Tuesday, 6 November 2007


The other day there was a program about fairies on tv, and much to my surprise my husband turned it off with great alacrity. Really, I was surprised, because considering that he must surely think fairies participate in his life, I would have thought that he’d like to have learnt more about their fairy ways.

After all, it must be fairies that bring cups of coffee to him, glasses of icy water, and meals – fully cooked, beautifully presented, hot and tasty – and put them down in front of him for his pleasure.

I am quite sure further more that he in no way connects shopping (see my blog ‘Where the Hell is the Couscous’) with meals appearing. That’s just something we do, we put the stuff in the pantry or the fridge, and that’s it – or so he thinks. The actual process of choosing what to cook, getting the ingredients out, preparing the ingredients, cooking them, and serving them onto his plate is a step that he’s completely overlooked. That’s why I’m sure he thinks fairies do it.

He does not, I’m pretty sure, connect all the noises – tinkling, banging, huge sighs, swearing even – coming from the kitchen with the food preparation business.

Sometimes I stand on my high horse – and it’s a very high horse let me tell you – and demand that he does something towards feeding us. I even kindly point out which room is the kitchen, and what that big white rectangular thing in the corner is – it’s a fridge.

One day I saw him put water in the electric kettle and turn it on! I can tell you my heart stopped! Actually turned the kettle on! Somewhere in the deep recesses of the well fed male mind he must have connected hot water with cups of coffee. Of course he didn’t then proceed to make any coffee, but still, as I said – my heart sang for just a little moment.

I’ve thought of going on strike, but then I get hungry and forget about that. I’ve thought of asking him to get something simple – a sandwich say, but I like my clean and tidy kitchen and the thought of him with butter spread from one end to the other, bread crumbs everywhere, mangled slices of bread, hopelessly crushed tomotoes, and at least sixteen knives and eighteen plates and four chopping boards later stops me every time.

Once or twice I’ve asked him to come out to the kitchen instead of plonking down in front of the tv, knife and fork at the ready, waiting for his meal to be placed in front of him, and watch the process. He has never actually asked me to cut a meal up for him yet, but I’m waiting! I thought that if he watched the process of preparation he might be a bit impressed, and he might even feel moved to assist.

‘Please get the butter out of the fridge’, I’d say. ‘It’s there on the second shelf. No, second shelf, second shelf! Bring it over here’, (basic, I know, but an absolute necessary instruction). Then, ‘Now can I have two eggs. Bottom shelf, bottom shelf – not that bottom, that one!’ Then he says ‘Just a sec, I have to see if I put a stamp on that letter I want to post later’. And disappears – for ten minutes. He has not quite grasped the immediacy of needing to do things quickly and in order whilst cooking. I guess that frying two eggs was w-a-a-a-y too complicated for an introduction.

Then there’s the dish washer thing. To him I’m sure its just a receptacle for putting dirty dishes, glasses, coffee cups in. You put them in there, you close the door, and hey presto they’re gone! Unpacking a dish washer is an absolutely foreign concept – I have seen him stare in puzzlement at an egg slice, a grater, a whisk – what are these things? - and a garlic press I’m sure would bring on some sort of attack. I think he has a vague idea about where the knives and forks are kept – after all you use them to eat with, so he has an interest in them. But the other stuff – never!

So, unpacking the dishwasher is another fairy job. Little kitchen fairies ….. couldn’t we all fantasise about those! And the program about fairies on tv had young nubile young slim blond girls acting out the role of the fairies. And he turned that off too! Honestly the male mind is just beyond my comprehension.
©Nelma Ward