one of those back- to- front helmets. Nothing much short of Paul Smith and Calvin Klein on his botty these days, and precious little peanut balancing since he became a weekly boarder in London and could officially say he was a film director. Not a great deal of smiling, either. Do you ever see a film director smiling?
I blame it on the telly, driving nice staff out into the nasty corrupting world of freelancedom where they drink testosterone with egomania chasers. London media freelanceness did for Beloved, poor lamb. He rediscovered the joys of single life, this time not as a poor student but as a grown- up with serious dosh, glam job and a Clerkenwell flat. Coming home to a wife who knows her chickens by name and worries if the wind will snap her rudbeckias must have begun to seem a pretty unattractive option.
I mean, compared with giving Bonk a once-over against the glittering backdrop of the City skyline ...
So I'm coming to terms with it all by thinking of it as a style decision. A country wife and kids just didn't fit with Beloved's Criterion dinners and Armani trews. Like wearing wellies to the Baftas. With us still attached he could never have that ultimate media accessory: a divorce. It was simply a decision forced on him by circumstances.
So what man would fit my new style? What exactly does match a divorcee with two kids and a rudbeckia fixation? Well, let's put it this way - ain't no point ringing Alan Rickman and telling him I'm finally free. Something more countrified might be suitable and more accessible (since the rudbeckias and chickens don't allow travelling for sex). I've never really fancied anything in tweeds but after 20 years of regular delightful bonking and now two weeks without, I may have to lower my standards.
Or would it be simpler to have a sex clause in the divorce settlement agreement? You know, the cost of the mortgage, the Aga service and two sessions every month. I'll have to ask the lawyer. Watch this space.
Stevie MorganReuse content