They (who?) say a girl should never go out with anyone better-looking that her. That the beauty in a relationship should always be the property of the woman. Why? Because in this shallow world a woman is first noticed by her beauty and then by all her other assets…and if she fails to possess any then it is not such a hardship. Well, I say bollocks to that. Beauty fades, nay, it suffers a degrading decline like a well-washed T-shirt that sags everywhere. With men the opposite is the reverse. Perversely, men seem to age better than women so, at some point, the man in the relationship (please excuse the fact that I am strictly referring to hetero relationships) will be better looking than the woman so the point is moot.
Well, that was a short argument.
But I haven’t quite finished. I am in a relationship (married) to a wonderful man who, in my eyes, is quite gorgeous. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? My looks may be slowly melting away, like a big church candle left too long on the window ledge, but he gets more growlingly scrummy with every year that passes. I think he put me on the window ledge out of spite! But his primary attractions (for me) are his wit and knowledge. He knows stuff that no-one should know; ridiculously inconsequential details about the most obscure things. We have sat down to play Trivial Pursuit (the American version – don’t ask why we don’t possess the British version) and he knows the answers! How? Why? And the General knowledge section poses no threat at all. While our friends and I sit there for a full five minutes piecing together tattered bits of facts that we manage to pull out of our cobweb-strewn minds he takes a deep breath, pauses for a full second and then blurts out what he thinks it-might-possibly-be-but-he-could-be-wrong (he so very rarely is). So, his knowledge (which he likes to translate as intelligence (and we have argued about the difference) is a very big pull for me. It is a huge turn-on – second of my big five. He is also funny – numero uno of my big five. I’ll give you an example: He was walking through airport security behind a pilot who was pulling a wheeled suitcase. One of the wheels fell off. Without a blink my husband walked by with the comment, ‘let’s hope that only happens to you once today.’ I want that wit. I want the heroes in my books to have that wit. He kills me with comments like that. At the Global Village festival in Dubai one year we were about to enter the Palestinian ‘village’, literally walking through the archway, when he leant down and whispered, ‘whatever you do don’t say shalom.’ Aaargh! I had to keep my mouth clamped shut and run round the stalls.
So, I am pretty lucky in my choice of husband. I hope he never reads this or he’ll print it off and keep it tucked away alongside the declaration he made me write out the one and only time he won Monopoly, claiming him to be the King of Monopoly. Okay, maybe he is intelligent (either that or I’m particularly stupid).
‘Love sees not with the eyes but the mind…’ William Shakespeare