The memory of my angry y-front-wearing friend returns quite often and, humorous as it is, it also gives me pause for thought and renews my admiration for Lynda who’s had to put up with the snoring for decades. I’m no stranger to that feeling of sheer desperation when one is trying to get to sleep only to be thwarted by the sound of wheezing, snorting, gasping, snuffling, and gargling going on only inches away, not to mention how it feels when it stops and you think you’ll have time to get to sleep before it starts again… then it does!
I didn’t realise how badly I snored until I went on a weekend away with a group of mates. We stayed on a boat on Kariba and had the choice of sleeping inside the relatively mosquito-free, but airless, hot cabin or sleeping on the open deck and getting eaten by mosquitoes. On the first night most guys opted for the former but by the following morning I was alone in the cabin.
I have a vivid memory of one of them standing over me in his underpants with a desperate look on his face shouting “shut-up, shut the fuck up!”
Needless to say, after some years had passed, we found our way back to each other and soon afterwards we agreed to sign on for the long haul. Any relationship requires input from both parties if there’s any hope for its survival and our marriage, like so many other relationships, started with our eyes being, for the most part, closed tightly shut. Once those papers are signed and there’s no backing out of the deal that’s been made you either have to learn to live with each other’s idiosyncrasies or go insane. Sometimes you can make adjustments but sometimes that’s impossible.
I knew nothing about chatting up girls and even less about keeping them happy. To me, the fact that Lynda had said yes meant she was now my girlfriend and, in a sense, my property whilst to her it meant something completely different. I didn’t know that and, because I was young, inexperienced and, in affairs of the heart, very stupid, it never occurred to me to find out what that was.
I now know that to Lynda it meant, okay, let’s try you and see how you do.
Six weeks later she belonged to someone else. I was distraught!
One day after athletics practice I asked Lynda if she would go around with me. After days asking friends advice on how to seal the deal and I’d been led to believe that, if she said yes, we’d be hitched.
I knew how I felt about her but was uncertain whether my feelings were reciprocated beyond her laughing at some of my jokes.
Nonetheless, I waited till she had her belongings in her hands and was literally running to meet her mother’s car before I asked her. When she said yes I couldn’t believe it.