“Would you ever have an affair?” he said.
On the eve of his birthday, right in the middle of what we grew up calling a bar meal.
Maybe he was anxious about turning 49. Feeling old and in need of a little reassurance that he’s still desirable. Or simply bored by burger without woven plastic basket.
Very probably, the fact that I laughed didn’t do a great deal to assist him in his almost middle-aged crisis - something he’s officially now not allowed to have until he’s 53 or something.
So by way of pacification I said: “Only with George Clooney.”
We have a deal about George. Bloke knows a grand passion when he sees one. Not to mention a fat chance.
Similarly I accept his Kylie crush. She is the one woman I could, without qualm, hand him over to for the night, should he be so lucky. Lucky. Lucky.
How could any woman begrudge a man a brief fling with the Antipodean pocket Venus just because she’s his wife?
Though when it comes to dream lovers, I’m currently up on the deal.
He’s going off her a bit. He reckons she’s had a bit of scaffolding done and has spoilt herself.
Now, my George would never do that. He will never turn himself into some stretched, funfair mirror version of his former handsomeness and end up with eyebrows forming a new hair line, a la Bert Reynolds.
The reason I laughed, though, was because the thought of having an affair is truly as absurd a prospect as George Clooney actually wanting to go to bed with me.
It’s definitely an age thing. You may be losing your faculties but you gain control of your genitalia. When you’re younger, lust is such a driving force. It’s the be-all and get your end away-all. Desire is the chief stoker of your daily fire.
And the knowledge that someone you fancy fancies you right back can make you do all sorts of ridiculous things. It’s like a form of madness. You get SO obsessed about getting naked with them you throw caution, commonsense and anything else - like a damned good relationship - to the winds.
Well, I’m so passed all that. And honestly, it’s a relief. I wouldn’t go as far as Boy George’s ‘Sex? I’d rather have a cup of tea’ (offer me a mug of hot chocolate and a Marmite pikelet and you might be talking).
Sex IS still important, but it’s not everything anymore. You realise, as you age, that all the other stuff that attracted you to your partner is what is truly the turn-on.
I don’t get that Naomi Wolfe, so determinedly chasing orgasms that ‘make colours more vibrant again’ that she’s undergone spinal surgery (something to do with unblocking the neurological pathways to her tuppence, I think).
When the rest of your world is bright (mortgage nearly paid off, kids in homes of their own and enough in the savings kitty to pop off on a little holiday every now and again with the man you’re happily growing old with) who needs their magic moments to look like a Dulux colour chart?
An affair? Never. Not even with George, truth be told. Throwing away all the compatibility, the common interests, the love, the caring, the memories, the tolerance of each other’s idiosyncracies, just to rub genitals for about eight minutes? It doesn’t do it for me.