Wednesday 16 April 2008
Take It From Me: Claudia Winkleman
'The cinema is win-win. No chat, no cooking. Just nachos and a Solero in a dark room with the man you love'
"It's Monday night, babe. You know what that means."
"Uh. That I'm off to see my girlfriends?"
"No, sweetheart. Monday we spend together."
"Dear God. We can't be back to 'spicing up the bedroom with an outfit' already?"
"No, babe – you can put the air stewardess roleplay suit and flatpack trolley back in the drawer."
"Um..." (Mainly alarmed because that is the one outfit I actually don't have. Lumberjack. Tick. Nurse. Tick. Scuba-diving instructor. Tick.)
"I can't think of what Monday night means. Other than can I just point out we've spent ALL weekend together chatting."
"That's my point. It's movie night."
And breathe out. Movie night – the date night of date nights.
There's nothing quite as perfect as going to a dark room where you can eat fattening food next to the man you love. OK. All right. Like. The man you like.
It means there's no chat, it means there's no cooking (really, nachos followed by a Solero will be more than fine for him), and there's no fumbling. Yes, if needs be, you can hold hands and you can even squeeze each other's knee but he's never going to ask for much more. Not unless you're in a different kind of cinema than the ones to which I am referring. Ahem.
Crashing on – the cinema is win-win.
It was two nights ago and we didn't have a massive choice of movies. There was the Horton thing, but we felt we'd have to go with a kid. "Hello, is that the Odeon? Great. Two tickets for two grown-ups for the animated film about an elephant hearing tiny people on a dandelion please. Yes. You heard right – grown-up tickets please. That'll be for the 9pm showing."
And then there are lots of films that are a bit blah. You know. Fine and all that, but hardly memorable. There's 10,000 BC and a Clooney film (in my world any man who has had an eyelift should be discouraged) and some other stuff we couldn't get excited about.
So then he said it. "Let's see 27 Dresses then. I'll book. You going for Butterkist or sweet and salt mixed?"
Put down your pencils, your coffee mugs, your coat. He. My. Husband. Wanted. To. Watch. 27 Dresses.
Interesting, I thought.
I didn't alert him to my own secret panic, but instead I answered: "I'm considering a pick-and-mix bag fol-lowed by a Diet Coke the size of our youngest child."
"Great. See you at the Odeon."
Now, in case you don't know about 27 Dresses, I need to fill you in.
There is no film on the face of this earth that is as blatant a girl's film as 27 Dresses. I mean, the clue's in the title. Plus, it's not about raunchy peek-a-boo dresses – it's about bridesmaid dresses. Yes. Even worse, right? I mean, this film smells of perfume and it reeks of girls' nights. I think Radio 1 did a survey and couldn't find a man in the whole of the United Kingdom who had been to see 27 Dresses. Even male film critics for newspapers and magazines sent their girlfriends or their sisters. Or, quite frankly, they made it up.
A man going to see 27 Dresses is quite extraordinary then. And mine wasn't being dragged there either. A couple of my trouser-wearing girlfriends (they are called this not because they favour a pant suit over a skirt but because their partners are totally under the thumb) couldn't even make their "yes munchkin, whatever you say munchkin" boyfriends go and see it.
And there was my guy SUGGESTING that we go and see some girl get all angsty over the fact she might never be a bride. There is no car chase, there is no cocktail-shaking and there is no nudity. Think of Beaches – the film in which grown-up women hold hands and run along the seashore to the sound of a Bette Midler ballad – and then triple it. And that's 27 Dresses.
So, Monday night arrives, and I meet him at the cinema, and he looks the same. I sniff him (that can often give the game away) and I eye him up. He skipped up the escalator two at a time and asked me if I wanted the aisle seat.
We sat, we held hands, we grimaced (it is, without doubt, the most excruciating film I have ever seen) and we left. We walked home and he didn't say anything too shifty. Yes, we laughed about how he bit through my duffel coat at the moment she told the guy whom she obviously liked but she didn't know she liked, that he was cynical and she could never fall for a guy like him and we chuckled over the fact that he was the only man in the whole cinema, but we came home and went to bed and he turned the light out as normal.
But you're with me, right?
Here's the thing. The only question a girl can ask herself when their husband chooses to see 27 Dresses is this: What on earth has he done?
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