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Cat

Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The ‘cat’ went away for a couple of days this week. Some work function…apparently.

There’s always a distinct shift in the atmosphere in the house when he goes away. A bit like a fog lifting and the sun finally coming out.

Admittedly, I miss his dry humour, cuddling his wide mass, our nightly bitching sessions about the teens, sneaking hot chips off his plate and that wonderful feeling of security that I feel when he is around……(that last point was satire, by the way.)

But what is liberating about him being away, is being able to break the house rules that appear to have filtered silently into our marriage.

‘Lou, your readers must think I am some sort of Troglodyte, the way you describe me in that bloody blog of yours,’ I can hear him complaining…..(hmmm)…….’what house rules?’ I hear him ask.

Those rules that we don’t speak about, but we ALL know are there; those boring rules that primarily regard spending and ‘living beyond our means’ and God help me, ‘budgeting’ (yawn).

The mice do still play when he’s away; some might even say with unashamed gay abandon. They can be a bit irresponsible and immature those mice, left to their own devices, and have a tendency to worry about the consequences later.

The minute the door slams closed behind him, the party preparations begin.

However, as all wise mice know, certain precautions are fundamental to any well-laid plan and it is vital to cover one’s tracks when left unsupervised in the cat’s lair, and frankly, up to no good. An angry ‘cat’ will hiss, claw and spit and may even resort to  malice in retaliation, like taking away credit cards, sulking and looking in that accusing, ‘disappointed’ way for days.

So I started my little ‘me’-fest with dinner, because why cook when you have a world of take-out begging for your business on the doorstep? I opted for Thai and made my first trip to the money-tree (as the old man has often advised me to do, when he’s being facetious), and withdrew enough cash to get me through forty-eight hours of unsolicited, and more importantly, untraceable spending.

Tracking our ‘cash’ spending is an issue that we have wasted spent a considerable amount of time  brainstorming during our most recent monthly ‘what YOU spent this month’ finance meetings. Luckily, the old man is no closer to a solution to the problem thus far.

The next $50 went on a couple of European magazines (which, admittedly, I probably could have read on–line for free, honey, but do you know just how tricky it is to juggle a wine glass, a slab of chocolate and a computer mouse, whilst luxuriating in bed?). I also splashed out on a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, rather than the generic brands I am usually allowed to buy, (‘TEN DOLLARS FOR A TUB OF ICE F*CKING  CREAM!, I can hear his accountant tone ringing in my ears, as I pay for it slyly), which is the one of my ‘best finds’ in the magic deli I have discovered at the end of our new street. (More on the ‘magic deli’ in a later post.)

My final $50 was spent on this really cute pair of caramel suede ballet flats that I’ve had my eye on for a while, but up until now have resisted the temptation to splurge on to demonstrate my genuine support to the cause of being in the ‘red’ category of ‘saving’ this month.

Unfortunately, however, it just so happened that on the particular day that the ‘cat’ chose to be away, those shoes were calling out to me that they had been reduced by a whole 40% and the cash began to burn a hole in my pocket. Simply put, I had to have them. (They have since been secreted to the back of my shoe cupboard, to be released very discreetly at some carefully calculated launch date over the coming month when the old man has forgotten about my last impulsive splash of cash and his mind is occupied with more important things than my talent for purchasing ‘unnecessary’ items.

Once home, I treated myself to one of the ‘expensive’ bottles of wine that I am only usually allowed to drink at the weekend, and in an uncharacteristically rebellious act, I spat at the box of cheap, nasty wine in petty disgust, (that he makes me drink during the week) victoriously; just because it felt so good to do so.

I changed the bed clothes because freshly laundered white sheets have to be almost as sexy as having George Clooney in between them, I bribed the ADHDer with two boxes of Coco Pops and a 2L bottle of Coke which supplied him with enough artificial colourings and caffeine to whip him up into a frenzy and then almost as swiftly knock him flat out.

And finally, I borrowed Nerd Child’s copies of The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife and plugged myself into a sanctuary of ‘me’, accompanied by everything that truly makes me happy in life.

What are your guilty pleasures when the ‘cat’s’ away?