The Worst Day Of My Life (3)
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This really is, to
date anyway, the
worst day of my
life and I sincerely hope that
it remains so
It happened a long time ago now, in 1997. I
got married in 1988 to a lovely-looking and
successful woman called Jane - 'plain' she
certainly wasn't.We'd lived together for a
year before we wed and everything was fine.
Even after the marriage most things were
OK. Yeah, there were the usual arguments
about visiting parents, where to go on
holiday, annoying habits like picking crusts
off the loaf of bread - things like that - but
nothing too bad. The same sort of differences
that all couples have.
However, after five years of being as close to
married bliss as most couples ever get, I just
felt that we needed some added spice. Part
of this was our age - early thirties and you
think that time is running out for fun (HOW
SO VERY WRONG WAS I?) - and the other
was that I had taken to having lunch in the
summer at a nudist spa in Hertfordshire with
my best friend from the office and his wife,
who, it transpired, were swingers.
A touch of spice
It got me thinking. You read all the time the
so-called 'expert' advice about 'how to spice
up your sex life', or 'how to stop a marriage
from going stale'. It's the standard advice of
'have a candlelit supper', 'talk honestly to
your partner - tell them what you really
want', 'try saucy photography', 'indulge your
fantasies with your partner's consent'.
Basically, all loads of drivel from the days of
Masters and Johnson and published in
worldly-wise, well-researched and literary
masterpieces such as 'Cosmo' etc.
The exception to this repeated drivel is;
'talk honestly' and then see what happens. As
with all men, a threesome with another
woman (or more if you think that you can
cope!) is a fantasy that I'd always had, and
on one drunken - no, mellow - evening, I
confided this to Jane. She looked a little
taken aback, initially, but after another bottle
of Merlot we talked earnestly and then had a
couple of hours of great sex.
Next morning, a Saturday, we discussed it
again in the cold light of day and, somewhat
surprisingly to me, she hadn't changed her
mind at all from the night before. She agreed
that it could be fun, with the proviso that I
organise it all and that she could call a halt
at any time if it didn't feel right. She also
admitted that the idea really did turn her on
and that, secretly, she'd had much the same
fantasy for some years. Decadent though it
may sound, we cracked a bottle of Bollinger
and stayed in bed until late afternoon having
fun and discussing our plans.
Even though we hadn't actually done
anything yet - just talked about it - our sexlife
was re-ignited - to being even better
than when we first met.We felt somehow
closer together, and I guess that both the
openness and the thrill of anticipation
worked as aphrodisiacs.
It didn't take too long - less than a
month - for Jane and I to realise our, by now
almost obsessive, fantasy. It happened in an
hotel at the gala dinner of an exhibition in
London to which WAGs were invited. Jane
came along, dressed to the nines as she
always did for these sort of boring functions,
and we got on like a house on fire with a
single blonde lady, Carrie, who was sitting at
our table. As the evening drew on and the
wine kept coming, the conversation between
the three of us became more loaded with
innuendo. Eventually, around midnight, I
plucked up the courage to ask Carrie is she'd
like to join us to hit the mini-bar in our
room. 'I thought you'd never ask!' she replied
with one of those knowing, 'oh-so-come-on'
Yep! I can tell you, we didn't even touch
the mini-bar until about four in the morning.
The moment we were in the room it all
kicked off and I believe that none of us slept
a wink that night.
I'm into something good...
That one-off encounter with Carrie was the
start of a couple of wonderful years when we
got together whenever we could. Then, for no
apparent reason, it started going a bit
strange. Jane and I were spending much more
time apart due to business. She was away a
lot at meetings in the UK and I was travelling
in the Middle East for much more time than I
would have liked. But when we were back
together it was almost as if we were merely
housemates. The passion had completely
gone from Jane, and our rows were
escalating to screaming matches, resulting in
me going to the pub or Jane sleeping in the
spare room and locking the door.
This couldn't go on.We decided, or
rather Jane decided, on a trial separation. I
moved out and rented a flat in a nearby
town.We talked, curtly, on the phone a
couple times week and met briefly for a
quick drink once a week, during which
encounters we hardly spoke to each other -
hard to find anything to say.
It just gets worse
As I had been anticipating by now, one
morning the divorce papers landed on my
doormat. I rang Jane, asked her what was
going on and pleaded with her to reconsider.
Our weekly meetings ceased and the only
phone calls were Jane begging me not to
contest the divorce. She'd cited my
infidelities - which, I still maintained, were
part her doing - and because I still cared for
her so much I agreed, signed the papers and
the whole thing went through 'on the nod'.
I moved back to London and one
Saturday morning the Decree Absolute
arrived. I'd been expecting it for a couple of
weeks, but it was still a shock when you read,
over and over again, something so
impersonal, sent by faceless, mindless
bureaucrats - that signifies the end of life as
you'd known it.
I was just downing my second Bloody Mary -
mostly vodka - when the door opened and
Lizzie walked in. I'd been seeing Lizzie for
three months and she'd sort of moved in -
but she'd come to pick up her belongings and
return the keys, as she wanted to finish it.
She was sick of my moping and repeatedly
mentioning Jane. Apparently, my morbid
demeanour in the restaurant the night before
- and the fact that I almost ignored her -
was the final straw.
Losing two in one day! I must be quite
an expert at getting rid of women -
especially when I don't want to. In the words
of Lady Bracknell, 'To lose one is unfortunate;
to lose two is carelessness.'
Anyway, I thought it was time move on
and I'd booked to play squash. The regular
Saturday fight with Barry. Normally it's a
tight tussle but this time, although I hit the
ball harder than I had ever done before, those
'Marys were taking their toll, and Barry
wiped the floor with me, three-zip.
Over about five pints afterwards I
became increasingly morose and explained
everything to Bazza. A kind and sympathetic
friend, he invited me over to their house for
dinner that evening. They were having a
special dinner for his sister, Donna, whom he
hadn't seen for a year or so. He said that
she'd just moved in with her partner, and
after messing around for years, was now in a
stable loving relationship. All I needed, really.
My relationships fall apart and Donna's is
now perfect. I promised to sober up by the
evening and arrived on time feeling relaxed.
Icing on the cake
Shortly after I'd got settled down with a
large scotch and lots of jolly consoling from
both Barry and his wife, Donna arrived with
the love of her life - her new partner. I hardly
have to tell you who this was and still is. It
was, and is, Jane. I felt it was probably better
to leave, so I did.
I know Jane and Donna are still together
and are very happy indeed. And I am very
happy for them. I hope that they remain so
devoted - I'm sure that will. I wish them all
the best, and a great life together. But as I
write this, I own there are a few tears falling
on the keyboard.
To badly paraphrase
Confucius, 'The longest
and sometimes hardest
journey starts with a
By the way - did I
mention that Arsenal
lost that day too?