Does anyone really need fifty shades… of eye shadow?

Hello!  As Julie said, welcome to the blog and thank you to her for getting the ball rolling with our first blog post.  If we were the dynamic duo, I think Julie would be the Batman to my Robin – although sadly I probably wouldn’t look as good in a cape and tights as he does…

Nonetheless this has got me thinking about partnerships, romantic and otherwise.  I love people watching, I think that’s why I can’t help writing, and I always make up stories in my head about the people I see – the relationships they have, what they do for a living and sometimes even give them imaginary names.  My husband refuses to join in with this game and I suspect he thinks I’m just the tiniest bit mad…

When I’m people watching, some people ‘look’ like couples.  Others, who appear very much in love, you would never put together if you were playing Happy Families or Guess Who.  What is it that makes a successful partnership though, either on the written page or in real life?  I actually think it’s difference rather than similarities that make a partnership worthwhile.

My husband is lovely, but totally clueless about buying me gifts.  Every Christmas he buys me a make-up set the size of a small principality, with shades of eye shadow from bottle green to misty mauve.  In the ten years we’ve been together, I can count on one hand the times I’ve worn eye shadow and I’d have to get a career as a seventies glam rock tribute act to get away with some of the shades he’s bought.

Perhaps he’s trying to tell me something and, whilst I won’t try out the candy pink eye glitter any time soon, I can appreciate the different perspectives we bring to the partnership.  He’s the strict parent and I’m the soft one and together I think we make a good team.  He likes tidying up and I like making a mess, so between us we manage a household where there’s room to have some fun, but we won’t have environmental health serving a notice on us any time soon!

 It’s also the differences between us that have helped make the most lasting memories and inadvertently gave me my best Christmas gift of all this year.  I can’t stand the cold, but my husband loves it.  So, when the children wanted to go paddling in their wellies in a local stream one December morning, I held on to the dogs and the video camera.  My husband decided to build a makeshift bridge out of some fallen trees and to show the children how to navigate it…  When he fell into the freezing stream and broke the makeshift bridge in the process, he gave the children and I the best laugh we’d had all year and my favourite Christmas memory of 2012.  He wasn’t hurt and he was pretty good-natured about it too!

Without the balance in our partnership, we definitely wouldn’t have as many laughs and life would be duller all round if we were more similar to one another.  So in my writing, I am really going to focus on the tensions and differences between my male and female protagonists which make the journey to love unpredictable and exciting.  In my writing friendship and blog partnership with Julie, I can already appreciate the differences that mean we have a lot to offer one another and which will make the whole journey to publication a lot more fun…

Thanks for reading and vive la différence!

Jo xxx


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