THERE is a surprising dearth of opportunity to tell people you’re on your honeymoon, when you’re on your honeymoon.

You’d think it’d be easy, right?

There you are, all loved up after the wedding, sporting blindingly shiny new rings, hardly able to keep your paws off each other. AMPLE opportunity for someone – a waitress, an air hostess, a taxi driver – to ask “So what brings you to town?”

But it didn’t happen. Not once.

After the wedding day itself (which was truly wonderful and one of the happiest days of my life) it was the thing we were both looking forward to the most – gushing about being on our honeymoon and referring to each other as ‘my husband’ and ‘my wife’. We really couldn’t wait for that part.

We had it all planned out. First we’d smile winningly at the girl on the check-in desk at the airport, and gush that we were honeymooners so she’d automatically bump us up to first class, offer us champagne and gifts, and bring us into the cockpit (ooh Matron) to meet the pilot.

Didn’t happen.

Bloody Aer Lingus doesn’t HAVE check-in desks anymore. It’s self-service, so you check in yourself, pick your own seat and print out your own boarding card.

Yer Man was most disappointed, jabbing at the screen half-heartedly and turning to me with a mournful look. “I’m on my honeymoon,” he said sadly.

We cheered up though once on the flight as we figured that one of the smiling hostesses would bring us something inedible masquerading as food, zero in on the rings, realise we were on our honeymoon and bump us up to first class, offer us champagne and gifts and bring us into the cockpit (ooh er Matron) to meet the pilot.

Didn’t happen.

On European flights you don’t get any free food off them. So they pass by with the food for sale on a trolley at breakneck speed, only pausing if you purchase something. We weren’t THAT desperate.

The hotel, we consoled ourselves, the hotel will SURELY acknowledge our honeymoon.

They didn’t.

Oh they were very nice and all – big suite, friendly staff, lovely restaurant – but they simply smiled at us and welcomed us to Prague, gave us our key and sent us on our way. Not a word about being on honeymoon and no opportunity for us to mention it either.

It was starting to really upset us – what if NOBODY asked us why we were in Prague? What if we got NO free stuff? No complimentary drinks or token souvenirs or even a simple round of applause?

This wouldn’t do at all. At. All.

“Ok, here’s the plan,” sez I, grimly, sitting Yer Man down in the suite to go over things with him. “What we’ll do is this. We’ll go down to the restaurant and be seated and get our menus. Then you will go to the loo and stay there for ten minutes. Meanwhile, when the waiter comes back to get our drinks order because you’re taking so long in the toilet I will say ‘I’ll have a Coke and my husband will have an orange.’ Then you will come back from the loo and call over the waiter again and say ‘Sorry to bother you, but my wife ordered me an orange, but I actually wanted a Sprite. We’re only married a week and already she’s ordering for me! And getting it wrong! Bwahahah!’ We’ll sound like gobshites, but we’ll get to call each other husband and wife, it’ll work, trust me.”

It didn’t.

Of course it didn’t.

What happened was that we were seated, Yer Man went to the loo and the waiter, being a normal human being and good at his job, waited until Yer Man got back from the jacks before taking our drinks order.

“What will you have Madam,” he asked politely.

“A Coke,” I replied, through gritted teeth.

“And you Sir?”

“A Sprite,” Yer Man grunted, dropping his head into his hands.

The best laid plans, eh? No need for anybody to call anybody husband or wife, no telling anyone we were only a week married. Nothing. We ate in silence, disgusted with one another. We could have been brother and sister for crying out loud!

After that we gave it up as a bad job and just got on with the honeymoon and had a blast. We consoled ourselves by only referring to one another as ‘my husband’ or ‘my wife’ refusing to use our real names for the whole eight days. It helped, even if we were still a bit secretly disappointed.

Finally though, on the last day of the honeymoon, we caught a break.

As soon as the plane touched down in Dublin Airport, we went straight to the doctor’s office as I had become very unwell in Prague the day before and wanted to check that it wasn’t anything too serious.

After seeing the doctor, I was sent home to bed and Yer Man was sent to the chemist to fill my prescription.

“Here’s the prescription,” he sighed wearily, sagging against the counter, “I have to get two bottles of calamine lotion as well. My wife has the chicken pox.”