Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Happy Birthday, Benedict Ambrose!
Of course, B.A. is not supposed to be reading my blog, for he is a man. On the other hand, the very fact that I can spend an hour or two every morning blogging is thanks to the fact he goes out and works at a proper job all day.
Since this is a blog for Single girls, I am not sure how much you want to read about B.A. and married life. Sometimes readers write to tell me they find my thoughts on married life inspiring, and nobody has written "How dare you get married? You have betrayed us" in years. But you can be annoyed enough by Facebook updates that say "Now that I'm married my life is complete and I am in total heaven. Sucks to be you, Single friends!" Do I want to add to that annoyance? No.
I think the saving grace of being a married woman continuing to write about Singleness for Single women is that I married at 38, although that is starting to look younger every day. And it might be inspiring that there was still a Single, devoutly Catholic man in his mid-to-late 30s around until I snaffled him. I think there might still be others, but they are probably in Glasgow. (Our current parish crop of bachelors are in their early twenties, their fifties, their sixties and their eighties. Note the ginormous gap.)
The thing about meeting B.A.--I hope this is instructive rather than triumphalist--is that I noticed almost at once how kind and cheerful he was. He wasn't just kind and cheerful to me; he was kind and cheerful to everyone. I don't know how you girls feel about perpetual cheer. I love it. Now that we've been married a bit, he feels free to take his coat off and grump when he feels a need to grump. But this isn't very often. He doesn't often complain and he isn't rude to waiters; in fact, I don't think he is ever rude without a very severe provocation.
Occasionally rude friends suggest that I married B.A. because he lives in a 17th century house. This is not true although I have to admit that it is a very nice house. Of course we do not own it and I cannot paint the walls or put up wallpaper or adopt a cat or dog because they might scratch something or chew the doors. I can't even hang up the laundry outdoors because it would ruin the view and tourists would take photos of it. No, I married B.A. because he was so kind and amiable, cheerful and funny that I fell in love with him. And he fell in love with me, too, probably because of my resemblance to Dame Emma Kirkby, but also because I would not give him a row about being a devout Catholic.
And this is the secret of why such an attractive man was still unmarried at 36. He simply kept dating women who gave him a row about his wanting to become a devout Catholic. (He was received into the Church during my first visit.) Isn't that ODD? But I must say this situation was very lucky for me.
(And I wonder how many other Catholic men are still wandering about in interesting, cultured, artsy, non-Catholic circles, pursued by the Misses Wrong, vaguely despairing that they will EVER meet a girl--she doesn't even have to be Catholic--who will put up with their rosaries, their intolerance of contraception, and their Gregorian-chant singing pals.)
Oh, and I think they wanted to change him in other ways, which strikes me as just mad. What's to change? Really, sometimes other women make me cross.
Obviously the man is not perfect. (Dark silence as Seraphic ponders the recycling still waiting to be taken out.) But he is perfect for me.
I will add for the sake of cynical eavesdroppers that he does not have a car and that my earnings (such as they are) pay for holidays and such treats as the Jacobean-inspired sideboard I bought him for his birthday. Women are less impressed by cars and moohlah than you are.
In short, I married him simply because he is a wonderful man--ask anyone--who happily also wanted to marry me, and was well worth the long wait to meet the Perfect Man for Me.