“How can you say that?”
I had offered an offhand opinion to the office on the impending nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, stating boldly: “I don’t think it’ll last.”
It was the sort of tasteless speculation that bounces off newsroom and loungeroom walls all the time, yet the communal vitriol took me aback.
It was as though I’d attacked the very institution of marriage (I did).
Am I unromantic? I don’t think so. Hell, Rocky is my favourite film. I enjoyed Serendipity as much as the next man.
Am I anti-Royal? Well, a little – in so much as I believe no one is better than me on account of their name (they’ll most likely be better than me in other ways).
Ordinarily I’d never dream of warning people about to take the plunge there’s a fair chance they might not go the distance.
But, to be honest, I’m sick of hearing about it – to me the whole thing just seems an awful lot of fuss.
Interest in the Royal Wedding is so intense that four Australian TV networks are showing it live.
As a general rule I keep myself insulated from the vulgarities of commercial television, but the few promotional snippets that have filtered through have been nauseating.
News websites are compiling guides about how to watch the wedding.
But was what I said that hard to swallow?
Keeping a marriage together is hard, let alone a marriage under the relentless glare the couple will face from the rabid British press.
Some sad hacks may even write puff pieces about how it’s doomed to fail.
In the UK, 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce and of those half occur within the first 10 years.
In 2016 there were 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples in the UK, an increase of 5.8 per cent compared to 2015.
Forty-two per cent though – odds not much better than the toss of a coin.
So statistically my comment was well within the bounds of possibility.
But when it comes to love, every one adopts the Han Solo approach: never tell me the odds.
In the first flush of infatuation, statistics be damned.
What I had done was shatter the fairytale, one bred and read into children the world over.
Everyone wants to believe in a perfect life – the perfect romance, the perfect house, the perfect kids.
Everyone, yes even this hard-hearted old bastard, wants to be swept off their feet (Rachel Weisz, please, phone the switchboard).
Still, Harry and Meghan seem like a nice enough pair.
So good luck to them both as they start down that (hopefully) long and winding road.
They’ll need it.
But while you all suspend your disbelief for a few hours, I’ll be watching Sydney play Freo at the SCG.
We all know there will be no fairytales there.