My husband travels a lot for his job and doesn’t know from one week to the next what country he will be visiting. As his wife and mother to his two children, I accept my fate and get on with the day-to-day running of the house with good grace – in my opinion – and a certain amount of humour.
However, sometimes the day-to-day monotony and reality of my life brings with it a smattering of resentment at my Other Half’s glamourous, jet-set life of hotels, exotic destinations (apart from Brighton last week) and fancy restaurants (although he says it is all conference meeting rooms and dining alone).
This week I have single-handedly supported my children in a variety of end-of-term concerts and showcases, from singing festivals to gymnastics competitions. It was during such an event – the orchestra concert in which my oldest was playing the flute and performing a recorder solo – that a good friend of mine enquired where my OH was this week. He happened to be in Manchester – not that thrilling – but she then casually questioned whether he is flogging lasers to doctors for eye surgery as he claims or if he is really a secret agent on various missions for queen and country.
That evening, I looked at him in a slightly different light when he staggered in, complaining about an apparent traffic jam on the M1. His hair was ruffled – perhaps from the wind thrown up by the rotor blades of his helicopter? Other things were apparent: he always has a suitcase packed and ready to go in the corner of the bedroom, so that he can leave at a moment’s notice, and he often gets urgent calls “from work” late at night…
Of course, there are also a few minor holes in my friend’s theory. First of all, my husband is South African and therefore feels very little allegiance to the Queen. Secondly, he gags and retches just taking out the bins, so would be useless in the field amid the carnage of battle. And thirdly, he is never on time for anything, so would likely miss the action by a good half an hour.
Even so, I won’t use his new pen in case it explodes.