Myself, my very own personalised Hungarian wife (Zsuzsa) and our newest human accessory (Lola), are enroute to collect our bat-shit mental toddler (Mila) from nursery, when out of the blue Zsuzsa says...
“I hope I’m like that when I’m older.”
I look up to see who the subject of her wanton desire is. Perhaps a stylish older lady? A woman of vintage, but who maintains a youthful figure? Michelle Pfeiffer maybe?
It’s a little, leathery skinned, balding man walking a dog.
He skips passed, humming gleefully, and as he does so I study him, my apparent future wife. And you know what? I get it.
Now most people would be confused by Zsuzsa’s thinking, but not this maverick (points to self) right here, because I get my wife. I know her. I’m often able to finish her sentences, at least the ones in English. We are intrinsically linked and I instantly see that she harbours no desire to be a leathery skinned, balding old man. Or at the very least I hope she doesn’t. No, rather she is looking at his soul. The man is fit, he is healthy and he is smiling. It’s his inner spirit that she craves to mimic. An elderly person, but a happy person, still embracing life. Youthfulness at his core. A man who would rip the tits off Ol’ Father Time if he dared to knock on his door.
I smile to myself.
“You know what? That’s funny.” I say. “Because only earlier this week I was thinking that I want to be an old Swedish man when I get older.”
Again, words that would be lost to those not in the ‘circle’ (draws imaginary circle in the air with fingers). But my pygmy Eastern European firecracker is very much lodged within my ‘circle’ (not a euphemism).
Zsuzsa nods in approval. Spurred on, I elaborate.
“I first had the thought when we were in Croatia a few weeks back. I saw this man in the sea. Looked Swedish. Probably late 70s, but he was tanned, trim, toned, manly beard like Kris Kristofferson. He was athletic and active, but serene. Self-assured, comfortable in his own skin. Basically a real cool cat.” I say.
Zsuzsa considers this.
“I like that. I’d like it if you grow up to be an old Swedish man.” says Zsuzsa.
“I’ll do my best.” I reply.
We arrive at the nursery, collect Mila and take her home to our little Buda nest.
Once home I look at my little blonde haired, blue eyed lady. She’s beautiful and I decide to tell her so. She bursts in to uncontrollable tears.
“What did I say?” I ask Zsuzsa.
“She’s just tired darling.” comes the reply. “Maybe you should apologise?”
“Apologise!? For telling my daughter that she’s beautiful?”
“I can’t win can I? If I tell Mila she’s beautiful I’m out of line. When I call Lola a meatball I’m out of line.”
“Calling Mila beautiful is fine, but she’s tired and irrational. Calling Lola a meatball? That’s just fat shaming.”
“I mean it with love though. She’s my lovely meatball.”
“Still fat shaming. Anyway. Apologise to Mila please.”
“Sorry Mila. Sorry for saying that you’re beautiful.”
She stops crying and looks me in the eye.
“Alright daddy.” Says Mila.
With peace restored I settle down, open my laptop and search for Swedish language apps. After all, if I’m going to an old Swedish man one day, I better get cracking.