In the photo, P looks jovial and relaxed. (Which is saying something, given that having his picture taken makes him feel about as comfortable as Dame Kelly Holmes in a cocktail dress.) In fact, we both do. We’re each clinging onto the remnants of the tans we caught on our recent holiday and, were it not for the honking great cold sore on my lip (whose presence, I kid you not, I first felt during the appointment in which I was diagnosed), we’d look the perfect picture of health – all shiny hair, rosy skin and pearly teeth. But more importantly, despite the news we had been forced to digest, we look happy. Mostly, I expect, because neither of us had a bloody clue that what was about to come next was going to hit us harder than the bus we were sitting atop ever could. (And probably also because I was rather enjoying wearing a favourite pashmina which I’d later foolishly scissor to pieces in the hope of turning it into a headscarf.) But that’s not the point.
My point is that this past weekend, on the King Of Work Trips in which I was sent to Paris to review a swanky hotel (pfft, the hardship), P and I took another photo of ourselves. Though captured in a different city, it was another snapshot of a similarly lovely, unapologetically touristy day in which my husband and I snogged our way around a stunning capital, just like we’d done back in June 2008. Back then, we were newlyweds in honeymoon phase, enjoying what time we could in the knowledge that our Days Of Fun would soon be numbered. This weekend, we were newly-ish-weds who’d settled into our marriage, enjoying what time we could in the knowledge that we’d once not been able to do so.
And while in the first picture, I had lovely long locks, two real tits and a scarf I hadn’t ruined; P had fewer grey hairs and a T-shirt I hadn't shrunk in the wash; and we each shared a naïve sense of things not being as bad as they seemed, I’ve got to admit – the 'after' photo is my favourite. Grey hairs, a fake tit, short hair and added wrinkles there may be, but that photo – and the lovely, normal world in which it was taken – is testament to a marriage that's stayed so gloriously unruffled in the face of The Bullshit.
So, with this post, I wish my P a very happy third anniversary. If I had a choice between three cancer-free years of an average marriage over the same of our wonderful, wonderful time as man and wife – even with all the bullshit that The Bullshit has given us – I’d take the latter every time.
Oh, and P – I reckon it might be time to change the wallpaper on your phone, love. And get it fixed while you’re at it. And start giving folk the number for your BlackBerry. And pick those socks up from your side of the bed. Well, three years of marriage gives me the right to step up the nagging a bit, right?