My husband believes he is a young god. The older he becomes, the stronger his belief grows. And if that weren’t enough, he also secretly still hopes to make the England cricket squad. He keeps up his cricket practice all winter long. The only problem with his little dream: his back ain’t playing the game. Two weeks ago he slipped a disc. The osteopath advised a rest. My husband however is on a mission. After all, the cricket season is starting soon. On Friday evening he went to play in the nets with Doug – his forty-something cricket sparring partner. By the time he came home, he crawled more than that he walked.
So, while the husband is taking his midlife crises to the cricket grounds, what does the wife do? Last week she felt slightly overworked and thus on Friday evening she decided to curl up on the sofa with a bottle of wine. But alas, after one glass she realized that if she continued she wouldn’t make it to Winchester the following day where she was going to address an audience of one hundred readers. She switched to rosehip tea instead and closed her eyes and dreamed of her lost youth when she was able to drink an entire bottle and smoke a pack of cigarettes too.
The speech on Saturday went well. I enjoyed the exhilarating feeling of addressing a packed auditorium. Then I caught the train back to London in time to attend the launch of ’50 Shades of Feminism’ at the South Bank Centre. For about two and a half hours I listened to 50 inspiring women. All of them successful. Many of them middle aged.
Lennie Goodings, the publisher of Virago, addressed an issue that truly resonated with me. She pointed out that there are indeed more and more women in powerful positions – like her own – but that – like herself – a lot of women struggle to acknowledge to themselves the power they possess.
It was one those moments in life where I heard a ‘click’ in my head. Something had suddenly fallen into place. Yes, I might no longer be a reckless young teen who can party through the night and look good the next day. Instead, however, I am a powerful woman. I decide which authors and books are important enough to bring to the Anglo-Saxon world. I provide work for people. And I am old enough to have acquired sufficient experience to use those powers wisely.
I arrived home at 8.30. My husband and I decided to go out for a meal. As we walked down the road, I noticed his upright posture. I glanced at his face to see signs of pain. He looked relaxed and happy.
‘Your back seems better,’ I commented nonchalantly.
A glint came into his eye. ‘This afternoon, I bowled ten overs at top pace against Doug, I felt a few twinges at the start but then I hit my stride’
So, the moral of the story: if the husband can find a way of walking upright through his midlife crises, the wife can surely find a more glamorous drink than rosehip that will help her through hers. At the restaurant I started with a Kir Royale, continued with a red wine and finished with the ultimate digestif, a double amoretto on the rocks. Who says you can’t have it all?
Image by epiclectic.