Ladies, it's all your fault

2012-04-17 12:30

David Moseley

I could never understand why my granddad was so incompetent around the house. Here was a man who left school at 13 to join a band of river pirates in Glasgow (that’s what he told me, and you never question your granddad). During the war he escaped from a concentration camp after filing down a plastic spoon and stabbing three Nazis (again, his words. Who am I to judge?).

Eventually, after helping an Indian tribe overpower General Custer at Little Bighorn in Edinburgh, he left the UK with my gran and became a successful shipping engineer in Cape Town (that part is true. I think). He did all my woodwork homework, could fix his car with a coat hanger and Pratley Putty, made lawnmowers from scratch and practically rebuilt decrepit ships with his eyes closed (he said he often did that just to make it interesting).

But if my gran was away and you asked him to turn on the microwave for 30 seconds he would collapse in a heap on the kitchen floor, rigid with doubt and crippled with fear over the actual intentions of the modern heating contraption.

Likewise, ask him to change the channel on the M-Net decoder without my gran’s assistance (bear in mind, this was a time when the only choices on the decoder were M-Net and that spare channel) and before you could say “that’s not Loving” he would have rigged up an amplifying antenna on the roof that was picking up soccer footage from the Falkland’s Premier League. “All we wanted was K-tv, granddad” my brother and I would cry. But nope. Too demanding a task without granny on site for assistance.

Even my dad, who was married to the worst housewife in the history of housewifing, had his moments of domestic feebleness - “Mary, where are my pants?”, “Probably where you left them Trevor” was her standard, glib response. (You're a great mom, mom. But you have to admit that the amount of times we ran out of toilet paper qualifies you for “Worst Head of Household, 1979-1997”).

Why men, why?

I could never understand why these fully functioning men, manly men of the world, would break down into dithering wrecks when the ladies were away.

And then Robyn went away on Sunday night, and now it’s all clear to me, like a freshly polished bathroom mirror. Ladies, you’re too good to us. Honestly. You just take too much damn care of the men in your lives, and it’s in our natures to reciprocate by enjoying the attention and slowly but surely become more ineffective around the house.

On Sunday night, my first night without Robyn lurking around in six months, I was at a loss. I could easily have cooked dinner. Instead I ate a packet of plain Provitas. This morning I got up to make coffee, and there was no milk. There’s always milk! How can there be no milk when she’s only been gone for a day? Then I went to the loo, and there was no toilet paper. I had to drive to the gym just for my morning ablutions. Robyn, come back! By Friday I’ll be sleeping in a black bag on the lounge floor, wondering how to turn on the DVD and asking the neighbour to set the microwave.

Before moving in with Robyn, I lived with an equally hopeless friend for eight years. I cooked, I cleaned, I made lunch for work, I made my bed (every fourth week), I even brushed my hair. Now I wake up after Robyn’s gone to work and there’s a lunchbox with all manner of goodies stacked in it (I still can’t find where she hides the sweets in the house). I come home and dinner is on the go, my clothes have been mysteriously packed away - in a cupboard no less - and my shoes are lined up in order of frequency of use. Incredible.

But I just can’t help it. On Saturday I caught myself asking where my pants were. “Probably where you left them” came a familiar reply. Damn you, you highly effective, caring, nurturing women. Damn you...

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  • DayanGovender - 2012-04-17 12:48


  • Citroes - 2012-04-17 13:19

    True story this - my household too.

  • Mary-Jean - 2012-04-17 13:48

    Really laughed out loud at the memories this evoked and I will accept the inglorious title of "Worst head of household" but be assured things have changed, we never run out of loo paper now!!!!!

      Belinda - 2012-04-17 14:30

      In any womens defence, if there is a man in the house (and you had more than one) it's NOT your fault if you run out of loo paper!!! Just saying!

      David - 2012-04-18 09:23

      I shall have to check with Mark regarding those alleged improvements, mother.

      Mary-Jean - 2012-04-18 09:54

      It's true David, I promise, but only 'cos Mark buys the stuff xxxx

  • LindiBleu - 2012-04-17 14:14

    Ha ha David, it is a diabolical plot hatched by every woman to ensure that you never leave us for a self-centred floozi!!! men are known to be creatures of habit, and will not fix what is not broken!

  • Lanfear - 2012-04-17 14:21

    LOL! Excellent, thanks for the laugh! And quite true... ;P

  • Belinda - 2012-04-17 14:23

    This made me laugh ALOT!!!!

  • paul.africam - 2012-04-17 14:24

    Can you find your way to our place for dinner this week or can't you drive or navigate either?

  • lefnkompela - 2012-04-17 14:54

    "LMFAS" Rolling in tears,should say i totally agree.. the only thing my Dad can make is an egg...dead, dry and brown baked! lol luckily my mom made sure i know my way around the kitchen and house

  • Kunle - 2012-04-17 15:27


  • Pravda - 2012-04-17 15:30

    are you sure that you are in south africa. from my limited knowledge of living with women in the last twenty or so years. i can cook better, i neaten up the house better, i make sure there is bogroll in the loo, and i have been known to iron better than my partners. hell i even do the laundry better. or maybe as david said. i had been living alone for way too long. long live the fairer sex!!! we love you no matter what.

      Tony Lapson - 2012-04-17 16:13

      You aren't training them right. Hey, someone had to say it.

  • Clarence - 2012-04-17 15:34

    Great article.

  • Deon - 2012-04-17 16:08

    TG for Nutritional shakes it works and easy to prepare, ask Messi.

  • Susan - 2012-04-17 16:42

    I don't think this is the case in every household, times have changed,My brother was married to a women who knew absolutely nothing, not cooking, cleaning, she did,nt even know how to interior decor her house, she alsways needed help!!

  • Lee-Ann - 2012-04-18 07:40


  • Sipho - 2012-04-18 09:05

    Wow great article I guess most of us relate

  • skootzie - 2012-04-18 09:30

    Loved this piece! :)

  • Jacques - 2012-04-18 09:56

    Which is why I say to hell with it all: women make you grow fond of them, grow accustomed to having them around, then infiltrate your innermost circles of functionality (laundry, cooking, etc.) and then one day you wake up and SHE decides she's over it. Or you hear that mom and dad are getting a divorce, if it happened early enough. So have girlfriends for three months at a pop, have casual hookups, have awesome, close, dear female friends, but damn marriage.

      Jacques - 2012-04-18 09:57

      Same also applies to men if you're a woman, especially then, actually. So ja. No trolling: just saying. The world needs people who can stab Nazis with plastic spoons.

  • Amanda - 2012-04-18 13:47

    Oh how true ths is!! And to think a man has admitted to this! I went on a four day boat trip and on the third day as we came within cellphone signal range I got a pitiful message from my dearly beloved saying that I must NEVER EVER go away again because he is sooooo lonely and he hasn't eaten and he can't find anything. So besides being nurturers and carers we are seemingly also the main source of entertainment for our helpless other halves.:)

  • Marion - 2012-04-18 16:57

    I remember going to your mothers house and not only was there no toilet paper but there was no light in the toilet!!

  • zwivhuyamufamadi - 2012-04-18 17:02

    Is a man thing. Nobody cn explain it.

  • AG.Mogotsi - 2012-04-22 17:44

    something for all the grown ass ladies out there.. no matter i can do almost everything for myself, i don't know if i will loose that ability once I wed. #scary

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