My regular readers might remember that, exactly a month ago, I confessed my fear that in stopping drinking I'm ruining the husband's life (see Not the Girl he Married).
After all, he never signed up to being married to a teetotaller. I was convinced that he was hankering after our long, boozy, romantic dinners and feeling huge trepidation about the dry wasteland ahead of us. Or, rather, ahead of me.
So, a couple of nights ago I finally plucked up the courage to ask him about it. We were having dinner. He was slowly sipping his one glass of red wine. Ggrrrr.
(Actually, I know he sometimes has more than one, because I found a half full bottle in the playroom hidden behind some books! He must be having an extra glass from time to time while watching TV. How hilarious to find someone else hiding bottles! Don't worry, though. Mr SM is definitely not on first name terms with the wine witch. He's just, thoughtfully, trying not to wave too much vino in my face).
"Darling," I say, "can I ask you a question?" He looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Mr SM is old school - he doesn't do 'talking about stuff'. He went to boarding school at the age of seven. His mind is whirring, running through his mental filing cabinet of 'appropriate answers for tricky conversations' in advance.
"Does it bother you that I've stopped drinking? Do you miss having a drinking partner?"
Mr SM looks relieved. At least I hadn't asked him "does my bum look big in this?" He always struggles with the correct response to that one.
"God no, it's a wholly good thing" he replies. I press him for more. I want to know details.
The benefits, according to Mr SM are as follows:
1. I no longer fall asleep while watching TV, so we can genuinely share a box set.
2. I'm less grumpy.
3. I don't keep him awake tossing and turning at night time.
4. He doesn't have to drink really fast to make sure he gets his share of a bottle of wine.
I grill him for any negatives. He thinks hard, then replies "I don't get as much access to the TV remote control." Then he hides behind his newspaper, like a tortoise sticking his head back in his shell. Conversation over.
Men. Simple creatures. Don't mess with their sleep, their TV watching or their comfort blankets and they're happy.
The truth is, I suspect, that the idea of losing a drinking partner is only terrifying to us - the pickles - not to the 'normal' drinkers.
But if I tried to take away his remote control permanently? That would be a deal breaker...
Love SM x