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Posts Tagged ‘my so-called husband’s so-called ‘work trip’’

While my husband was away on his [Asian sex tour], I invited my friends MM and KC over for a barbeque. (In case you were wondering, my husband’s back now and complaining of fatigue and blisters on his feet. I mean, what the fuck?)

However, when they arrived bearing sausages and booze, I had to admit that I didn’t even know how to turn the damn barbeque on. It was a low point in my afternoon.

Now, I should say here that I’m sure I’d be a very competent barbeque-er if I’d ever been given the chance. The way my husband goes on about it, it’s like some kind of Secret Men’s Business – a complex, time-consuming task that can only be done by a man with a beer in his hand (“in case of sudden fires”) and no kids underfoot (“It’s a matter of Health and Safety, ma’am.”) and a group of onlooking males. I mean, let’s face it: a dozen sausages on a hotplate need constant and careful adult supervision. Obviously.

When I’ve challenged him on this, my husband admitted it’s all just an opportunity for the menfolk to talk about things that they really want to talk about but can’t when women are present. Apparently, those ‘things’ can be summarised as “cars, chicks and guns”. Oh, and complaining about how their wives are always complaining about how difficult it to be looking after the kids all the time – all while the wives *are* inside looking after the kids.

Honestly, it’s amazing I agree to host barbeques as often as we do.

Anyway, turns out that MM – the Heir Apparent to the Barbeque Chef role simply by virtue of his gender – didn’t want to touch my husband’s barbeque. Apparently it’s akin to drinking another man’s beer, sleeping with his wife or, worse still, wearing his underpants.

KC, however, had no such hesitation.

“Come on, we can do it!” she said, and we went out to look at the barbeque where we helpfully found instructions printed on it. Yes, instructions. We followed them carefully (“switch on the gas bottle, push in the knob and turn it”) and lo! we had ourselves a sizzlin’ hotplate in no time.

“And he makes it seem so complicated… Ha!” KC said fifteen minutes later, as she brought inside a tray of perfectly cooked sausages.

And indeed, those were the best sausages I’d ever eaten. They were the Sausages of Gender-Equality, despite their phallocentric appearance and all. Some might even push things too far here by saying those sausages represented the emasculation of generations of Male BBQ Oppressors, but not I. I am far too tasteful to go there.

Anyway, the day after my husband had returned from his [trip], he found an excuse to cook something on his precious barbeque. I took this opportunity to boast about how KC and I had managed to light the thing and how KC had cooked all the sausages and even cleaned the hotplate for him after she’d finished.

“She seemed to think it’d been a while since you’d cleaned it, which I thought was being rather generous. I mean, have you ever cleaned it?” I asked.

“No way! If you clean it then when friends bring ’round vegie burgers, they won’t taste like meat,” he said. I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not.

“Anyway,” he added. “She might have done it, but she didn’t do it properly. I found a serious breach of Health & Safety regulations. She forgot to turn the gas tap off.”

“It didn’t say that on the instructions!” I protested.

“What instructions? We menfolk don’t need instructions!” my husband exclaimed, reminding me of the time he’d tried to put an Ikea Vika Furuskog desk together without the instructions and ended up making a Bjärnum shoe rack. “Also, you only need to give it a quarter-turn and not virtually twist the whole cap off. It took me half an hour just to twist it all the way back on!”

Or rather, it took half a minute for him to twist it on and the rest of the time to stand about and drink some more beer. And ain’t that the truth.

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I love my husband. I truly do. All this time I thought he didn’t do much about the house but now that he’s gone away on his [blah blah sex tour… blah blah blah], I’ve realised he does do quite a lot.

For one thing, he generates a lot of laundry and dishes.

Also, he can DE-declutter a freshly-decluttered surface in seconds flat simply by emptying his pockets. It’s like magic but really really annoying.

He also is very good at staying up just a little later than me and waiting until I’ve just gone to sleep before coming to bed, taking care to knock a teetering pile of CD cases onto the floor and bang his knee on the bed-end to ensure I’ve been completely woken up.

But seriously, I have missed him and his contribution to the household – and not just the piles of glittering gold coins he leaves in his wake that save me from ever having to use an ATM and keep me in coffee and cake.

The fact is I’ve been doing *everything* in his absence. Every dish, every item of clothing, every tooth in each child’s head is only clean thanks to my hard efforts and mine alone. And I’ve helped my mood considerably by muttering “Do I have to do EVERYTHING around here??” as I’ve done it. God knows how single parents cope. They must be saints or on valium. Or both.

Anyway, in the spirit of doing EVERYTHING, I’ve done some other things.

Firstly, I’ve posted a poëm that I wrote especially for my other blog site Poëgatory while completely drunk (see my post “Poëgatory” for an account of how-the-hell this site came into being and “O Geisha Moon” for the poëm itself). Yes, it’s come to that. I mean, what is wrong with you people? Don’t you want to relive the agony and humiliation of adolescence by sending in your highschool poetry for me to publish on the internet? Honestly.

Secondly, I’ve had to post photos of my own domestic squalor in a Special Autumn Edition of the Gallery of Godlessness because the only person who has responded to my repeated calls for contributions (by “repeated” here I mean “two”) was the mysterious NotYourMother. And even then she sent me a photo of a mess that she herself had no part in creating. Sheesh.

Finally, I drew my own goddamn Box Ted cartoon and published it on my so-called husband’s so-called blog. I mean, I’ve been railing at him for months about updating the thing because abandoned blogs make me feel really sad and lonely (in the same way DVD menus make my husband feel sad and lonely). I’m sure I’ve crossed some boundaries there by publishing my own content on another person’s blog, but really: Whoopy Fucking Shit.

So there you go. I’ve done it all. ALL OF IT. Oh, except leave comments on this post. Surely I don’t need to do that too… or do I?

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As my husband set off on his [Asian sex tour with the local rugby club], I realised with no small amount of horror that he’d left me with just three bottles of low-alcohol/low-joule sparkling wine to last me for twelve days. After some quick calculations, I worked out that meant he’d left me with less than one standard drink per day. Yes, that was per day, not per hour.

I panicked.

Of course, I’d like to add here that I am both capable of surviving twelve days with my children without alcohol in my system and of buying my own wine from the local Liquor Superstore, but there’s a principle involved here. Somewhere.

This wasn’t the first alcohol crisis I’d had to weather this week. My Annual Night Out with the Dashing Solicitor last Sunday saw us accidentally order a bottle of Sparkling Red, something the DS had obviously never encountered in the top London restaurants he usually frequents, as evident by his polite exclamation of “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?”.

“Oh, it’s sparkling red. Sometimes it’s quite drinkable,” I said, all the while thinking that the words “sparkling” and “red” should generally only be put together when describing the shoes Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz”.

We both took a sip.

“It’s like sparkling Ribena!” The DS all but spat his mouthful out, utterly appalled.

“With medicinal highlights!” I added, swallowing mine with some difficulty.

Before we’d even finished our first glass, the DS was already getting ready to leave, the rest of the bottle left untouched in its bucket.

Now, I’ve never left a bottle of alcohol undrunk like that. Although there was that one time at a party when my Mother’s Group made the spontaneous decision to all tip the “sweet shit” we were drinking into the garden and move onto something a bit more “Brut” or even “Brut de Brut”, which I’ve secretly always thought sounded a bit like Randy Macho Man Savage’s French nemesis.

Anyway, despite my misgivings, the DS insisted we leave that bottle behind and relocate ourselves to an establishment which would never dream of serving such a swill and would instead served us a chilled bottle of 2003 Louis Roederer Vintage Champagne with a suitably deferential smile. Which is exactly what we did and what we drank. And for someone who had thought ‘Roederer’ was Roger Federer’s J-Lo name up that point, I enjoyed it immensely.

Of course, now that my husband has gone, I’m wondering if I should have taken the DS to the local Liquor Superstore instead and asked him to buy me two dozen of the usual cheap crap I drink for the same price. You know, just sayin’.

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Sleeping, shitting and writing.

As a full-time carer for small children, these are three activities that I often get the urge to do but not always at a time when it’s possible (or, moreover, appropriate) to do them.

And when I am given time to do them, that urge might not come.

For example. the other day my husband took the kids out for the morning so I could get some writing done in advance of his twelve-day Asian sex tour with the local rugby club. [In explanation: my husband is going away for work for twelve days. Since he wanted me to keep the details of his trip out of my blog, I told him this was going to leave people with no option than to assume he was going on a twelve-day Asian sex tour with the local rugby club. So why not just call it that and be done with it, I reasoned. They’re going to think it anyway.]

ANYWAY, there I was with the whole morning to write. But could I write anything decent? No, sir. I could not. I spent a couple of hours writing an account of our recent trip to the zoo to see the baby elephant and how we had to wait for an hour and a half in the queue because someone had a heart attack. Let’s face it, it’s very hard to bring a lot of humour to a situation where someone has a heart attack but for some reason I thought I could do it. Turns out, I couldn’t.

I tried another angle which involved me imagining myself buying an elephant hand puppet and hiding in the bushes with it to try and trick my children into thinking they had seen the baby elephant without us having to queue for hours. But then I made the mistake of imagining my daughter asking “Mummy, why have you got your hand up that elephant’s bottom?” and that’s where the post went all wrong, because there’s not much humour in someone fisting an elephant in the bushes. No, really, there isn’t.

I then ended up sitting there, typing the word FUCK and then deleting it. And then typing it again. And then deleting it. This ended up being a very effective use of my time because before I knew it, all my time was used up and my husband and children were home.

“Are you okay?” my husband asked, when he saw my face.

“Uh… well, you know how the words have always come to me?” I asked. My husband nodded. “Well, they’re not coming today. I can’t write a thing. Maybe… maybe… the well has dried up!”

And I burst into tears.

“Maybe you should write about my upcoming [Asian sex tour with the local rugby club] and then take a break while I’m away,” my husband suggested, gently. “People only read your blog because of me, anyway.”

“You’re only funny because I write you funny!” I shouted. “And now I don’t appear to be able to write ‘funny’ any more, I’ll have to live with you the way you actually are and not the way I write you! Except… except… you won’t even be here! You’ll be on your [Asian sex tour with the local rugby club]!!”

And I cried even more.

Yep, it’s going to be a fun twelve days. For my husband, anyway.

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