Lending my husband out for a holiday would test me too far

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Judy: I am trying to understand exactly what broadcaster Mariella Frostrup wants out of a holiday. Obviously fun and interesting conversation.

Also Mariella has two children aged eight and 10 so I suppose help with the kids wouldn't come amiss.

Whatever. When her husband Jason found he couldn't get away for a four-day luxury barge holiday along the Canal du Midi, Mariella recruited in his place not her best friend, former GMTV presenter Penny Smith, but Penny's long-term partner, an actor called Vince.

Would I do that? So now I try to put myself in Penny's place. If a good friend of mine found herself husbandless on a family holiday, would I, like Penny, be perfectly happy to volunteer my own to take his place? And dear reader, in both cases I find myself saying absolutely no way, not in a million years, you must be joking, are you kidding? And finally, get lost. Let's take the case of the substitute-husband provider.

An old friend wants to borrow my spouse to take on holiday because her own can't make it. It's not that I'd suspect any hanky panky but the answer would still be no.

If my husband is going to have a lovely holiday (note Mariella's use of the word "luxury" when describing her French trip) then I'm damned if he's going without me.

In the past Richard has enjoyed quite a few glamorous filming trips abroad, mostly in America. Every time he's been away in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Boston or Nova Scotia I've sulked and twitched back home in London.

"I can come too," I say silkily, imagining lying beside a Californian hotel pool while he's off working with the film crew. When it's forcefully pointed out that my visions of lazy days with pool service are not on the agenda and my luxury expectations would be a liability on a trip where his team would barely have time for a sit-down lunch, I get cross and moody.

So if instead of a working trip someone invited him on a genuine holiday without me, I'd be frankly murderous.

Now, putting myself in Mariella's place, if Richard suddenly couldn't accompany me on a long-planned trip, would I ask a friend if I could take her husband instead? But why? What would I want him for? I suppose if you're on a barge you might need a bloke to do all the manual stuff with lock gates and so forth. But then I can't imagine myself on a barge holiday, not even with a squad of husbands to do all the hard work. Same goes for camping.

So would I want this bloke around in a villa somewhere warm? Absolutely not. Getting used to another man's foibles and routines would be infuriating. However annoying your husband's are, at least you're used to them.

I can only assume that Penny's partner Vince is the perfect man for all seasons, charming and absolutely irritation-free.

In which case, Penny, I'd hang on to him and definitely stop loaning him out.

Continue reading Richard & Judy's column at The Express.co.uk.
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  • Well said Judy! I am very liberal but even I think it's all a little bizarre! Women can 'do locks' .....and with other people on the canal (who will help if she asks them), why does she need a man! Doesn't say much for 'independent women' does it! Ww Leigh!

    Leigh