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No, this is not a headline from the Sunday Telegraph. I have something I need to admit to my husband.

You see, as I write this post, the old man is winging his way back from the UK. He is without a doubt watching all the films I will want to see at the cinema over the next six months, and munching and drinking his way through all the freebie peanuts, chips and alcohol available, (because what else do you do on a 24 hour flight?), which means he’ll refuse to go out to dinner for ages too.

I, on the other hand, have spent the past eight hours cleaning the house, from top to bottom, in an attempt to return our home to the state he left it in before Kurt and I got into our student groove.

You see, I have been lying to my husband for the last twenty years about who I really am and how I naturally like to live.

The word ‘feral’ springs to mind.

When I think back to the past ten days of cohabitation with Kurt, scenes from Feris Bueller’s Day Off spring to mind.

It’s not that Kurt and I are physically unclean people. We shower. We know how to use the dishwasher. But let’s just say that we’re not as anal about stuff that doesn’t interest us.

Like tidying up. Putting things away. Organisation.

In our defence, the old man is an accountant and thinks and breathes organisation, filing, minimisation and order – it’s what he does best – which is why we need him. He often tells us proudly, about how his desk is completely clear of clutter at work – and we smile sympathetically. Kurt and I, on the other hand, have a preference for the right side of our brain, where randomness and creativity hold court over boring shit like tidying. Numbers, logic and over-analysis bore the pants off us.

In the words of Cyndi Lauper, given the choice, ‘we just want to have fun.’

Left to our own devices, we become modern-day hippies who bury our heads in the sand, and are happy to celebrate life and deal with the consequences later.

Add to the mix that wonderful ADHD trait of distraction, and although we might plan to clean up after ourselves – LATER – if something more interesting grabs our attention, we tend to veer off task horribly.

So while the cat has been away, the mice might have been a bit lax about things that aren’t as important to them.

Such as:

  • Opening the mailbox, its contents and filing. I am of the opinion that anything I really need to address these days comes in the form of a text, an email, on Facebook or Twitter, so I am not interested in what comes via the mailman unless it is the results of my latest online shopping splurge.
  • Eating. Kurt and I eat when we’re hungry rather than the traditional framework of three set meals a day. There hasn’t been lot of food in the house because I’ve been on the FML diet and they sell crackers and tomatoes at the local deli. Kurt eats voraciously off his meds, in which case we have to call in food-aid from the local restaurants, and when he’s on them the only things I can get down his throat are smoothies and one flavor of McCain pizza – usually around 12pm at night.
  • Putting things away. I hadn’t realised quite how slobbish I can become but I went into serious ‘writer’ mode while the old man was away and prioritised catching up on ‘the book’ and ignoring what didn’t need to be done. How I made the call on what needed to be done was simple – I simply asked myself this question: ‘will it physically kill us if I don’t do this? Putting away piles of discarded clothes didn’t make the cut, neither did clothes washing, linen washing, opening blinds or vacuuming. Luckily for the Princess, she managed to survive on Kurt’s scraps which I think has been a good learning curve for her – how to fend for herself like real Spoodles that live in the wild.
  • Any of my bad habits that really piss the old man off such as all of the above as well as staying in my dressing gown until midday, eating out of tins (and preferably in front of the tv), not cooking anything that isn’t microwaveable, stretching my legs wildly across the bed and making it a goal to have all the covers on my side by morning, reading in bed until the wee hours even if I have to resort to copious amounts of caffeine, snoring super LOUDLY, living in my joggers and proudly converting our house into a student slum.

So inevitably, the atmosphere in the house this morning was absolute panic when Kurt and I looked at each other across the breakfast table and realised that we had to somehow completely eradicate all evidence of our ten-day music/writing/lazy festival, before Mr Mature walked through the door and judgment day began.

We metamorphosed into those busy mice from Cinderella, minus silly voices and nauseating songs. 

Immature, I know. I’ve surprised myself at how well I’ve managed to conceal the real me, (which is obviously a teenager), thus far. The old man’s impending return to the house created the same fear that my father used to cultivate when he came home and caught me smoking out of my bedroom window.

Marriage can do that to you – it can make you lose your true identity. I think the marriage guidance books call it ‘compromising’, and in my case, it has probably been for the best.

More worrying (and perhaps a touch Freudian) is the question of when exactly I began to think of the old man as my father?

What lie have you managed to hide from your partner?

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