Have I ever told you what my husband did to me in the snow?
Well, let me do so now (and, before you get all excited, it wasn't at all sexual, although in the right hands the story could form the subplot of a darkly erotic film, but only because in the right hands anything could form the subplot of a darkly erotic film).
I was 17 years old and my husband (who was then my boyfriend, and shortly to become my ex-boyfriend, for reasons that should have been evident right then and there) was teaching me to ski. He'd been skiing since he was a toddler, and did things like moguls and black runs, which to me sounded more like drug-related paraphenalia than anything to do with sport.
I was nervous about skiing, having never done it before, and not exactly being known for my sporting prowess - or, indeed, my ability to stand upright particularly well.
My (not yet) husband got me fitted out with boots and skis and took me to the slopes. And then he put me on a chairlift and took me up to the very highest mountain. And Pushed. Me. Down.
Yes, that is the way he 'taught' me to ski. By pushing me down a giant mountain. Not surprisingly, I fell over virtually immediately, got concussed, and had to be carried down the mountain by Ski Patrol. It was bloody awful. I still can't believe he did that.
"He did not do that," said my friend James this morning.
"He did!" I told him.
"He did not," James repeated. I had just told him the story, he had never heard it before, and clearly, he did not believe me.
"How would you know?" I asked. "You weren't there."
He snorted. "You're telling me that on your FIRST DAY of skiing your husband took you on a BLACK RUN and PUSHED YOU DOWN?"
I thought for a minute. It did sound unlikely.
"I'm going to ring him up and ask him," he said.
"You do that," I told him, but suddenly I felt uncertain. I mean, I've been telling this story for 24 years. I haven't actually considered whether it is strictly true or not.
What really did happen that day? I definitely remember going up a big mountain, and I definitely remember falling down, and I definitely remember being carried down on a stretcher. But it may not have been my first hour of skiing. When you think about it, it's kind of unlikely that anyone could get to the top of a mountain without any practice whatsoever. What's more, it may not have even been a huge mountain. After all, it was my first time skiing. And everything seems huge when it's new and white and cold.
Futhermore, I don't know for sure that I got concussion. To be honest, I don't remember seeing a doctor after falling over, let alone going to a hospital. It is maybe kind of possible that I sort of made that bit up over the years because... well... it sounded good.
Most importantly, there is the fact that my husband is not a criminal. As unusual as he is, it does seem somewhat unlikely that he would take his new girlfriend to the top of a giant mountain and push her off. Especially considering that he did seem to be quite fond of her. I mean, fond of me.
So I don't know. If I really think about it, I have to admit that I can't actually remember anything about that episode except for the sound of myself talking about it for the past couple of decades. For all I know, I didn't even go skiing. Perhaps my (not yet) husband and I just went to the ski lodge and I drank schnapps and fell asleep in front of the fire with my head on his lap. Perhaps ski patrol picked me up because I was so drunk I couldn't walk.
Or perhaps the whole ski holiday was a dream. Perhaps it never happened at all. Perhaps we went to Surfers Paradise and hung out by the pool and he took me surfing on a giant wave and I fell down and had to be rescued by the lifesavers. That sounds just as plausible.
I don't know. I don't know!
But if there's one thing I do know, my friend James has totally ruined a bloody great story.