Friday, 12 June 2015

Matrimonial duties may include more than you thought

Somewhere or other, though I can’t remember in which film, Woody Allen says that one of the worst things a woman can say to a man is “taste this, I think it’s off.”

Of course, that isn’t the very worst thing a woman can say to a man. That is traditionally regarded as being the question, “is it in yet?” It could have come from a Woody Allen film, but it’s far older. It has no doubt been around since mankind – and womankind in particular – learned to express an opinion.

Curiously, it was only last night that I discovered another of the more delightful things a man can be told by a woman.

“Eww… it’s disgusting… look at this horrible insect that’s landed on my hand,” said my wife, as she stuck said hand under my nose.

“Err… yes… not the most appealing of creatures. Perhaps you should throw it out of the window.”

“Eww… can you take it?” Then, without waiting for an answer (perhaps because no answer I could be expected to make was likely to be satisfactory), “there… thanks.”

So now the disgusting insect was on my hand.

Of course, all that required was for me to get out of bed, walk over to the window, and shake my hand vigorously outside. Twice, because disgusting insects seem to be particularly tenacious: they slacken their grip with reluctance.

Did the Lord explain about insect-related duties?
I’ve frequently said that there are two crucial jobs we’re called on to do with barely any training: management and parenting. I’ve now decided to add a third: marriage. Down the generations, there’s been much talk about matrimonial duties. It tends to focus on exactly what a woman should or needn't do to keep her husband satisfied, or at least civil, and the debate is far from over. However, I've never heard it argued that such duties ought to include taking on your hand the disgusting insect currently lodged in your wife’s. 

Well, I can assure you that after thirty years, I’ve learned through direct and involuntary experience, that they certainly do. No doubt, for all Woody Allen's misgivings, they also cover tasting things that might be off.

Something the young might do well to prepare for as they plan their lifelong rosy romance.

No comments: