Are You Dancin’?

The bathroom I share with G is currently host to a roll of toilet paper which appears to have suffered from some type of trauma. I can’t work out if it’s been wet and then dry, or re-rolled, or if we just happened to be the lucky recipients of a dud roll. Instead of rolling out in a long continuous line, it comes away in uneven jagged pieces that are about the size of your hand. The roll has been sitting there for a couple of days and this morning I decided to text G about it.

“What’s up with the toilet paper?” I typed into my phone. And then I paused. I thought about him sitting in a meeting and decided perhaps it was a question that could wait for another time.

I have Irish friends who’ve been together for many years, long enough to have a child who will graduate next year. Occasionally at parties I’ll notice they’re speaking Gaelic, usually small sentences that appear to be personal explanations. They could be saying anything, but whatever it is it somehow cements them together, they become a unit rather than singular. I’ll be sitting with her on the couch and he’ll wander by, make eye contact with her and ask with a twinkle of mischief in eye and a strong Irish lilt  “Are you dancin’?” Her reply is always the same. With a flirtatious smile she’ll look up at him and say “Are you askin’?” I’m guessing they’ve been doing that routine for 20 years.

G’s parents have the story of the banana cake. He pretended to like it, she continued to bake it. Once they were married he was forced to admit the truth. G will Skype them and after the catch up conversation is done he’ll casually mention to his father that he had a wonderful piece of banana cake the other day “you would have loved it Dad.” I’ll hear G’s Mum giggle and look over to the computer to see G’s Dad giving him a nod and a grin.

Sometimes it’s the inane, the overused and often repeated that keeps us together.

I looked back through my texts with G.



Heading back to the hotel.

Love you.

Do you want me to get lamb chops from Monoprix.

Ridiculously those texts made me smile. Snippets of us staying connected.

I pushed send.

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  1. We have the text “now” which means the other one is now leaving work/sport/night out and will soon be home.

  2. I love reading your blog. I am an expat living in Aussie (Brisbane) right now, we are American. My DH just left for 2 months in London for work. As i read your texts, it made me smile. A lot of our texts are much the same way. Its funny how those little things connect you. We have been together 24 years, and still its those little messages we send each other that let me know how much we still love each other.

    • Theresa you have really made my day. The whole reason I keep coming back here to write is I think about people who are/have been in the same position as me, somewhere new and having to deal with the trials and tribulations of navigating life in a foreign land. I love that you’re still together after 24 years. I hope Brisbane is treating you well. We’re there every year (it’s the home of my inlaws and we go to the Ekka each year to catch up with our country cousins before heading up to Maroochydore. xx

  3. Come on dot leave us hanging, what was the response?!!!

  4. Don’t worry, I once texted my husband at work, with a photo of our son’s first poo in the potty. I got an excited “yessssss!” reply. I’m guessing he wasn’t in a meeting at the time!

  5. Twiggy sent me a picture of a roast pork roll from the Port Wakefield Roadhouse yesterday. I love him.

  6. This is so funny! When we lived in Belgium we used to have the (almost) same phone number as the local pizza place (just one number off) so we got called about 5-6 times a week with a pizza order. Now every time I know when it’s my hubbie calling, I pick up the phone: “what pizza would you like to order?”. Even after more than 10 years, it still makes us laugh!

  7. Our most frequently-used text is hf3, which means we’ll meat for tea and toast at a specific location at the usual time. This made me feel very good about having that kind of shorthand to cement us together – nobody else would ever decipher it. It’s like a personal little code.

  8. Corinne Rochette says

    Lovely post!! As always 🙂

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