Most people envied the beautiful couple. They always got all the attention wherever they went.
But me and my husband are very different.
That's us at the back, blending into the background, the ordinary looking laid-back couple.
As a foursome, we were great friends and we used to travel together and go on road trips a lot but that was before the kids came along.
For most people, me and my husband, are perceived to be a boring couple with an equally lacklustre sex life.
But you know what, they are wrong! In fact the greatest blessing about being ordinary and common is that you don't have great expectations and you don't have to prove anything to anybody - we are just fine being mediocre.
Life can feel so much better, when we believe and accept that we are just common & simple folks.
But before I bore you with my talk let me tell you the story of my beautiful friend and her hot husband.
They are fun people to be around with, full of jokes and laughter. And they both are always into adventure and fun-seeking. Being with them in the same room is like being at a get-together with a dozen friends.
I mean that's how their vibe is like. Trust me, on any given day, when I feel down and low I would always call them up and we would end up meeting somewhere and you'd see us drinking and laughing.
I really love them and it's really sad that they have been married for years and are still childless.
I have come to understand that for some couples it may be difficult to conceive. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with your sex life or how hot you look, on the contrary, there are several underlying reasons associated with this painful experience.
They often visit our place to see our kids and would almost always bring some kind of toy gift and play around with them like big kids. Our own kids, 2 boys, aged 5 & 3, adore my friend and her husband.
My heart really goes out to them - makes me tear up sometimes because even though they portray this infectious fun & positivity image, I can see right through them. I can sense the pain in their hearts through their smiles - I can never imagine how they must really be feeling - it's heartbreaking.
Me and my husband often prayed for them to conceive. And we both promised never to ask them about it until they were ready to.
But sometimes I still wonder if we did the right thing? I mean they might have wanted our help but were too conscious, embarrassed and felt too vulnerable to ask?
Years went by and it was my eldest son's 10th birthday party and we had a big bash at my parent's place. We had planned everything to the t and everything was going great.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the birthday barbecue had started already. The kids were having loads of fun in the expansive landscaped yard with a pool.
The grownups were drinking and chatting at the patio. My husband's family came over too and I was waiting for my friends to arrive. They were usually the first ones to come so I presumed something must have come up.
Finally I could wait no more and called her up and she said she was coming over and I didn't want to ask her why she didn't mention about her husband.
She finally drove in and I got up quickly and walked over.
As she got out I noticed how tense she was and that she was alone. We hugged and she held on for a fraction longer. I asked where her husband was and she said we will talk later.
She grabbed the biggest wrapped gift out of her car and we both laughed a little as we trudged it up to the house.
My son was ecstatic to see her and the large gift he got, he had been swimming in the pool but she hugged him tight anyway. My son asked her about her husband and showed his disappointment when she told him that he was very busy with something very important.
I walked over to her and grabbed her arm and told her to come with me. I said we need to talk, she nodded and said she wanted to talk to me alone and I understood.
We were amidst a feeding frenzy so I excused myself and signaled my husband to cover up for me - he is a dear.
We were seated in my parent's lush bedroom's balcony, overlooking the flower garden. She finally took off her shades and was crying already. I just held her hand and let her cry it over.
I offered her a drink but she just shook her head and then I offered her a cigarette but she declined.
She laid her head down on my lap and as usual I kept running my fingers through her forever luxuriant hair. Her face was still hauntingly beautiful but a little bit drawn and she had a frail look about her.
She said that her husband couldn't be here because he had been drinking all day and that he is stoned most of the time. She confessed that he has been this way on and off for the past few years.
Well, I haven't a clue - but I kept my mouth silent.
She was finding it hard to talk through the tears but she carried on anyway.
They have given up on getting pregnant and they have been thinking of getting separated. She said she was willing to go for adoption but her husband denies it. He blames the whole thing on himself.
They have been to dozens of hospitals and doctors. And it all boils down to male infertility.
She explained that the doctors said fertility of a male depends on the quality of sperm and if the quantity of sperm of a man is low, it will be difficult else impossible in some cases to get pregnant.
It's been tormenting him and he even went for counseling but he quit that too.
She said she had tried her best to make things work between them and that she still loved him. And God knows he had tried too but it's so hard on him.
Him being this way was breaking them apart. She said it's like they are two different people now - strangers really.
"His hatred for his inability is bigger than both of us" she concluded.
She kept on apologizing for ruining my son's birthday. I reminded her that we were like family too. She sat up, crossed her legs and asked about that drink offer.
We laughed a bit and I went to the cabinet and poured her one when she yelled over, to bring her the whole bottle.
We sat there chatting, passing the bottle, watching the sun going down, reminiscing our good old days.
"Sigh, Such is life!" she said "I never ever thought I'd leave him".
I added in "It's full of good days, happy days, sad and bad days - but you know, we gotta live it coz no matter what - the sun's gonna shine tomorrow" we both were getting a tad bit too tipsy.
So we both sobered up a bit and headed towards the party - it was still in full swing. The grown-ups had changed into bathing suits and were going wild.
They were all calling out to us to get changed and go for a dip and when we refused - I have no idea where it came from but -splassssssh- we were drenched in water.
I was so mad when my laughing husband grabbed me and went headlong, with me in tow into the heated pool. When I bobbed up I saw my shrieking friend come hurtling right at me. She swam up cursing and we all laughed.
Afterwards we all sang happy birthday to my wonderful son as he cut the cake. It was a very touching moment for me and my husband, a milestone of love, struggle, hardships, sacrifices and achievements.
As my husband hugged, I grabbed our dear friend and held onto each other for a while, only to find our boys come up and join us for a group hug.
Life goes on and it's been years since.
They both finally parted ways and today she is happily married again to a wonderful man, they have been blessed with a baby girl and we are her godparents.
Her ex-husband travels around the world now and seems content with his zest for new adventures and thrills and we still remain friends.
As for us, me and my husband are still the laid-back and comfortable-together looking old couple that still enjoys each other's company in and out of bed.
And now that our kids are all grown up and living their own lives - we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want to in life.
In our own slow pace. We love it that way.
Wishing you all a happy new 2022 and the very best in life.