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My Husband Used To Be So Hot By Molly Gunn

This isn’t a debate about Tom’s hotness. It’s about the fact that we’re growing older. It’s Valentine’s day today, and offers him and I an anniversary of sorts: Tom I first ’got together’ at a Valentines’ Ball, a grandiose name for a rave in some arches in Kentish Town. It was 2001. I went at the last minute after my brother cancelled our evening plans, and then I had a HUGE argument with my sister, whom I shared a flat with in Tooting Bec. It was about some keys. I told her boyfriend to f**k off as I stormed out of the flat, with a fresh 

Hersheson blow-dry and nowhere to go. Fuelled with adrenaline, I knocked on the door of some boys I sort-of-knew down my street (I’d met them a few months before when I put a note through their door – another story). I tagged along to their Valentine’s party, feeling like a random! I already liked Tom, who it turned out was DJ’ing. At some point I asked one of his friends, Mike, to tell Tom I fancied him. Mike said, ’tell him yourself.’ So, eventually, I did. Tom and I spent the rest of the night snogging. We were 23, and that was 22 years ago. Eek.

We’re nearing the territory when we’ve been together for as long as life before each other. That makes me happy sad; because as we’ve grown together, we’ve… changed. Sometimes I look at Tom and wish he was the Tom I met: that handsome DJ with curly hair, witticisms and ripped jeans. The cover photo is my favourite photo of him. He looks ’so fit’ as us Guildford girls would say. I took the photo on a beach in Ibiza in 2003, we’d been out late the night before, and just lazed all day, blissfully tired and hungover. I was so content laying on the sand that day, that as I looked at the sky I said: ”I’m so happy that if I died right now, it would be okay.” There was nothing more I could wish for in my life at that moment. We were young, broke, and basking in the sunshine with each other. I felt so lucky to be with him.

Of course, I didn’t die. Life carried on and I’m glad it did! Tom and I are still trucking, but now we have three kids, a mortgage and a hell loads of baggage. We don’t look the same, we don’t act the same. We don’t spoon each other for hours in bed like we once did, we’re lucky if we remember to hug each other in the mornings. We don’t make each other laugh like we did, instead we have flickers of reassuring banter. Sometimes we talk about divorce. Sometimes we talk about what else is ’out there.’ Sometimes we just get on and have a great time. Sometimes, I wish we could be how we were, before life weathered us. I’ve actually said to Tom, ”Why did you have to change? I loved you how you were!” He replies invariably, ”I’m different now, and so are you.”

The Tom I know now talks about Stoicism, he does yoga at 5am, he talks earnestly about betterment podcasts, he gets quite tense. At times I’ve wondered if I met him now, would I fancy him? He’s says he’s asked the same question. We’re different people now, to our 23 year old selves. Sometimes that is hard to grasp. But there’s still love, there’s still music, there’s still laughs. We have a happy family life and we’re kick-ass parents. It’s just that often we have to scrape away the crap to get back to the good stuff. Recently, I’ve realised recently that ageing is not only about growing in yourself, but also embracing the changes of those who age around you – be it your partner, kids or parents. This realisation is a biggie for me. Accepting who we are, now. Embracing who we are today. And yes, I mostly still think Tom’s hot. Especially in ripped jeans.

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