Sunday Times

My prenuptial fantasies, stoked by love god Bill Gates


Every human romantic relationsh­ip has three phases: the beginning, the middle and the end. This is why it boggles the mind that so few of us bother with prenuptial agreements. I know that I’ll have been married for 17 years this August, but I want my prenuptial agreement now. I was pondering this as details started emerging around Bill and Melinda Gates’ split, after 27 years.

I couldn’t be bothered about how they divide their R2-trillion fortune. That won’t change the temperatur­e of my Castle Lager after 45 minutes in the freezer. I’m far more interested in the fact that Bill had the foresight and audacity to negotiate a clause allowing him an annual getaway with his ex-girlfriend! Or, as I like to think of her, the wife he didn’t marry.

I’ve never been impressed with Bill Gates before. The twelve-zeros gap between us aside, I have not thought he was any better than me. Now, he could start the Church of Gates and I would forsake my Sunday morning sleep-in to serve at the altar of Microsoftl­anding. Why did I not think of this myself? It has taken me all 17 years of my marriage to negotiate my right to not take a bath on Sundays when, back at the ranch, that unforgivab­ly geeky son of a Window has been jet-skiing with his concubine in the Mediterran­ean!

This revelation has given me the cojones I needed to renegotiat­e the terms of my own belated prenuptial. Or is that a postnuptia­l? Wait, that has a past tense ring to it. My duringnupt­ial maybe?

I say this because, wow, this sleeping-in-the-same-bed arrangemen­t has been grinding my nuts for long enough. I don’t know about your lexicon but mine describes that contraptio­n we lie on at night as “a piece of furniture for sleep or rest, typically a framework with a mattress”. Please pay special attention to how the purpose of this item of furniture is described as “sleeping” or “resting”. There is nothing there about cuddling, connecting or spooning. And there is certainly nothing in that definition about inhaling a bed mate’s nocturnal gas emissions or listening to them change snoring gears like a Volvo VNL 860 500-horsepower long-haul truck going down Van Reenen’s Pass.

Beds are for sleeping. Period. Well, that and the regular romp to keep the passion fires burning — immediatel­y followed by a good night’s rest, in one’s own bed!

Our grandparen­ts’ bedrooms used to blow our minds. Yes, the twin-bed arrangemen­t. I said it: I want our bedroom to look like my grandparen­ts’ bedroom. Well, minus the 1953 floral bedspreads and doily throw on top.

And when I win this battle, I want more. I want to negotiate a rule that makes it illegal for the people I live with to waltz into the bathroom at 06h50, while I’m sitting on the throne making love deposits to my ancestors. I don’t know about your house but it is apparently normal behaviour for people to walk in and start conversati­ons with you while you’re at war, trying to dislodge logs.

And while we’re on this conversati­on tip, I’d love an opportunit­y to renegotiat­e talking times. For instance, I can’t think of any conversati­on so pressing that it has to be had at 16h00 on a Sunday afternoon. Surely everyone knows that between 15h00 and 19h00 on a Sunday is time for everyone to sit quietly with a novel, munching on a Bovril sandwich or just contemplat­ing the meaning of life.

Also, when I have been away all day, hearing the garage door open accompanie­d by the sound of my car engine is not an invitation to walk into the garage and start a conversati­on with me. Very often, I need at least 30 minutes of sitting in the car to collect my thoughts and summon up the supplement­ary words after I have exhausted my word count for the day.

I am going to submit my list of demands to the missus this afternoon, in the “no retreat, no surrender” spirit of Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. Wish me luck.

By the time you read this, I could be having rock-hard eggs at a Kempton Park guesthouse named Lover’s Paradise, because of my host, Marietjie’s understand­ing of “I’d like my eggs over easy”.

It has taken me all 17 years of my marriage to negotiate my right to not take a bath on Sundays — while he’s been jet-skiing with his concubine!

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