Our columnist’s wife is away and he’s miserable... but love’s got nothing to do with it.
My wife has been out of town, and I have a confession to make. Or several, actually. For one, I haven’t had a decent cup of tea in a while. I watch her make the tea every morning. English breakfast dip, dip, dip. I secretly count the number of times she dip, dip, dips. And now, given a chance to dip, dip, dip on my own, I do exactly as she does.
The same amount of hot water in the tea mug, the same tea from the same bag, the same number of dip, dip, dips. She does it while watching the television in the kitchen. Not wishing to be distracted, I do it while watching the dip, dip, dip do its job. No dice. It doesn’t taste like anything known to man.
I had a visitor, and wishing to show off my tea-making skills, I made him a cup. He drank it elegantly and didn’t say anything. ‘Hope you liked my concoction,’ I ventured, with elaborate casualness.
‘Ah yes, lovely coffee,’ he said. True story. Willing to swear in court.
The other terrible thing I have done in my wife’s absence is launder money. Now, there’s something I never thought I’d indulge in. Money laundering. What is your technique, you ask? How did I stumble upon it? Why did my wife have to be away before I did anything? Well, it’s quite simple, really. In my continued effort to demonstrate that I am as well house-trained as the next man, I decided to do some washing.
Jeans, T-shirts, whites, colours all went into the washing machine in the approved fashion (or at least, I think it was). The usual rings and bells after the appropriate time lag informed me that the deed was done. My clothes were washed and dry.
Except that I had forgotten to remove money from the various pockets. The jeans came out clean, and the money was laundered. A friend of mine once did the same to his passport, so I feel slightly better than he did at the end of his wash cycle.
I know friends who come into their own when the wife is away. They cook, they clean, they rearrange the rooms, they take the car out for a walk and put out the cat (or vice versa), they invite friends over for a barbecue, they plan extensions to the house, they build extra rooms to keep the wife’s jewellery in. All so romantic. I give up tea, stop shaving, launder money, starve the cat and let the plants die. And possibly poison visitors when they ask for tea. Hell hath no ineptitude like a husband left alone.
I know FRIENDS who come into their own when the WIFE is away. I give up tea, STOP SHAVING, launder money, starve the cat and let the plants die. Hell hath no INEPTITUDE like a HUSBAND left alone