Wrinkly Lodge finally beckoned this weekend, for our mini-break. The time had come to celebrate twenty years of marriage, and perhaps even reclaim some of the old passion.
It was the perfect opportunity to spice up our middle-aged marriage, that admittedly has become a secondary priority to the increasing list of life’s responsibilities.
To put it crudely, we took a ‘fuck the kids’ approach and (shock! horror!), put ourselves first.
I had thought that my expectations for the weekend were the same as the old man’s, initially. But once again, my old fella never ceased to amaze me by his committed disdain for traditional demonstrations of romance, (which in truth, may well be why our marriage has actually survived).
Nothing distinguished the disparity more between man and woman planning a mini-break than when we were packing to go on Friday night.
When I booked this weekend all those months ago I had planned to enjoy a relaxed packing session on the Friday afternoon. I planned to exfoliate and epilate my protective covering of winter fuzz, trim mole hairs and hide that persistent big toenail fungus with some come-to-bed deep red nail varnish; I had also planned to have lost five kilos, to straighten the over-dyed straw on my head and to meticulously plan every outfit for the next forty-eight hours.
The best-laid plans and all that crap…
Typically, at 4pm when the old man raced through the back door I was still putting the last pieces of work to bed, the breakfast stuff was developing a mouldy fur on the breakfast bar and the Princess Spoodle was crossing her legs because I hadn’t even managed to remember to let her out for a wee.
Luckily, sometimes the old man and I do our best work in ‘frantic’ mode.
Packing suddenly went from being a matter of precision to a matter of urgency – more a question of dumping anything to wear in the suitcases that might suit the Arctic climate of the Blue Mountains and the hoity-toity OLD clientele of Wrinkly Lodge.
Nerd Child sat on the bed supervising the pair of us as we raced around the bedroom like headless chickens – she was suspiciously eager for us to leave, and I might have been worried had I not known that she was simply eager to begin her weekend festivities of a new book on astro-physics.
Judging from the contents of our respective suitcases, however, it was soon revealed that the old man and my expectations for the weekend were obviously a little different.
I should have known that a leopard doesn’t really change his spots, even for a romantic mini-break.
These were the contents of my suitcase:
A choice of five knock-em-dead, glamour-puss evening outfits, (most of which were totally impractical for Wrinkly Lodge, where we were to be the youngest guests by at least ten years, and had I possessed the balls to wear one of them, I probably would have ended up looking like some drag queen from Mardi Gras).
An assortment of body creams, make up, perfumes and several nail varnishes with which to beautify myself.
Several sets of swimmers, so that I could decide after the first cooked breakfast which one best concealed the eat-as-much-as-you-can sausages, bacon and fried bread.
5 pairs of shoes/boots, because as I learnt in the Brownies, it is important to always ‘be prepared’. What spontaneous party I thought might kick off at the Wrinkly Lodge wake, I have no idea).
Gym clothes (to have their inaugural outing during a mini-break).
Several sets of sexy lingerie (still boxed – in fact never been worn – since their forced purchase at the Sexpo in Brisbane two years ago with some younger friends in a sad attempt to look like I was still ‘getting lots’ – I still defy any woman to wear G strings after a 9 stone baby and resulting episiotomy)
The old man’s suitcase, on the other hand, revealed very different expectations:
One pair of all-weather/multi-functioning FUGLY shoes (that could be worn to climb mountains as well as for dinner attire – in fairness, he did scrape the mud off first in the roll-top bath)
One pair of jeans
Two shirts (in case he spilled dinner down the first – which, he obviously did)
Books, iPad, iPod, iPhone, 2 sets of headphones
Weekend TV Sports Guide
We obviously had slightly different ideas about how to spice up our middle-aged marriage.
He was obviously counting on getting as pissed as a c…. and a ‘quickie’. I had thought some romance might work.
Some things never change.
Four hours later, (after an intense tour of the Paramatta Road during which we discovered a whole new vocabulary of swearwords ), two middle-aged people who have spent the past twenty years together arrived at Wrinkly Lodge, slowly adjusted their eyes to the glare of the floral chintz and settled in with very different expectations for their romantic mini-break.
What could possibly go wrong?