I've been living with Jenny for so long I sometimes wonder how I would behave if I were living on my own again. Would I still be so well-organised and domesticated, or would I be a total slut, letting everything slide into chaos and squalor?
After all this time as a couple, I really have no idea how little or how much Jenny influences me. Is she constantly changing my attitudes or do I carry on moreorless as I would have done anyway?
Before I met Jenny, I lived in a tiny bedsit that required the absolute minimum of maintenance, so it's hard to know how I would shape up if I had a whole house to look after.
Would I be so overwhelmed that I just moved into one room and ignored all the rest? Or I would I become ultra-houseproud and be hoovering from top to bottom at 6 am?
And would I eat properly? When Jenny worked in Glasgow for a year, we assumed she would be knocking up cordon bleu treats while I got by on snacks and packets of crisps. Oddly enough, it was the other way round and I was the one cooking decent meals.
And would I be happily socialising, looking up all my old friends and busily making new ones, or would I turn into a disgruntled hermit, refusing to answer the door and cursing humanity?
In my pre-Jenny days I was sociable enough, so I suspect the extrovert would win out over the recluse.
The fact is that if you live with someone, you do subtly modify each other's behaviour without always being aware of it. You're unconsciously motivated by the desire to look good, or be well thought-of, or make a good impression, and you may be faking it a bit. So how can I be sure what I'm really like?
Naturally I hope I never have occasion to find out. As Jenny is ten years younger than me, she's likely to outlast me. But you never can tell.
I've turned off the wordcheck. It's driving me nuts, especially the word in black and white that's virtually impossible to read. Hopefully I won't get a deluge of spam.