1. Why do you call your husband ‘Stepford Husband?
The 1975 movie Stepford Wives was about a quaint town where the men work hard in high tech jobs and the women (in a time when feminism was just reaching its stride) are the perfect wives. They are all pretty, subservient, funny and excellent hostesses. All of the time. Of course, they are robots. Of course. My husband is not a Stepford Husband in the sense of wanting a perfect wife. He loves me the way I am. All flawed and stuff. He is a Stepford Husband in that he is like what a woman would wish for in a husband. He is a nice man. He is understanding, supportive and rarely cranky. And he is pretty. He makes it very hard for me to be cross, unreasonable and moody, but I try anyway. He’s not perfect; he’s my husband. Oh, and bonus, because SH are his initials.
2. We eloped.
Very few of our friends had married before we did and the ones who had, enjoyed all the many months of organising and planning. I would sweat and worry on their behalf. When we decided to take the plunge, the thought of just getting our weird and wonderful, dysfunctional families together was ulcer making. I could see no way of us actually enjoying our own wedding and had a wake up call when a recently married colleague said to me: ‘what makes you think you should enjoy it – you’re the bride. This is not about you two.’ When they revived me, I had a plan. We eloped to Vanuatu, and created the most wonderful wedding and memories I could ever have imagined. I urge all of you to consider it also. My kids are going to elope. I’m going with them.
3. We’ve been married 4 times.
I was one of those ‘I’m never gonna get married,’ kind of girls. (I was also never going to have kids and now I have three – so don’t believe anything you heard me say before 1993.) With the elopement planned, we had to let our friends in on it. They were disappointed. Coincidentally, we were invited to a party organised for the weekend before we were to leave. A costume party. ‘You should dress as a bride!’ suggested a girlfriend. ‘Pffffff no way, I’m not married yet!’ I may or may not have said. What a party. Best party ever. And in the middle of it, they married us in a very proper ceremony that I will always consider serious and binding. I was given away by a Cow and married by a Court Page in blue tights. Batgirl was my witness. And a Genie made our beautiful cake. That was wedding number 1, our elopement was number 2. We renewed our vows at the Carillion, me with a neckbrace waiting in the car and Stepford Husband high on migraine medication (it was stress related, lucky we didn’t go the full fiasco, eh?) a few days after returning for the benefit of our parents – number 3, and a few years ago we returned to Vanuatu and renewed our vows again with our three kids there as witnesses. Only in the middle of the ceremony, they asked if they could go and join in the volleyball game further down the beach. But it was lovely. Number 4. And we’ll do it again given half a chance.