Wednesday, 22 October 2014

How to Spice up a Marriage

I'm discussing reliable waterproofing with a dog walker on the trudge back from school and suddenly we veer on to conjugal thrills. He tells me how a friend was dumped by her partner because he no longer found her exciting. Because of that, he says, he and his wife resolved to inject daily excitement into their marriage.

I smile politely and make to flee, but he's still in full spate. 'So what I do first thing in the morning,' he continues, visibly invigorated by the memory of it, 'is make her a cup of tea. Another day I might do the washing up. Today it will be dusting. That's what we call excitement - we don't need no swinging from chandeliers.'

As I listen I feel my own pulse quickening. The thought of the Vicar assaulting our black mould makes me dizzy. I picture him running the Miele nozzle over neglected crevices and gouging the remains of last night's supper from the plug hole in the sink.

I stumble home in my mud-slimed wellies. The Vicar is shut in his study. He glances up courteously as I burst in, his fingers still poised over his keyboard. He looks the embodiment of a man who needs marital excitement. I decide not to discompose him mid-sermon. Instead I shall stimulate him when he's least expecting it with techniques for which I've never before found the energy.

I shall, with my own unpractised fingers, fasten the new Harpic blocks that have languished for weeks atop the bread bin on to the lavatory rims. I shall squeeze globs of Felix into the cat bowls before we turn in at night without waiting for him to ask. I might even dig out the iron and smooth his clerical shirts.  

But tonight - tonight I shall start big. I shall look out the latex that I keep for emergencies and the miracle potion that prompts such fizz and steam.  And, by the time he comes to bed, I shall have descaled our ailing kettle in readiness for that morning thrill of Tetleys.