...because whilst travelling solo around the world, a fictional husband will come in handy. Particularly when I first arrive in a new town and I'm sussing out where the backpacker hangouts are.
I came to this decision after yet another Random Proposition in the Street on my travels - this time in Kuala Lumpur.
Random Propositions in the Street normally go something like this...
The voice cuts through all other noises of people and traffic and music:
‘Hello lady, where are you from?’
I glance over and sure enough, there’s a man looking at me.
Sometimes he’s another traveller (the latest Random was from Belgium).
Sometimes he’s a local guy.
So I reply.
‘I’m from England.’
And there ensues a really nice conversation.
The trouble is that 95% of Random Propositions in the Street don't go like this.
95% of the time, the second question is:
‘Where is your husband?’
For the last 4 ½ months I’ve told the truth...
‘I don’t have a husband.’
At which point, normally the conversation goes in a direction I don’t want it to go. You can fill in the gaps yourself.
‘What? You don’t drink???!!!’
These 95% are also normally flabbergasted that I don’t drink alcohol, so there ensues another conversational tussle where the Random tries to persuade me to have a drink and I say multiple times that I don’t drink. He calls over a waiter and asks me again what I want to drink and I say ‘really, I don’t drink and also I’m not stopping, byeeeeee.’
Just occasionally, as I say, a Random Proposition in the Street has turned into an evening of fun conversation. But mostly, that doesn’t happen. So, there it is, the case for a fictional husband.
How to invent a husband
In theory, inventing a husband should be easy for me. I love creative writing and that includes inventing characters.
But when it comes to inventing a husband for me, I have no idea where to start.
So I write on Twitter that I’m thinking of inventing a husband and a friend replies.
‘He looked like He-man and he had no body hair,’ she says.
This gets me thinking. My fictional husband should definitely have some alpha male characteristics for the purposes of dealing with Mr Random in the Street.
Ok, let’s start at the beginning...
Name? Adam - simple enough for me to remember.
Height – well clearly he’s taller than the average Random in the Street – so let’s say 6 foot 2.
What does he do? Well, he needs to be both intelligent and physically stronger than Mr Random in the Street. A photographer and a martial arts expert – yes, I think that works.
And, Mr Random in the Street, guess what?
My husband is just about to fly out and join me – after competing in the finals of a national karate contest.
Nearly wrote karaoke contest there – oh well, if I slip up, it won’t matter. Karaoke is big in this part of the world.
There are some situations in life where a few white lies are better than telling the truth. This is one of them!
You need your wits about you whilst travelling solo as a woman and in the case of Random Propositions in the Street, I now have a fictional husband called Adam in case I need him :-)