I have known my husband for nine years. We have been acquaintances, friends, best friends, flatmates, boyfriend/girlfriend, exes, and, for better and worse, are now married and parents. Our relationship has taught me a lot: a dinner of sweets is not considered a healthy diet; how to cook an omelette with success; the joys of Biffy Clyro; that Pirate Metal is possibly the worst type of music; a love of ale and roast lamb; that bread knives should not be used for anything but bread; the relative merits of a Playstation versus an X-Box; how to lose without throwing a tantrum. Okay, l am still learning that last one.
A bigger lesson l have learnt, however, is how to spend money. Our differing attitudes to finances were clear when we first went grocery shopping together. I headed straight for the bargain bin (my Dad used to buy most of our food from this ‘almost out of date’ shelf – hence a lot of ‘Supper Surprise’) whilst The Husband would be in the ‘Organic Best’ section. This divide was echoed in most things – l would buy a bargain pair of hiking boots while he would spend enormous (to me) amounts of money on a high end pair. But then l would end up with wet feet and blisters whilst his feet were toasty warm and pain free. It has taken a few years, and l still struggle with ‘spend guilt’ but l now understand the wisdom of investing in “good kit” as my stepfather calls it.
Nowhere is this more clear than on my dressing table. A couple of weeks after giving birth, when The Husband had gone back to work and my Mum had returned back to the UK, l was desperate to get out of the house. I popped The Boy into the sling and hopped in a taxi to the nearest shopping mall. Whilst wandering around, bleary eyed, l was asked by one of the make-up assistants if l wanted a make-over. Well, milk-stained, rumpled, sleepless wreck that l was, l just plonked myself on the stool and let her do her worst. After about 20 minutes she showed me my reflection. I had expected to see some hideously over-made up face resembling a drag queen. Instead l looked human again. Like a much improved version of my current self. Well, that had me sold. My credit card was handed over and l have never looked back.
Nine months on, wearing make-up on a daily basis, the only thing l have had to re-buy is the mascara. It seems that investing once and investing wisely is the way forward. And while l may never be frivolous with money, l have certainly learnt how to spend a little more.