Dear Auntie Vicky,
I know you typically write about home design and such, but I notice that you occasionally make a happy reference to the Man of the House (or MOTH, as you call him). He seems to have been around the house for many years. As someone who just got married, I wonder if you might — if it’s not too personal — share any secrets to a long and happy life with my partner?
Married in Mimico
Happy to help! Home décor and relationships may not be as far a stretch as you think. I’ve frequently said MOTH is the ultimate accessory — handsome and useful, just as William Morris suggests.
I can also say that over 27 years, a sense of play has been vital. For several years, we amused ourselves with acting out “George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” which we played both alone and — sometimes more amusingly — at parties.
These days, we have fun with “Insurance Scam”, in which each player comes up with a foolproof (and imaginary, of course) way to murder the other and benefit from an enormous insurance payout. Here are two examples to show how it’s played.
- On the weekend, MOTH is on steps about 12 feet above the frozen lake. From the top step I say to a phantom police officer, “Well, ma’am, John happened to be kneeling over to look at the pump just as I slipped on some ice. In trying to steady myself, I grabbed his coat, and somehow accidentally pushed him head first on to the ice. At that point, I think I went into shock because I must have stood there for 20 or 30 minutes doing nothing. It was awful.”
- Same weekend. We are outside when MOTH comes up behind me with a three-pronged branch. He says, “Officer, I had just finished cutting the branches I was going to use for dowsing when I accidentally startled Vicky — she is so easy to startle! At the moment she turned, I tripped on ice and fell forward. The sharpened branch plunged into a main artery. I tried to staunch the flow, but….” I argue that we should deduct points here, because WHO DOWSES IN JANUARY?
How’s the winner decided? That’s the beauty. There are no losers! It’s a “nobody won, we all had fun” endeavor.
Lively and intellectually stimulating, this game can go on for hours, if not days. It’s easy and cheap, unless you play it with cocktails. I only hope you have as many happy hours with it as have MOTH and I.
Second secret — don’t listen to those who say should never go to bed angry. You can, just never on poor quality or unfresh sheets. More thoughts on that here.
Mazel tov, Married in Mimico.