Does your other half have Rush­ing Man’s Syn­drome?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFESTYLE - By ROSA SIL­VER­MAN

It will come as lit­tle shock to most women to learn we rush around too much. But if you were hold­ing out for of­fi­cial proof, it is here: a sur­vey of moth­ers pub­lished this week con­firms that the pres­sures of jug­gling par­ent­ing and a ca­reer leave us strapped for time to do, well, pretty much all other things. (The re­search, by Sanc­tu­ary Spa, cites ev­ery­thing from iron­ing bed linen to blow dry­ing hair.) Mean­while, a new book, Rush­ing Woman’s Syn­drome by Dr Libby Weaver, blames the epony­mous malaise for mak­ing the menopause worse.

All of which poses a nig­gling ques­tion: for ev­ery rush­ing woman, does there lurk in the back­ground a won­der­fully chilled out man? Put it this way, the last time I checked, Rush­ing Man’s Syn­drome had yet to be­come a book. But for any in­ter­ested pub­lish­ers read­ing this, here’s what it would look like:

Rush­ing Man loves to eat food but sadly lacks the time to plan meals, buy the in­gre­di­ents or cook them. He will, how­ever, oc­ca­sion­ally as­sist on the gas­tro­nomic front by point­ing out that a car­rot you’d left in the fridge is past its best (sub­text: why hasn’t Rush­ing Woman got round to in­clud­ing it in a bolog­nese or throw­ing it out yet?). He is also good at iden­ti­fy­ing a do­mes­tic short­age of cheese/break­fast ce­real/beer, and rais­ing the alarm ac­cord­ingly.

1

He’s too busy to even look down and see the steadily grow­ing pile of his dirty laun­dry on the floor be­side the bed. He’s rush­ing so much he doesn’t no­tice that the sit­ting room looks like some­one has waged a bloody bat­tle on the shop floor of Toys R Us. Luck­ily for him, if not for you, he is per­fectly con­tent to ex­ist in a neo-Pa­le­olithic state, and sees any ef­forts to pret­tify or do­mes­ti­cize as a ter­ri­ble waste of Rush­ing Woman’s time. (“There’s no need to dust,” he will tell you. “Dust is good for the kids. It helps build their char­ac­ter.”)

2 3 No time to cook: No time to clean or tidy: No time to re­mem­ber things:

Rush­ing Woman has planned the sum­mer hol­i­day. She has booked it, packed the bags, packed the kids’ bags and ar­ranged for the teenager down the road to feed the chin­chilla. As you are rush­ing to the air­port, Rush­ing Man will ask: “Did you re­mem­ber to pack the flip­pers?” He is jus­ti­fi­ably dis­ap­pointed to learn that you did not. The fact that this item was for­got­ten in­deed now threat­ens to ruin the whole hol­i­day. But of course he doesn’t have time to re­mem­ber such things him­self and you both know that life will only run smoothly if Rush­ing Woman re­mem­bers ev­ery­thing.

4

“Why are you still wear­ing that?” Rush­ing Woman might in­quire. “That shirt is faded, full of holes and un­rav­el­ling as we speak. I threw it in the bin last year.” “This,” says Rush­ing Man, “is my best shirt. I wore it to my brother’s wed­ding, grand­fa­ther’s fu­neral, first job in­ter­view and all through school. If I ever have time, I’ll sew up that lit­tle hole. But I don’t know when you ex­pect me to find time to buy a new one.”

5

“What are we do­ing this week­end?” he will won­der aloud each Fri­day night. Rush­ing Woman will reel off all the lovely ways they will be rush­ing around to­gether this week­end, and he’ll nod and say, “Oh yes. But don’t for­get it’s the FA Cup fi­nal so I won’t ac­tu­ally be able to do any of those things.”

6 No time for ex­tracur­ric­u­lar chores:

Rush­ing Man knows you have a bad deal with your en­ergy com­pany. He talks about it at great length and prom­ises to do some­thing about it be­cause Rush­ing Woman is frankly too bored by the sub­ject to en­gage, and would rather pay more money than have to think about tar­iffs or spend time on the phone to a call cen­tre in Jaipur. Rush­ing Man would sort it out him­self, he re­ally would, but other, more ur­gent chores have a habit of get­ting in the way. These chores are as fol­lows: re-watch­ing the goals from the United game; re-read­ing the match re­port; dig­ging out a book he for­got he had and spend­ing sev­eral hours por­ing over it; re­mov­ing the rot­ting car­rot from the fridge, shak­ing his head sadly, and mak­ing a great show of lay­ing it to rest in the com­post bin.

7 No time to buy him­self any new clothes: No time to make any week­end plans. Too many de­mands on his time:

Have you ever said any of the fol­low­ing: “I have a diary clash: the two matches are on at the same time and I don’t know which one to watch;” “I have no clean shirts. Can you tell from stand­ing there that this one’s a day old?” “All my good suits are at the dry cleaner’s. Can you tell that this one isn’t re­ally a suit at all?” “Do you think it mat­ters if I ar­rive three hours late?” “I’ ll def­i­nitely do it to­mor­row. No re­ally, I will.”? If so, don’t worry, there’s a name for your syn­drome: you are Rush­ing Man.

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