A casual review of the items contained on the shopping list of late thirty-something couple Dan Lewis and Jane Moran revealed their seven-year relationship had finally shed any last vestiges of its original passion and had, according to Lewis, become less about being lovers and more about being flatmates, ‘but without the underlying sexual tension’.
‘I just happened to be looking over the list of mundane domestic items when it suddenly struck me how much it had changed since we first got together, and it left me wondering, had the romance and mystery gone out of our relationship?’ explained the 38-year-old carpenter, ‘I think I got my answer when Jane appeared to tell me I needed to add Canestan Duo to the list. Especially as I was in the middle of having a dump at the time.’
Lewis reflected that when the pair had first co-habited, trips to the supermarket had been all about buying champagne and treats, luxurious breakfast goods to be enjoyed in bed on lazy weekend mornings, and requests for premium ice-cream with emoticons of flirtatious winks hinting at its erotic possibilities. However this soon faded as honeyed yoghurt and fresh croissants were replaced with Special K and long-life sliced white, and the relationship definitively entered a new phase on the day Lewis added a requirement for powder to treat a fungal infection to the household shopping rather than picking up the medication privately himself. ‘That opened the floodgates,’ he acknowledged, ‘and before I knew it, we weren’t so much writing a shopping list, as compiling a schedule of potential programme sponsors for the Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses’.
The couple grew accustomed to their routine lives, although in time cracks started to appear in the relationship as small comments would be added next to the items on their list. Moran pointedly added ‘extra strong’ to a reminder for her boyfriend to get mouthwash, while Lewis queried whether Jane ‘really needed more ice-cream?’. The hostility had finally reached a head when Moran added bleach to the list with a suggestion that Lewis learn to use it in the toilet, which prompted him to add a further note encouraging Moran to ‘learn how to use it on her ‘tache’. For some months after that the couple found it best to use automated lists and shop online.
Now, however, despite the lack of spark and incessant bickering that has come to symbolise their relationship, Lewis is hopeful their relationship could soon be back on track. ‘I found a new list Jane had left lying around reminding her to pop into La Senza for some new undies, and to get a new Gillette Venus and some condoms from Boots. So maybe after she comes back from this weekend work conference, she’s planning to put in a bit more effort,’ he said, ‘although it must be so long since we had sex she’s actually forgotten I had that vasectomy, the dozy bint.’
24th August 2009