February 1, 2008

A Marriage Riddle

My husband and I were living in different cities while
we were courting. We spent a considerable amount of
time on the phone. During the week, we talked through
him preparing his coffee and sandwich for breakfast.
In the evening, we talked through him putting his
dinner together when he got back from work. On most
Saturday mornings, he would be busy cleaning his
apartment. In the afternoons, he did his laundry and
took his cloths to the dry cleaners, and most evening,
he would cook. He drove himself around - to church, to
do his grocery shopping, to the dry cleaners -
everywhere, really. It was this very active guy I got
engaged to, and eventually married. This background
information is necessary to understand this marriage
riddle.

Since we got married and I have moved in with my
husband, he has not operated the washing machine once.
He can barely tell the difference between the laundry
basket and the dry cleaning bag. And he has not been
able to find his way to the dry cleaners - not for a
drop -off, or a pick-up.

Today, my husband finds it challenging to put the
kettle to boil - even when he walks past the kitchen
to sit at the computer. Just the other day, he called
to say he was getting home early, and would like to
eat 'something good.' Maybe I have an over imaginative
mind, but that seemed to suggest to me that he had
been eating 'something bad.' This from a guy who comes
home faithfully to eat everyday. I thought that
sentence qualified him for a dinner plate of sand
laced with some pebbles and grass from the front lawn,
but I said nothing. He goes on to elaborate on the
particular soup he wanted - ponmo, kpanla and the
works, and then says how I don't have to make a lot.

In his last statement was the real revelation of the
conversation. You see, my husband wasn't asking me to
make soup because there was no food at home. Seeing
how his vision is excellent, I know he saw the
containers of two different soups I brought out of the
freezer the previous night. And that is really the
contention - don't cook enough so that you need to
freeze it. Just cook enough for one or two meals. This
from a guy who used to be glad to come home from work
and find left overs from three months ago to eat when
he was single! Okay, I exaggerate, but you get the
idea.

Since we got married, I have found out that whatever I
can do, my husband does not bother with. And because I
have done things myself forever, what I can do covers
pretty much everything. I get to go to the mechanic. I
get to drive. No, I don't mean like drive when I have
to pick him up from the airport. I mean like be the
designated driver when we both leave the house
together. Thankfully, I had enough sense never to mow
the lawn no matter how much I was tempted. I know what
you are thinking - now my husband will know that I can
mow the lawn. Yes. But he will also know that someone
is bound to ask me, ' so did he make you mow the lawn
thereafter?' Trust me, he will be mowing the lawn
himself.

Don't get me wrong, my husband does do some work
around the house ever so irregularly. And when he
does, it is with such fanfare that I find myself
thinking: 'I'm sure my husband just qualified for some
award. I wish I knew which one, and the appropriate
authorities to notify.'

I've tried to discuss this issue with my sisters and
some friends. I get this amazing answer all the time-
'that's how man are. They are babies.' I don't buy it.
I will tell you why. We do things for babies because
they have never learnt to do anything for themselves!
And once they learn, they are forever offering to
help! Mummy, can I help you with this? Aunty, can I
help you with that? Babies learn and become very
helpful until they become teenagers and dare I say,
husbands!

For the avoidance of doubt, I don't mind doing all
this work. I like the feeling of having gone from
feeling like a super star when I cooked every now and
then, to becoming a full-time chef. To no longer
taking turns in cleaning the house as I did when I
lived with my sister, to being a full -time
housekeeper and washerwoman. Infact, my sisters were
very proud of me, when the visited last month, they
were ready to nominate me for an award! They didn't
know which one, or who to notify.

So, here really is my riddle. Did I just take a very
active man and reduce him to an invalid by marrying
him and moving in with him? Am I short-changing him,
developing my skills in home and life management while
his becomes non-existent? Or does marriage really
return men to the baby stage in life, when they know
how to do nothing, and need to be waited upon hand and
foot? Is that fair on men? I wonder, I really do.

8 comments:

folabi said...

Hey,

Your hubby might just need a little bit of prodding from you. You may need to let him know what it is you'd like him to do for you.

Sometimes, we men can be pretty obtuse. Women however, do not help matters as they always leave clues and signs, but never directly speak up and point to what they want and just ask for it! I get the feeling you guys (hubby and you) haven't spoken about this matter at all. Why not bring it up, and if he still doesn't change, you'll know that you're stuck with an original Naija"bush"man. Just keep loving him eh.

However, feigning illness once in a while might just help bring your sweet, home-cleaning husband back (at least for a while!)

Cheers and God luck

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

1. I have learned that if you are not vocal about such things, it will continue.

2. don't be surprised that he is surprised by what you have noticed and don't be surprised if he turns the tables and tries to make it look like something is wrong with you for suggesting that he do more than he does

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Anonymous said...

I think it's just something men choose to do. They wont do anything if you can. When my husband and I were courting, he would always cook when i went to his houuse. And am sayin this man could seriosly throw down in the kitchen. I fancy him a better cook than myself. We've been married 6 months , he hasnt lifted a laddle

Simi Speaks said...

The more I read your blog, the more I realize EVERYONE goes thru the same things!

I have learnt that the more we do and take over the lazier our men become.

Instead of me running around frustrated, i involve my hubby in errands & chores. He picks up the dry cleaners, does the laundry, and makes the bed... yea, i know. took a lot of training in the few years we have been married!

Ms. emmotions said...

hmmmm, i seeeeee, so this is how it works ehen?

well am learning from ur blog so far, cos am getting ready to join u married guys,

thanx for sharing madamm ..lol

Serge said...

hahaha - hey, my wife sometime says the same things, and I can see what you girls mean... Puzzles me as well - why this happens? Probably an innate characteristic of getting used to the good things.

It set my mind to thinking... I am just feeling that some wise 'flattery' might work (at least on me), making me wanna do some things, enjoying the process and the result, but not direct analysis of what happens and why it happens so...

Just my 2 cents.

tobenna said...

I guess that will be my tale sometime soon:) I can't wait. Maybe its a small price for womenfolk to pay considering the fact that men are like putty in his wife's fingers.