DSM is moving into a new phase in her life: ‘new man’ is going to have a name change.
I felt that after six months, ‘new man’ probably does not qualify as ‘new’ anymore. I was going to use his initials, as I have with previous male ‘characters’ but this also didn’t seem right. No, instead he has earned himself a pseudonym. Feeling playful, but forgetful and often uncertain of spellings, I am going to experiment with Asa. Don’t laugh. It’s very obviously not his real name.
So, Asa (apparently it means ‘doctor’ in Hebrew) and I are still together and can still stand the sight of each other which hopefully means he’s sticking around for longer than just a quick bonk and a cup of tea before he slings his hook.
We actually miss each other when we are apart for a few days – a concept I had forgotten, being more familiar with the being-glad-to-get-my-space-back kind of vibe. He even worries about me getting home safely at night (when predecessors wouldn’t even see me to the front door and would have only found out I’d fallen under a truck on my way home if they had tuned into regional TV news). And he’ll labour away down below for however long it takes to get my orgasm because it means so much to him that I get my rocks off as much as him.
So, after years of indifference or shouting and stress, this attentive love and compassion thing is a little alien to me.
And where do we go next? The logical thing would be to consider moving in together, but when you’re in your 20s with no kids or complications, this is much easier; find house/flat, discuss rent and bills, move in.
In middle age, divorced, in possession of two kids, a house filled with junk etc. – not so easy. There’s the practical problem of crap he has accumulated over the decades (books, CDs, furniture, bicycles, motorbike…) plus my crap (books, CDs, furniture, toys, kids…) Do we build a giant shed for all our stuff, toss a coin to decide what to throw out or bury it all in a hole in the garden?
Then there’s him having to get used to living with two kids after years of peace. He has a 23-year-old daughter who lives elsewhere with her boyfriend, while my two are primary school age, so we have around 13 years at least before we’re on our own again (if it doesn’t all drive him out before then). That means 13 years of shouting, fighting, spillages and generally trashing the joint.
There are also those things one doesn’t like one’s partner to know about – those private habits or self-prettifying secrets. The things that will shatter the illusion of loveliness before him. Some of you will understand what I mean. For example, that annoying single coarse hair that appears just under my chin every now and then which I pull out with tweezers late at night, the greyish white knickers I reserve for that time of month or comfy days when I’m alone with a good film and Kettle Chips, the days when I can’t be bothered washing my hair so I screw it up in a scrunchie (heaven forbid!). He may not approve, either, of all the rows of washing I hang in the dining room (we only ‘dine’ there at Christmas) or my addiction to eating peanut butter straight out of the jar…
How about long-term sex? I know everyone says you just have to have lots of variety to keep things alive, but how easy is it to build this into hectic lives? The way some of my days go, he’ll have to give me a quick hump from behind while I wash up, grope me as I fetch a shovel from the shed or ambush me upstairs as I change the sheets.
So, moving into the next phase will take a great deal of thought. I have a couple of female friends who swear that they will never live with a man again. They are both in long-term relationships, but happily living in separate places to their menfolk. And clearly, their menfolk are happy with this arrangement too – there has not had to be any compromise or argument over whose vacuum cleaner works the best or which toaster will be tossed.
But, on those cold winter nights their beds won’t warm up, there’s no one else to take out the trash and if they have an attack of the horn (or does this only happen to me?) and only a male member will satisfy, they are kind of high and dry.