Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Happy Birthday, Benedict Ambrose!

To tell you the truth, my husband B.A. is unlikely to read this until the next time he decides he had better check up on what I've been writing about lately. Ah, the stages of romance. First the guy starts reading your blog daily. Then he reads the entire blog archives. Then he invites you to stay in his 17th century pad across the sea. Then he marries you and stops reading your blog, except at intervals to make sure you are not planning an escape.

Of course, B.A. is not supposed to be reading my blog, for he is a man. On the other hand, the very fact that I can spend an hour or two every morning blogging is thanks to the fact he goes out and works at a proper job all day.

Since this is a blog for Single girls, I am not sure how much you want to read about B.A. and married life. Sometimes readers write to tell me they find my thoughts on married life inspiring, and nobody has written "How dare you get married? You have betrayed us" in years. But you can be annoyed enough by Facebook updates that say "Now that I'm married my life is complete and I am in total heaven. Sucks to be you, Single friends!" Do I want to add to that annoyance? No.

I think the saving grace of being a married woman continuing to write about Singleness for Single women is that I married at 38, although that is starting to look younger every day. And it might be inspiring that there was still a Single, devoutly Catholic man in his mid-to-late 30s around until I snaffled him. I think there might still be others, but they are probably in Glasgow. (Our current parish crop of bachelors are in their early twenties, their fifties, their sixties and their eighties. Note the ginormous gap.)

The thing about meeting B.A.--I hope this is instructive rather than triumphalist--is that I noticed almost at once how kind and cheerful he was. He wasn't just kind and cheerful to me; he was kind and cheerful to everyone. I don't know how you girls feel about perpetual cheer. I love it. Now that we've been married a bit, he feels free to take his coat off and grump when he feels a need to grump. But this isn't very often. He doesn't often complain and he isn't rude to waiters; in fact, I don't think he is ever rude without a very severe provocation.

Occasionally rude friends suggest that I married B.A. because he lives in a 17th century house. This is not true although I have to admit that it is a very nice house. Of course we do not own it and I cannot paint the walls or put up wallpaper or adopt a cat or dog because they might scratch something or chew the doors. I can't even hang up the laundry outdoors because it would ruin the view and tourists would take photos of it. No, I married B.A. because he was so kind and amiable, cheerful and funny that I fell in love with him. And he fell in love with me, too, probably because of my resemblance to Dame Emma Kirkby, but also because I would not give him a row about being a devout Catholic.

And this is the secret of why such an attractive man was still unmarried at 36. He simply kept dating women who gave him a row about his wanting to become a devout Catholic. (He was received into the Church during my first visit.) Isn't that ODD? But I must say this situation was very lucky for me.

(And I wonder how many other Catholic men are still wandering about in interesting, cultured, artsy, non-Catholic circles, pursued by the Misses Wrong, vaguely despairing that they will EVER meet a girl--she doesn't even have to be Catholic--who will put up with their rosaries, their intolerance of contraception, and their Gregorian-chant singing pals.)

Oh, and I think they wanted to change him in other ways, which strikes me as just mad. What's to change? Really, sometimes other women make me cross.

Obviously the man is not perfect. (Dark silence as Seraphic ponders the recycling still waiting to be taken out.) But he is perfect for me.

I will add for the sake of cynical eavesdroppers that he does not have a car and that my earnings (such as they are) pay for holidays and such treats as the Jacobean-inspired sideboard I bought him for his birthday. Women are less impressed by cars and moohlah than you are.

In short, I married him simply because he is a wonderful man--ask anyone--who happily also wanted to marry me, and was well worth the long wait to meet the Perfect Man for Me.


Single until I was 37 said...

Happy Birthday to your dear husband! He was born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. So appropriate, as he obviously loves you, Seraphic, as his queen.

MaryJane said...

Five years ago I would have read this and thought cynically, "really?! Are you trying to make us feel rotten?" Now I think it's lovely. It's amazing what age can do to a person. Happy Birthday to Mr. Ambrose!

Seraphic said...

Actually, crazy convert man loves Mary as his queen, but I come next, so it's all good.

Single until 37 said...

Seraphic, you are right, Mary is our Queen. I meant no slight to our Blessed Mother. My own husband calls me his queen in an affectionate way every once in a while, something which I am really not at all, but I appreciate the sentiment. I pray that every single reading this blog will find a good man that will treat her like a queen. I never thought it would ever happen to me, but it did. If it can happen to me at 37, it can happen for you too. Pray the rosary, that is my recommendation. Pray it with your friends. Trust in Mary who is more mother than queen, and who is more your mother than even your own earthly mother.

Anonymous said...

Ah bless, many happy returns! What is the virtue honour brooch/pin about, is it one of your own?


Jam said...

Occasionally rude friends suggest that I married B.A. because he lives in a 17th century house. -- ooh, you have something in common with Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice :)

Kate P said...

A very happy birthday and a wonderful year to B.A.! The Jacobean-inspired sideboard sounds like a fantastic find.

Mary said...

Happy birthday B.A.! You are a blessed man!!

Urszula said...

Happy birthday, BA! I love when you write about him, because you write about marriage and love in such a real, happy way.

Sto lat i wszystkiego najlepszego dla Wujka BA! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday (a day late), B.A.!

Seraphic, even as deeply cynical as I am, I'm shocked that anyone would think you married B.A. for any reason except for him as himself. It's clear even to your blog-readers that you light up with love for him (and he for you).