My wife and I lead separate televisual lives. This is not an admission that our 14-year marriage is in trouble – just that we watch entirely different shows. In the flush of young love, she put up with my choice in telly and I in hers. I would pretend that I loved American box-sets that went on for ever, and she would pretend to love World's Scariest Police Chases. We now have an open marriage in which our TV preferences are clear and defined. She will sneak away to watch Made in Chelsea or Mad Men while I devour the latest UK output such as the opus that is Ex on the Beach.
Just occasionally, however, we bond over a show. In the past, we have enjoyed 24, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Modern Family and America's Next Top Model together. The problem is that even when we find something we both like, we have differing consumption rates. Stacey is a binger, and once she has a taste for a show, loves to wolf it down as fast as possible, often demanding that we watch six or seven episodes in a row. I am very different. I like to ration our viewings so that we might be able to stretch out our new, mutual treat for ages. This, like much else in a marriage, causes discord.
We have come very late to the party that is Game of Thrones. I resisted for ages as I assumed that it was for the Dungeons and Dragons crowd. I tend to loathe sci-fi and anything that resembles a prog-rock album cover on principle. But I kept being told that I should give it a go and then, when it made the cover of Vanity Fair, I knew we should try it. We were hooked instantly and I soon had to fight a glorious battle of my own to slow down our rate of consumption. Stacey seemed determined to get up to date within a week. I was looking to stretch it out for at least a month.
In the case of Game of Thrones, however, I fear she might have the right approach. As the story develops there are so many different contenders for the Iron Throne that I find myself getting quite confused. Also, it started off as a fairly normal pseudo-historical drama but suddenly dragons and evil spirits are appearing all over the place and I'm starting to feel uncomfortable. It seems that I have somehow been lured unwittingly into a Yes album.
It's our 14th wedding anniversary tomorrow and we shall be spending it in a local hotel. Experience has taught me that my wife no longer wants expensive foreign holidays or exciting surprises (not quite true, sadly), she just wants a night away from trying to get the kids to bed, and a lie-in with someone else cooking breakfast. I was going to get her a special present to boot, but the traditional 14th anniversary gift is ivory. This presents me with an ethical problem. Do I really want to give her a piece of dead elephant to celebrate our union? I've gone with a Kardashians box-set instead. Nothing is too good for my beloved Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.