Monday 7 January 2008

"How does your poor wife cope?" (Tea with Kirsten Dunst)

Now that I have revealed to the word such startling marital insights as the 'marking meals out of ten on the fridge' diplomatic incident, and the whole 'missing Whipsnade membership card' debacle, people I know (and increasingly, people I don't know that well at all) have started to come up to me and ask, in incredulous tones, things like: "What does your wife see in you, exactly?" and "How come your wife hasn't punched/divorced/killed you yet?" and (perhaps the most common) "How does your poor wife cope?"
I have no good answers for the first two questions; so I've fallen back on replying "She's drawn to my raw animal sexuality" to the first, and "Because I'm such a powerhouse in the bedroom department" to the second - which although both are transparently untrue, at least stop people asking further questions, seeing as they are usually doubled over in mocking laughter or clutching their stomachs in queasy disgust. But I can answer the third one very easily: My 'poor' wife copes very well, thanks for asking, because my 'poor' wife knows that she can run rings around me anytime...

That doesn't stop her complaining though. Among our friends are a number of married couples who have been together since they were teenagers, and on occasion Nini will point out how kind/thoughtful/loving the husband appears in each case, before noting in a faintly despondent voice that the wife " to him early, while he could still be trained". The obvious inference is that Nini herself "got to me" way to late for her to make anything useful out of me at all, so instead presumably just keeps me around in a spirit of affectionate tolerance, like an aging family dog that's still allowed to sit in the lounge despite it's flatulence and the fact that its scratches its bottom by shuffling along the carpet on its hindquarters.
Now, this paints a colorful little tableaux of our marriage that Nini clearly enjoys: the long-suffering but noble wife married to the crass baboon who simply cannot be domesticated, etc, etc. There is only one problem with it: it's complete and utter rubbish.
Let me illustrate why it's rubbish in the clearest way possible - by talking about the recent 'sexy dream' I had about 'Spiderman' actress Kirsten Dunst, which went as follows:

I'm in the restaurant of a swanky London hotel, sitting at a table for two. It is mid afternoon, and there is tea, possibly the chance of cake. Napkins, nice cutlery. The sun slants gently through the windows onto the table, softly illuminating the face of the person opposite me. It is 'Spiderman' actress Kirsten Dunst. She looks unhappy.
"You look unhappy, Kirsten Dunst" I say, thinking she is possibly upset about the reviews of Spiderman 3, which was by far the weakest of the trilogy.
"I am unhappy" says Kirsten Dunst. "I am unhappy because you won't go to bed with me."
I put down my teacup and sigh. "I am sorry, 'Spiderman' actress Kirsten Dunst," I reply, "but we've been through this already, back when I fantasized about you after seeing 'Wimbledon' on DVD. I'm happily married with two lovely children. You know that."
She looks down, sadly. "That's an excuse. You're just saying that because you don't want me" she whispers.
"That's not true, Kirsten Dunst" I say, a little annoyed. "Look at these pictures I have in my wallet." And I began to empty out my wallet, spreading out pictures of Nini and the girls on the table. "See?" I ask. "Look, that's Nini there, cleaning the carpet where Neve piddled on it the other day, and that's Amelie refusing to eat her dinner, and here's Nini parking the car two feet out from the kerb, then forgetting to lock it..."
"I don't want to see your pictures!" sobs 'Spiderman' actress Kirsten Dunst. "I don't care that you're married! I don't care about your wife! I want you anyway!"
I sit back in my chair, annoyed at the scene she is causing. "Well, you can't have me, Kirsten Dunst", I say sternly. "I am married to Nini. But I will buy you a teacake, if you like?"
She hurls down her cup and flees the restaurant, sobbing. The waiter comes over discreetly.
"I'm sorry you had to see that, Marco" I say.
He nods understandingly. "It's like Keira Knightley all over again, isn't it, sir?" he asks.
I sigh sadly, watching through the window as 'Spiderman' actress Kirsten Dunst tries to hail a taxi through a stream of tears. Marco points to one of the pictures scattered on the table.
"What charming family vignette is shown in this picture, sir?"
I glance down at it. "That is when Neve pushed a piece of breadstick up her nose. Her mother is holding her head steady while I try and pull it out with tweezers."
Marco shakes his head, as if dumbstruck by the scintillating brilliance of my life. "All these poor starlets you meet", he says, "They must find it so hard when they learn they just can't compete..."

There. Do you see? For all the mouthing off I do, I am so thoroughly domesticated that even while asleep I ruin potentially sexy dreams about an unattainable Hollywood actress by showing her pictures of my wife. And this is not even an isolated incident, it's a recurring theme: I vividly remember the dream where I had to show Winona Ryder the two childs carseats in the back of the Focus before she would leave me alone. If that's not the sign of man who is completely and utterly house trained, I don't know what is...

Of course, I told Nini about Kirsten Dunst.
She was mortified at my treachery: "You offered to buy her cake?" she wailed...

Anyone still worried about how she copes? Thought not...

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