The Seven Year Itch

I’ve always liked the number ‘7’. Not as much as the number ‘2’ (which is my lucky number) but seven is up there in the world of single digits. When I was seven I thought I was invincible. I certainly didn’t know what a herniated disc was or the true meaning and responsibility of mortgages and bank debt (excluding Monopoly of course). When I was seven there was real freedom in New Zealand. We were on the verge of becoming nuclear free, DD Smash was the biggest rock band on the planet (just ask my mates), Lorraine Downs was Miss Universe and our cricket team could actually play cricket. But it wasn’t just the age of seven that inspired.

Throughout the ages the number seven has taken on a significance. There are of course the seven deadly sins. Let’s see if I can remember them:   Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy & Mince’n’Cheese Pies. Easy. But it doesn’t stop there. There are seven continents and for those interested in all things alpine there are the ‘Seven Summits’ which tempt aspiring mountaineers the world over. Seven figures is still considered a huge amount of money in most currencies except yen. There were seven kings of Rome, seven ancient wonders of the world, seven days in the week. I don’t need to tell you what number Richie McCaw wears on his back, do I (Or Michael Jones the Samoan Demi-God who always takes rest on the seventh day of the week)?

Marilyn Monroe starred in 'The Seven Year Itch'.

Marilyn Monroe starred in ‘The Seven Year Itch’.

This history of seven has leaked into popular culture. First in literature with The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Seven Years in Tibet and a youngster favourite The Secret Seven. I even used the number throughout my first work of fiction as a recurring theme. The number was never going to be kept away from our cinema screens and with a ‘Heigh-Ho’ whaddya know, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves kick-started the genre of animated family movies. After that there was the Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven and more recently the originally titled Se7en starring Morgan Freeman. It was however the Marilyn Monroe film entitled ‘The Seven Year Itch’ that once more brought this number into popular thought. And it wasn’t just because Marilyn decided to stand over a subway grate. The ‘seven year itch’ refers to a psychological term where happiness in a marriage can often decline around year seven. You don’t say.

Anyway I think congratulations are in order. Did I mention it’s my seventh wedding anniversary? And also can anyone recommend a topical medication? I have this rash that just won’t go away. Seriously though, I haven’t noticed any decline yet. Perhaps it’s just going to hit me out of the blue. One day, deterioration in my hypothalamus will cause me to jump ship as it were. But no, I’m a happy passenger and the wife and I are so confident the flame burns more brightly than ever we have settled for the cheapest wine and the most economical Indian ready meal from the local supermarket. There really is nothing more romantic than grinning sheepishly at your true love with purple stained teeth and samosas on your breath. Try it!!

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