Stephanie Smith: He does bins, bills and dishwasher. I do cushions. It’s fair.

Picture courtesy of Rowenna Mason at TheMakerPlace.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Rowenna Mason at TheMakerPlace.co.uk

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Are there really men out there who are so useless, they can’t even order their own meal without help from the wife?

Apparently so. Kim Gip made a lost-and-found lanyard for her husband, Jim, before he set off on his first holiday without her, a boys-only trip to Las Vegas. The message reads: “If I am in a restaurant just staring at the menu, please order me some sort of Asian food, especially white rice. I’ve never been away from my wife, who does everything for me.”

Their wag of a son thought it was so hilarious, he posted a picture of it on social media, which “went viral”. Jim seemed to see the funny side too; one of the boys posted a picture of him in Vegas, dutifully wearing it.

I’m not sure how many other husbands would accept being branded hopeless in such a way, but perhaps there is some truth in the original sentiment, about how deeply long-term partners come to depend on each other.

Kim fretted about how Jim – her husband of 23 years – would cope without her. She’s not alone in that. I constantly wonder how my husband would get by without my daily guidance. He had to order some crushed velvet cushions the other day and didn’t seem to understand that chartreuse was a shade of green. He doesn’t move the furniture when he vacuums, has never learned that bathrooms need a good clean, and returns from the supermarket laden only with boring basics stuff, like loo roll, cat food, bread, milk and dishwasher tablets.

Yet he seems to think that he is the one who keeps it all together while I merely fritter my time and money buying cushions and food that never gets eaten, such as watercress, houmous and most elements of M&S and £10 meal deals (although not the wine – that’s never wasted).

He thinks I can’t load the dishwasher properly, that I don’t seem to understand that bins need taking out for council collection and that cars need a regular filling up with petrol (OK, diesel), otherwise they stop. As for MOTs and car tax, he reckons I haven’t a clue, not now it’s all online.

And… he’s right. I’m not useless. I used to do these things (I even used to change plugs) before he came along, but now I don’t need to, so I rely on him for all of it – cars, bills, bins, boilers, bank accounts and anything nasty the cat brings up.

In return, I take care of most of the cooking, the important cleaning and all of the cushion buying. It’s a fair deal. And if he wants to make me a lanyard with the message: “If you find this woman looking lost at a petrol station, please fill up her car up (diesel) and send her on her way”, I might even wear it.

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