About a month ago, my partner lost his passport.

We turned the whole house upside down, snarled at each other and generally wasted the whole day. Our helper was terrified by the ferocity of the words we hurled at each other. Losing passports for us expats in Phuket is a BIG deal. It means a road journey to the capital Bangkok (about 10 hours) and spending two days in the hectic city. Oh, he annoys me to within an inch of my life sometimes. Why oh why can’t he be normal. Why can’t he keep his passport in a safe place, instead of his back pocket?????

He gave me a cross look. “I’m not German. Don’t expect me to behave like one.”

What’s not being German got anything to do with it? I’m not a German but I don’t lose my passport. So where’s the logic?

But here’s a thought: though he annoys me most in the world, he also gives me a lot of laughter, happiness and joy. And more importantly, when things are bad (really bad), he’s there, unwaveringly, like a stout candle with a living flame. His love for me had remained faithful and strong throughout the years, whatever the circumstances.

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And you know what, we really do laugh a lot together. Last night, I saw something that one of my favourite bloggers posted.  She is Sophie Lilley and she writes as “Tired & Tested”, a parenting blog with humour. This photo and caption (in the context of the Duchess of Cambridge’s well-publicised photograph shortly after the birth of her third child) made me chuckle out loud, and when I showed it to my partner, he grinned broadly. He puts on a woman’s voice, posh accent to boot, and said, “One has tohhrn One’s V to her A”.

He totally “got it”. Yes, he totally gets me. We laughed raucously about the time I had to wear adult diapers, at the silly jokes he had made then and my mess he had cleaned up. I stopped laughing and thought back with gratitude about the fact that he made me feel comfortable about my bodily functions right from the start, with no self-consciousness and embarrassment standing in between us.  And changing the chorus of Rod Stewart’s favourite song to “Urine my heart, urine my soul”.

But truly, my funny Valentine, you’re my lover, you’re my best friend.

My wise aunt Joanna told me that you only know whether someone truly loves you (or not) after you have hit a rough patch together. The fair-weather sailors will jump ship at the first hint of difficult times – in fact, many would have secured their exits even before the actual bad weather hits and use this as an excuse to abandon ship. Storms are a blessing in disguise, really, because you shouldn’t be spending your life carrying someone who will not stick around when bad times come….don’t waste the one and only life you have on a fair-weather sailor.

But those who stay onboard, those who see the foulness but resist the temptation to jump ship (however great the temptation), is for keeps. They’re worth it, the stayers.

So turn around and look again at the person who annoys you regularly. Is it really such a big deal?  ❤

Photo on 4-15-18 at 19.13