In a strange sort of way though, his looks put me off. I had no intention of getting involved because I foresaw trouble. I told my best friend that if I ever spoke about getting serious with this man, she should take me to a private place, and slap me repeatedly across the face until I woke up. Obviously, it didn't work like that. We fell in love, and got married in February 1995. Whenever I show the wedding photographs to people who weren't there, their first remark is invariably, "God, he's stunning!" hastily followed by "And you look wonderful, too." Thanks.
It was the first indication that being married to a beautiful man is not all beer and skittles. How does that dreadful song of the mid-Seventies go? "If you're in love with a beautiful woman/you watch your friends". Well, quite. After our wedding, we had a big party. Lots of friends, some of whom I hadn't seen for ages. Meandering happily around in a haze of champagne, I noticed my new husband perched on the edge of his seat, with a somewhat frozen and embarrassed smile. My friend, Lisa, was sitting on the arm of his chair, her body curved towards his, her arm sliding along the back rest. Euphoric and benign, I just thought how nice that she was getting to know him. When the guests departed, I learnt that she had suggested to my new husband that perhaps he might like to leave with her, to go somewhere quieter? "Do you know who I am?" he asked. "Go on then," Lisa replied, flirtatiously, "tell me your name."
"I think you already know my name. I am Jo-Ann's husband," he said. Lisa leapt off the chair as if sitting on molten lava. "I'm going to get a drink" she squeaked, and was never seen again.
This though is by no means blameworthy. Lisa had never met my husband, had come late to the celebrations, and had no idea that she was trying to pick up the man I'd married four hours previously. Moreover, she had the decency to abort the operation as soon as she was in full possession of the facts. The single thing that has astonished me most during two years of marriage, is the number of women who couldn't care less.
My husband wears a wedding ring and he is extremely tactile and affectionate. When we go out, it is undeniably obvious that we are together. But don't let a little thing like that stop you. I have lost count of the number of occasions I have been physically shouldered aside, pushed from my seat, shoved and elbowed by girls eager to get close to him. As he stands with his arm around my waist, girls will attempt to push numbers into his trouser pockets. On one notable evening we were out in a nightclub. We were sitting together, talking and watching the dancing. The girl sitting on my husband's right-hand side placed her hand on his upper thigh. "Let's dance" she said. "No thank you," he replied. "Have you met my wife, Jo-Ann?" Her eyes didn't even flicker. "I'd like to learn to dance with you" she continued. "Why don't we meet up when your wife's not around?"
It doesn't take much imagination to realise the response this generates in me. Such advances have ruined a number of evenings. My husband has become increasingly good at coping with these situations, and I have become more secure, more inclined to smile pityingly than launch into a tirade of abuse. But these things still happen, and it's still horrible. Two weeks ago a blonde girl in her mid-twenties became fixated by him. Before I arrived she asked if he'd like to go home with her,and, when he declined, she said if he didn't want to wait she would go outside with him now. No luck there, either, so she seated herself at our table. And stared and stared and stared. Every time I looked up, she was looking at him. Every time we danced, her eyes followed our every step. We went home early.
I am at a loss to understand this. She wasn't terrible. She was a pretty, well-dressed, outwardly respectable young woman. I am not professing to be a fully paid-up member of the Spare Rib Sisters in Solidarity campaign, but nevertheless, I don't think I have ever knowingly approached a man who was clearly spoken for. Partly out of respect for the woman he was with, and partly out of respect for myself. It seems such a desperate thing to do.
The other difficulty in having a beautiful man, is the pressure it places upon you to be equally glamorous. Do not get fat, do not wear old clothes, do not forget to wash your hair. It's not about him. My husband is regularly treated to the sight of me in the morning, with my fringe at an interesting perpendicular angle, and sleep and last night's make-up in my eyes. No, it's about the others out there. You have to appear good enough. You can almost hear the muttered choru: "That's his wife, you know. Horrible dress, and she's got split ends. She's not that nice-looking."
So, if it's so awful, why am I still here? Well, there are pros as well as cons. There are few of us so high-minded as not to enjoy the envious stares as you walk in with a stunning man. Or the envious and somewhat dejected stares as you walk out with him. And the pleasure in looking at the man you live with and thinking how wonderful and perfect they are. When someone like that is in love with you, it is a boost to the ego, and as time passes, and security increases, you can afford to indulge in the odd moment of lofty smugness. But, cliche as it is, looks aren't that important. I love my husband not for his cheekbones or his biceps. I love him because of his kindness, intelligence and generosity. If he put on two stone tomorrow and lost all his hair, would I love him just the same? Quite probably.
So the next time you see some woman swanning into the room on the arm of Adonis and think, 'lucky cow', just remember, there's a price to be paid for that flash entrance.Reuse content