Monday, 2 May 2016
Everybody needs a wife
I remember learning that some years ago there was a anthropology textbook (or maybe a sociology one) that opened with a line something like, 'everyone, in every nation and every culture around the world has a wife'. This caused (valid) outrage in feminist circles for its implication that only men were considered real people. Women, presumably, did nothing of note other than become wives.
But, times have changed and now it's not only men who can have wives, women can too. I think that's just great on a number of levels but mostly because I think that everyone, in every nation and every culture around the world NEEDS a wife. Wives are fab. Heaps better than husbands. Even if you have a husband, you should get yourself a wife, too.
Let me explain.
I, like most wives, manage our house. I know when the direct debits go out, when a shop needs to be done, when birthdays are and where the batteries are kept. I organise the childcare, plan meals, book doctors appointments and generally manage the family diary. I'm the team leader, if you like. Buda, like most husbands, is best described as 'support staff'. He manages the bins and the laundry. Essential work, but not necessarily highly skilled.
My friends assure me that their menfolk are equally detached from the realities of being a grown up. Different breed, we scoff. It brings us a sense of solidarity and some cold comfort. We like to compare stories of just how useless these men are, how much they hinder us in the business of life. I think that I win these conversations hands down. Buda brings a whole new world of frustration to the party. What follows are all snippets of true, real life conversations between us. If your man can better these I would LOVE to hear how...
Buda: OK, so at this junction you have a choice, you can go up, down, left or right.
Me: Where have you been?
Buda: I went to mum's to give her some money to buy your birthday present with. Oh, but don't tell her I told you. It's a surprise.
Me: I think that the surprise was probably meant to be for me.
On booking a plane ticket (7 years into our relationship, 4 years after we married)
Me: Did you book the tickets OK?
Buda: I tried to but I couldn't because I didn't have all of the details.
Me: What else do you need?
Buda: I just need to know your full name.
On buying clothes for his sisters
Buda: When you're out could you buy an outfit each for my sisters?
Me: Yes, but I need to know what sizes they are.
***Sometime later, after a phone call home...***
Buda: OK, so Bhima is a bit bigger, Pramila is a bit smaller.
Me: Than what? Than me?
Buda: No, than each other.
Me: Helpful, thanks.
On my weight
Buda; When we go to visit my parents in Nepal you know everyone is going to say you got fat, right? Don't take it personally, it's just because you have.
Buda: How do you put weight on so easily? I try really hard and I can't even get my legs to go as big as your arms.
Me: Thanks, Buda.
On learning his language
Me: How do you say 'gate' in Nepalese?
Me: That's still in English.
Buda: Oh, well, what I mean is that they don't have gates in Nepal.
(For the record, people, I've lived there. There are plenty of gates in Nepal).
On baby business
Me: Beth's picking me up to go to Trixi's baby shower.
Buda: Beth's going, too? How many of you need to wash this baby?
On Nepalese traditions
Me: When our baby is born are we going to have a rice feeding ceremony?
Buda: What's that?
Me: What do you mean, what's that? We've been to loads of them. The ceremony all Nepalese babies have to have before they can be weaned onto solid food. The one between 5 and 6 months when the priest comes to bless them and all of the family and friends come to feed a bit of rice and curry to the child and offer a gift and blessing.
Buda: I've never heard of it.
***Some months later after a phone call home***
Me: What's the news?
Buda: It was Pramila's son's rice feeding ceremony the other day.
Me: Really? What's that?
Buda: It's a ceremony all Nepalese babies have to have before they can be weaned onto solid food. The one between 5 and 6 months when the priest comes to bless them and all of the family and friends come to feed a bit of rice and curry to the child and offer a gift and blessing. We've been to loads of them.
Me: You don't say.
See, wives just wouldn't bring you this crap. Keep your husband for all of the things you love about him already and bring a wife on board to do the hard stuff.
Till next time,
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