I DON’T like to talk in generalisations or put people in little boxes, but in my experience women often want you to do things they don’t.
Take my wife, for example.
She’s always saying things like: ‘Taste this, I think it’s off.’ Before I’ve even had time to protest she’s shoved the offending food scrap into my mouth.
I make that face and then ask: ‘What it is it?’
‘Yogurt?’ she says.
‘Hard to tell,’ I say.
‘I think it’s yogurt, anyway.’
But it doesn’t stop with food. I’m also the person who makes ‘the call’. That’s the telephone call to someone to tell them you’re not happy with something or to ask something that is self-evident and will cause you enormous embarrassment.
These requests to make ‘the call’ always end with me saying: ‘I’m not going to make the call.’
But I always make the call. One shining example was when we booked family accommodation for a trip up north. My wife had looked on the hotel website. It was a grand room, reasonably priced and with all the amenities. Well, almost all the amenities.
‘On the website there’s no photos or mention of the toilet,’ my wife said.
‘They wouldn’t put that in. They wouldn’t bother. Toilets are a given,’ I replied.
‘But what if there isn’t a toilet?’ she asked.
‘Of course there’s a toilet. It’s a hotel,’ I assured her.
But she wasn’t assured. I was getting myself ready to say no, but a short time later was on the phone saying to the owner of the business: ‘We’re keen to a book a room in the family suite of your hotel, but just needed to know…is there a toilet?’
I wasn’t speaking face to face to the man, but I felt my face flush. For, I knew that if we did book this room I’d probably meet him and I’d be That bloke from Victoria who asked if we had a toilet.
I hoped desperately and by some miracle that they didn’t have a toilet. So then the question wouldn’t seem as ridiculous as it sounded. People who deal with masses of punters on a daily basis often talk about ‘the public’ in a disparaging way. To him I was clearly one of those simple folk he was forced to suffer because he had set up a business and wanted to make money.
‘How many hotels do you stay in mate? Of course, we’ve got a toilet,’ he said.
Of course they had a toilet, of course that foodstuff was off and it wasn’t yogurt. What am I to do? I don’t see myself as one of ‘the public’. But I am a mere man. And so it comes to pass that I taste the mouldy food and make the calls. Forever more, till death do us part.