My husband and I have had a disagreement.
Those of you who know us for the comedy double act laughingly known as a married couple, will roll your eyes here.
We are renowned for our constant bickering. It is what we do.
To be honest, we would be lost without the ebb and flow of our bickering. It is the soothing, daily rhythm of our life together. The children ignore us. Guests either never return (wimps) or get used to it and realise that it is rather like the sound of the sea, ever present, and it sometimes makes you want to go for a wee. If only to get some peace.
We enjoy disagreeing about things.
We are like chalk and cheese, he and I. He is inclined to vote and think to the right. I am inclined to think to the left, with occasional bouts of Genghis Khan. Many are the conversations we have had which have been started with the fatal line: ‘When I get to be world dictator, all of this will be very different.’ Off with their heads and all that. We have different hobbies, different interest, different passions. He is intensely private. I splash my life around the internet like the long lost Kardashian sister.
And so it goes.
For the most part it is this friction, this knowing that we love each other, sometimes inexplicably, despite our differences, which means that how we feel about each other is solid and dependable. We are never going to wake up after thirty years of marriage to find that the only thing that kept us together was a mutual love of fly fishing, and now that it’s gone, there is nothing else left.
And yet there are times when we truly are baffled by each other.
Like yesterday, for instance, where we fell into one of the age old men/women failure to understand each other tropes.
It was about shoes. I am utterly ashamed to admit. What a cliche. But there you have it. I bought new shoes. He did not take it well. We had a slight falling out of a more serious kind. Less of a bicker and more of a mystified shout into the howling cosmic void that sometimes separates our understandings of the universe.
I am one of those women that own a lot of shoes. I rarely buy them new. I am happy to EBay or charity shop for the most part. It is only very occasionally that I let my shoe lust run wild and free with a credit card. If I am really in love with a shoe I request it for Christmas or birthday etc. Like this Orla Kiely for Clarks shoe which is on my Christmas list.
Yesterday, thanks to a discount code for Boden on LibertyLondonGirl’s blog, I bought a pair of sparkly Mary Jane’s that I have had my eye on for a while. They were 25% off. 25%! With free postage and packaging.
How could I not?
And they were very sparkly.
He was not happy. He does not understand the compulsive need to own many pairs of shoes. He does not understand that on this day I might want to wear red patent ballet flats, because I need to feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but the next day I might want to wear round toed, Thirties wedges and channel my inner Lauren Bacall. He thinks that maybe three or four pairs of shoes are enough for any woman.
It is clear to me that he is wrong. I cannot explain to him how wrong.
He also thinks the shoes I buy are expensive.
I know that the shoes I buy are not generally George at Asda prices. On the other hand he has no knowledge of the limits I put on my shoe budget. The time I fell in love with the knee length leather boots by Louboutin could have ruined him. They cost as much as it cost us to get married and go on honeymoon for two weeks.
I resisted. Because I am good.
And even I feel a little bit sick at the thought of spending that much money on one pair of shoes I will inevitably break my neck in.
I showed him how much the grey flannel Rupert Sanderson shoes were in Liberty. I invited him to admire my restraint in not buying them. AND the Marc Jacobs ballet flats with tiny mouse faces on.
He was not appreciative.
I am saying nothing about the Mercedes in the front drive.