Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The hat-trick.

On P’s phone (the one you’ve not been able to call him on for months, not the BlackBerry that barely anyone has the number to – not that it annoys me or anything, gawd no) is a photo of the two of us that’s set as his wallpaper. The photo in question was taken a week after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, two days before my mastectomy, on an open-top bus tour around London, as part of a take-our-minds-off-surgery day that P had arranged. It’s a lovely photo. It’s one of those turn-your-phone-around-and-take-it-yourself jobbies, where the only way to get both people in shot is to hold it way above your head – simultaneously guaranteeing a flattering, cheekbone-enhancing angle. The same trick that anyone born after 1990 uses in their Facebook profile pictures (but, for this generation at least, without the padded cleavage, boypants and cropped vest).

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 na├»ve 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?



31 comments:

Helen said...

Utterly gorgeous, the pair of you xx

Quarkmonkey said...

Can't argue with that. Both photos look great, but that's 'cos you're so damn cool.

If I had to be critical, I'd prefer the second photo. As backdrops go, 'Paris in the Autumn' is so much prettier than 'Fat Bloke staring off into space'.

SB said...

Love you both, stupid amounts. Happy Anniversary lovely pair. Xxxx

Eve said...

This post made me cry. Thank you for making today so much happier. Happy anniversary to both of you. :)

Eve x

Anjeebaby said...

Happy Anniversary to the both of you the 16th of December is a great date for a wedding sure it's done me ok for a birthday, Paris ahh Paris also where I honeymooned, many many years ago.
I am choosing picture two you look lovely the both of you, your hair is very Parisian chic, and you look truly happy.
Congratulations to the both of you xx
Anjee B

Nonamoose said...

Aww they are lovely. That post has really touched me.

A very Happy Anniversary to both of you :-)

Anonymous said...

I personally love your hair shorter, you have amazing cheekbones regardless of the photo angle and me thinks its the short do.Love the paris pic!

betamoose said...

I like the short 'do best too. You're a gorgeous looking couple, happy anniversary :)

TH said...

I fancy you both even more now than I did the day you got married. And that's saying something. Happy aanniversary lovely mac x x

R said...

1. This post made me teary.

2. I like the second photo better, because you have a very mischievous grin in it :-)

3. Happy anniversary!

Lori's Lens said...

Happy Anniversary! You both look very happy...I'm so pleased you are both doing well, you are such a lovely couple! 3 Years! So young! Love it!

notquiteginger said...

dammit you just made me cry

Freudus said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Both of you. Looking forward to a great 2010 with a heavy emphasis on friends and fun. Mx

Anonymous said...

Felt tearful Reading thus, great blog, also prefer the Paris pic

alhi said...

Made me shed a tear as well. The second pic has it, short hair and Paris is the way to go.
Happy anniversary and here's to many more.

LIl said...

Seeing though I made sure your cat didn't starve while you were being all romantic in Paris do you think it's fair you've made me cry at 10.30pm?!?

I prefer the second picture for bleedin sodding obvious reasons.

Love you both. xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Just cried at my desk. Lovely. Happy Anniversary xxxx

MBNAD woman said...

Happy Anniversary. The second photograph is blissfully happy.
Mad x

Anonymous said...

My little sis is currently halfway through the process you've gone through - I hope she comes out the other side with her husband and young children as happy and wonderful as you both have done.... I referred her to your blog, it has been a very funny and inspiring story for us all. Best wishes x

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary to you both!
Both great pics, but the 2nd is def my fave one.

Wizzywoo.xxx

ps- Hope P has picked his socks up??!!!

Charlotte said...

What a beautiful, romantic post. Brought a tear to my eye as well. Congratulations on your anniversity.

gigi said...

What a heart warming post (on a very snowy cold day). Def. agree with consenus here that the second pic is the winning entry. Cheekbones rock the shorter do and always nice to be kissed whilst smiling at camera, Happy anniverssary too xx

Paula said...

Hey - that is just what I needed. I am having a totally shite time in the middle of this cancer crap -and Christmas crap. Gives me hope that one day I can truly smile again.

Love and hugs - P x

Miss Leaky said...

You bugger, you made me cry

Lisa's Dad said...

Paula - I am so sorry to hear the crap you are going through, particularly at this time of year.

Keep on keeping on, I look forward to seeing your happy photo in a years time. (or less )

Big hug! xx

jill said...

congrats!

Lisa Lynch said...

Paula, hello! Forgive me for trespassing on your lovely (and brilliantly named, might I add) blog, but I was sitting here in bed at my in-laws' place, finishing off my brandy and thinking of you. Which, I'm sure you'll agree, is odd, given that we've never met. But since you commented in my blog last week, I've been thinking a lot about how utterly different this Christmas has been to my last. A year ago I had just begun radiotherapy and, while chemo had finished, I remained consumed by cancer. Don't get me wrong, I had as good a Chrimbo as I could manage, but the place I find myself this year is as far removed as Mars. How I feel now (ie, normal - glorious, glorious normal!) is so completely opposed to 12 months ago that I might as well have been an entirely different person. Like, I dunno, Beyonce or sommat. (If Beyonce had been bald. Hm. Bad analogy.) Anyway, my point is this: this next year is YOURS. You OWN it. (See? Capital letters and everything.) Because in 2010 things are going to improve beyond recognition. Gawd knows you've worked for it, girl. I dare say it's rather poetic that a new decade is beginning, because *that's* how different things will feel. I hope that's not preachy or patronising or been-there-done-that-got-the-bust-padded-t-shirt-y. That's not how I meant this to come across. I guess all I'm trying to say is this: here's to a far better year for you. And while I hope this Christmas is a wonderful one, may all your days thereafter be merry and bright. Big love. Lisa xx       

Paula said...

Aaah ... now you've gonna made me cry!!

Thank for such a lovely positive response ... this is exactly what I was trying to describe in my blog ... the support, care and compassion that is getting me through this.

I hope you don't mind but I am going to copy it and paste it on to my blog - so that anyone else that is fighting the "Bullshit" can take encouragement from it.

Have yourself a lovely day. Here's to 2010 - OUR year!!

Px

francesca said...

Ahhhhh girls - truly wonderful. Paula, keep your chin up, keep on hanging on and every other shitty cliched phrase you don't wanna hear. I finished my treatment last month, my hair is coming back and my oncologist has firmly launched me out of the door with a cheery 'off you go and live your life' foot in the jacksy. All good I suppose but THE FEAR will take a while to subside, and I won't be able to breathe out for some time. Lisa, you're an inspiration and I CANNOT WAIT to be where you are in 12 months. Lucky girl having such a fab husband, my relationship didn't survive this C business but c'est la vie, I'm still here :) Love to you both, and everyone who's in this pesky club x

rykan said...

I have to say, I think you look adoreable with short hair <3

Colette said...

LOL, I know I'm late but I have been having the same argument over the mobile with my hubby for MONTHS! Read the first line of this blog to him and he just rolled his eyes at me!