A very public love affair

Dear Richard,

LOVING MOMENTS: Regardless of the years you have been a couple, it's those precious individual moments shared that create a life lived together.

LOVING MOMENTS: Regardless of the years you have been a couple, it's those precious individual moments shared that create a life lived together.

I’ll wager you're freaking out seeing an open letter to you on these pages?

But given my propensity for over-sharing, I figured I'd share the ‘love’ on this, our 25th wedding anniversary.

The good news is, I've hidden the newspaper till after you've given me the silver and diamond earrings!

This week we've laughed more than usual.

We laughed, well, you cried on Monday, when we discovered our cat Marvin wasn't lost, but locked in your wardrobe all day with diarrhoea … “oh, Lord”, you said in your polite Jesuit way.

I laughed, also on Monday, when John the the roof leak whisperer arrived two days early, with scaffolding AND on your days off.

You laughed when I asked if you wanted a piece of orange cake and I proceeded to fart uncontrollably, showcasing my new post-menopause, weapon of mass destruction.

You've very kindly laughed a lot about these columns, which often overshare our marriage.

My favourite column was about ten years ago, when I graphically described tricking/seducing you via electric blankets and heat banks to our new-Tahiti.

Or, the time I photographed you naked and balanced on a ladder atop a pile of books, including your fave Paul Kelly and Peter Fitzsimmons, and swearing.

Or, the time I wrote about your late night sugar fairy, Sydney Swans habit and your volcanic snoring capacity and so it goes …

People reckon you must get jack of all my disclosures. And, I reckon you must too.

You call me many things, all of them sweet. You never use mean words.

Some days I'm still your little cabbage from the French, who like to associate their loved ones with food.

You call me your 'petit chou' which is the equivalent of 'sweetheart' and means 'little cabbage'.

Yep. Cabbage can be endearing.

I love that you still call me Maria, from our hippy days when for a while, we lived like a pair of feral Italians on artist, Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon, on the banks the Shoalhaven River. 

You packed his paintings, I fed his bantams and we froze our buns off living in a tiny cottage that now houses a grand piano and on-trend, artists in residence.

You call me many things, all of them sweet.

Those nights on Bundanon, we huddled in front of a wood heater and listened to Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt on vinyl.

You followed me and my little girls to Tasmania.

You came here to study air traffic control and me to work for this newspaper.

Our first stop on this island was at Parramatta Creek.

Ah, the Paramatta Creek Conservatory!

Don't freak out! I won't tell.

We’ve stopped traffic, with our Casablanca-inspired kisses on Charles Street and beyond romance, you’ve never done any less than work darned hard at this crazy marriage, all the while tolerating nearly 15 years of these columns.

I love it when you haven’t read my column before heading to work, only to learn more ‘truth’ about our home life from your work mates or customers.

You’ve been so generous with life, children and friends.

Like the best of long-lived couples I’ve interviewed, our sense of humour has gone a long way to sustaining our marriage through the crap times.

But so does kindness, and you are the kindest person I’ve ever known.

Happy anniversary … baby!

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