Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter

While doing a show in Paris the other week, I was asked if I wanted to go to the Moulin Rouge. I was curious, so I said yes. I went on my own and, as I walked in, most people were in couples, many of them Japanese. I sat on a small table right in front of the stage and watched beautiful women with not much on dancing with ponies, snakes and a talking dog.

It was an amazing spectacle that I enjoyed by myself, but not as much as the two Japanese couples to my right, who whooped and screamed at every costume change.

I overheard their conversation on the way out. “My husband bought the ticket for our 40th wedding anniversary,” one of the wives said.

“What a great present – an exciting husband!” said the other.

“Yes, it’s important to do erotic things like this,” the first wife said. “It keeps the marriage alive, and stops us having to look at each other for a couple of hours.”

I tried to imagine my parents watching that show, but just couldn’t see it – my mum would want to leave her seat every five minutes to go and pray, while my dad would be taking pictures.

I don’t know what keeps a marriage alive, and I didn’t consider the show erotic, but there were just as many women in there as men, and they were the ones cheering the most.

After 40 years of marriage, maybe you both need a night out looking at some long legs and a talking parrot. It’ll give you something to talk about while fixing the sink.