I don’t think Mrs Afterwards is overly concerned that I do not regularly profess my undying love for her. In fact I am sure I said I did the day we married twenty years ago and that I would let her know if I changed my mind.
What does seem to irk her immeasurably is that I will not confess to loving the dog. I will walk him and feed him. I will gladly make him buttered toast and a nice cup of tea for his breakfast. (He prefers white bread not brown and never drinks the tea.) I will even quite happily take him outside to do whatever dogs enjoy doing outside as many times a day as he chooses despite the weather and the pandemic desperate to kill me right now.
In fact, I am quite happy to let him have the last sausage, the best piece of cheese and even lick me in ways no woman ever has despite once having the second worse breath I have ever encountered after eating something quite horrendous on one of our walks.
I don’t, however, feel the need to say I love him.
I have reserved my love for a discrete and quite specific assembly of peoples, places and things and I was not really prepared to open up that list. In fact, I am not at all certain that there is even room on the page for new things. I am 50 this year, I ought to be making bucket lists – not being overly fond of dogs. Even really cute ones. With floppy ears. And I swear he smiles sometimes even though that is surely not a thing dogs do. Smirk maybe, but not smile.
All said and done, I must admit that I really do like him, and not just as a friend and I think about him a lot and love every minute I spend with him and…Oh ffs, am I going to have to make a new list?