I am beginning to suspect that H may be on the verge of a mid-life crisis.
He would not be the only male I know to succumb. For starters, I have lost count of the depressing tales of family men being caught with their pants down recently. It seems they are frequently drawn to someone who looks remarkably like their own wife, but without the slippers or the post-pregnancy paunch.
Then, at a party this weekend, a lawyer friend announced that he needed to ‘find his true identity’ and was therefore about to chuck in his lucrative but soul-destroying job for something more fulfilling. As everyone clustered around to applaud his brave decision, I couldn’t help noticing his shell-shocked wife in the background, nodding enthusiastically and smiling through gritted teeth. For her 45th birthday present, she had been handed the role of sole breadwinner, rather than the pedicure voucher she was hoping for.
I suppose with drastic behaviour like this, I should be relieved that H’s particular obsession is fairly benign. Our finances preclude the purchase of that typical symbol of mid-life crisis - a ‘male meno-Porsche’ so instead he has bought a pair of in-line skates.
To be fair, as well as being an all round Boy Scout, H has always been a good skater – a sort of Ray Mears on wheels. He used to rollerblade to work when he was young and carefree, and was therefore a frequent recipient of abuse from motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.
However this weekend, he returned from a skating trip with more of a glow than usual. Apparently, a car full of teenage girls had beeped their car horn and waved at him as he skated along. All fairly innocent, you might think, but no - he has been down at the gym this morning, clearly convinced that his body is now a temple at which young women will come and worship. Bless!
More worryingly, he has declared his intention to abstain from drinking wine. Surely such self-delusion has its limits? Clearly some action needs to be taken to avoid irreparable damage to our marriage. Therefore, in an attempt to lure him once again with my oenophile charms, I have uncorked a Tesco Finest Beyers Truter Pinotage (£7.99). I am certain that the spicy blackberry flavour will convince him of the error of his ways. How could he fail to realise that a lithe limbed lovely offering him a swig of her alcopop cannot compare with the delights of drinking decent red wine? Even if it does mean sharing it with a woman whose teeth are gradually turning blue.