Sunday, 13 October 2013
A Male Tale
Yesterday I spent three hours alternating between washing machine, tumble drier and ironing board. After my ‘wake up’ call earlier this year, I no longer obsess about having a home like a show house, or garments hanging on the clothes horse for longer than 24 hours, or an immaculate garden whilst juggling the day job and writing long into the night. Something had to give. So these days the house is tidy, but cleaned when I get a moment rather than twice a week. I’ve also taken on the services of a gardener. And by Saturday, the lid on the laundry bin sits on a mountain of unwashed clothes rather than the bin itself, so laundry is now tackled in one fell swoop. Help is still rather scant on the ground. My son, home from uni for a rare weekend visit, disappeared into his room insisting he had to revise for his finals. My daughter barricaded herself into her bedroom to deal with coursework. And Mr V did what he always does when the weather is fair and fine. He disappeared off to a golf course.
I was quite happy to get on with the task without interruption. Except I wasn’t left in peace for very long.
‘We’re hungry,’ came the call down the stairs.
Grilled haloumi, toast and several teas later, I returned to the ironing board. The next interruption was for an emergency trip to the barber by my son. I’d barely resumed ironing when my husband rang on his mobile from his car.
‘I’m five minutes away and absolutely knackered. Get a bath on.’
‘You seriously want me to put on a bath? Whereabouts? On my head, like a hat? Or perhaps around my shoulders?’
I carried on ironing. But not for long. Brrrring-brrring. This time it was my son.
‘I’m done, but I’m covered in hair. Can you draw me a bath?’
‘Draw a bath? Yes, certainly. With a pencil or a biro?’
Needless to say neither husband nor son had steaming bubble baths awaiting them. Both wore hurt expressions at their bidding not having been carried out which, for a moment, I felt guilty about. But only for a moment you understand.
In my next life I’m going to be a man. I think it has to be a hell of a lot easier than being a woman. A man can walk into a bar on his own without eyebrows being raised. A man is a lot safer than a woman walking the streets after dark. A man can have as many partners as he likes without being called a tart. And a man can collapse in front of the telly, while the only thing the wife can collapse is the ironing board.
Oh I know there are a few men out there who mow the lawn, wield a power drill and aren’t afraid to don a pinny or plug in a vacuum cleaner, but sadly I haven’t personally come across one. Which reminds me. A woman went shopping. At the check-out, she opened her purse to pay. The cashier noticed a TV remote control in her purse. Curious, he asked, ‘Do you always carry the remote with you?’ ‘No,’ the woman replied, ‘not usually. But my husband refused to come shopping with me today.’ The cashier laughed and scanned the woman’s purchases. She handed over a credit card. ‘Oh dear,’ said the cashier a few moments later, ‘it appears your husband has blocked your credit card.’ And the moral of that little tale is: respect the hobbies of your husband...