Thursday, 5 November 2009

It's in his kiss

Yesterday, halfway through the manic morning routine that is back with a vengeance after half term, my husband stopped his impressive juggling act of dressing one child, feeding another and trying to do up his shirt buttons for a nanosecond to remind me that we had got together on this very day 10 years ago. 'That's nice dear', I replied with a swift peck on his stubbled cheek as I simultaneously shoved sandwiches into a lunch box, mixed up yoghurty goo for the babies' breakfast and attempted to shimmy out of my nightie and into some semblance of day clothes in time for the school run.

Now, as I sit at my desk with a little space to contemplate, I realise just how much things have changed since that day 10 years ago. My husband was then a fellow journalist who I knew vaguely from the press party circuit, which back in the pre-Credit Crunch days was pretty active, spinning us unworthy hacks from one swanky do to another. A great, if deeply unhealthy, life when you are young, free and single or would like to be.

I was in the throes of a nasty and elongated break up and he had proved to be a stalwart shoulder to cry on. Although he later revealed that this uncharacteristic empathy was actually an elaborate ploy to get into my pants, I appreciated it at the time, as so many of the other men around me were so much less subtle in their seduction techniques.

That fateful night I was working late in an attempt to avoid going home to my misery, he was walking past my office in Soho to go to his brother's wrap party just around the corner. As he passed the plate glass windows of my place of work he spotted me and rapped on the panes to get my attention and invite me to the do.

So many things should have stopped us from getting together, what if I hadn't worked on the ground floor, what if I had been sensible and avoided all romantic entanglement given my fragile state, what if he had been sensible and avoided this woman with all her pantechnicon of emotional baggage?

Fortunately prudence isn't in either of our natures and I accepted his invitation. We sat huddled in a dark and smoky booth revealing all our most glamorous and attractive points to each other - naturally this didn't take long and we soon decided to give up on the chit chat and get down to some serious snogging. But not without me issuing my now famous proviso (which I was sure would scare any right-minded man off) and refusing to kiss him until he agreed that in principle he would like to have children!

Now I know this makes me sound certifiable, and him too as he still leant in for the kill, but let me explain. At the time I was in a turmoil over my split, and one of the key reasons it didn't work out with the ex was because despite the fact we had been together for many years he was adamant that he didn't want children. I thought to myself, I am in my late 20s, I want kids asap, I am a total emotional wreck, I will give this poor boy a chance to run a mile, but if he does choose to stick around then at least I know we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Ten years later with the smokey bars of Soho a distant miasma of the past, we are still belting out the same tunes as we rush around after our four boys. The notes might not be quite as melodic, but I am glad I checked if he was daddy material before our first smooch, and I am even more glad he was mad enough to kiss me anyway.


  1. I am flattered and honoured to have finally received my very own post on your blog. And yes, I was, and still am, a lunatic.

  2. Well done the two of you! You were meant to be together. Let the lunatics stick together!

  3. Yes, keep us quarantined from all the 'normal' people!

  4. Ahh what a lovely post, i am a little worried about your hubby though any man under the age of 35 who agrees to have kids (even in principle)for a snog reads a little needy don't cha think lol.

    Only joking sounds like you were destined to be together - fate has a lot to answer for x

  5. He was 24 at the time! I think it was either the power of my beauty blinding him/the strength of the cocktails/the fact that he didn't take me too seriously/his confirmed insanity that was to blame (delete as applicable).

  6. I can't believe it's been 10 years - all I remember is you asking me whether you should go on a skiing trip with this guy you didn't really know...

  7. I'm so tempted to say 'Remember remember, the fifth of November' and then make a cheesy joke along the lines of 'so it was fireworks that night, then, was it?"

    In fact, I'm so tempted, I will. I just did.

  8. And the word verification was VENIS - which is pretty much the Roman goddess of love herself.