This is a picture of the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine and I, approximately two weeks before I gave birth to our daughter, four years ago. What you can’t see in this picture is my massive pregnant belly, slightly swollen feet and big under-eye bags. It was taken in the garden of our former local pub, where we used to live in Berkshire.
This picture makes me smile, not because it’s an example of amazing photography (it isn’t), or because it was a lovely sunny day, or even because it captures a special memory of a rose-tinted time pre-parenthood.
No, it makes me smile because it shows in all its badly-photographed glory how I win Partner Points (or “PPs”) in our marriage.
Note the items at the front of this picture: a bottle of cider, the building in the background – an outside barbecue grill where you could buy very tasty burgers. Now note my husband’s happy expression. He’s content, pint in hand, burger being cooked and sun in the sky. That day I won a couple of PPs because, despite the lovely setting and the sunshine, I would rather have stayed in the cool indoors, swollen feet on the sofa, watching re-runs of Come Dine with Me.
But it’s give and take isn’t it? When you love someone, sometimes you put your own wishes to one side and do something you’d rather not do. Like go to the pub on a sunny day (I know, I’m probably not selling my Saint-like status very well here).
And it goes two ways. Like the time my husband watched The Notebook with me despite saying it was making him feel physically sick. Or the time he came to Wembley with me and my sister to watch Take That’s Circus tour, despite the fact he’s more of a heavy rock fan.
PPs can be won in other ways too – making a cup of tea without being prompted, bringing a punnet of fresh strawberries back from the supermarket because you know their your partner’s favourite, spending half an hour ironing shirts because it’s the one job your man or woman absolutely hates doing.
Recently I have been stocking up on PPs…
This is a hamper of chocolate from Thorntons, sent to the NLM to celebrate Father’s Day.
He likes chocolate, especially on a Friday evening after a couple of beers. He also likes opening presents, so this is going to go down very well.
With a huge array of different chocolates to choose from – from dark to milk to white to truffles to more milk and more dark and fruity ones and nutty ones – my PPs are going to keep ratcheting up for quite a long time.
Of course, like all good partners, I will smile sweetly at his elation and say, “Oh, it was nothing”, while I note down the exact tally of PPs I have accrued against his current total.
And making a mental note of the number of times he will have to watch The Notebook with me to make things even.
How do you win Partner Points in your relationship?
Thank you to Thorntons for gifting the NLM this Father’s Day and making my steady accumulation of Partner Points possible.