Things are getting weird at my place. My girlfriend has finished work for a while because of an, ahem, personal issue. The kind of personal issue that is, cough, very obvious. Anyway, she’s at home and I’m at work, and all of a sudden I’m in The Flintstones.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no neat freak. My desk is covered with heaps of random crap. I’m messy and it’s genetic.When I was a kid we had a woman we affectionately called White Tornado who cleaned my parents’ house every few days. She did the dishes, put the bongs away and made every white thing in the house that soft pink colour all the metrosexuals are now wearing.
Anyway, I’m saying I’m not Martha Stewart -“ my criminal record is better for a start. But I cook a lot, I clean less, I sometimes fold my clothes before I stuff them in the cupboard. Sure, my girlfriend may be a little more house-proud than me but I’m not a gross pig.
The novelty of being at home for a week has made her a homemaker with a capital H. All of a sudden I’m getting morning phone calls asking what I want for dinner. When I get home I have to do a double take -“ it’s like I’m in the wrong house.
Everything is neat, the dog’s got my slippers in its mouth (almost), the bed sheets have been folded in alphabetical order (practically) and she’s mixing me a martini (a cup of tea, actually). I just stare around in a blissed out, nurtured stupor.
It makes me wonder. What the fuck did those generations of men do when their wives did everything at home? I guess if I’d been out wrestling dinosaurs or sorting rubbish or cleaning toilets I might like to get home and do nothing, but as it is, it just freaks me out.
I’ve become territorial about chores. I want to clean the windows. I’d love to mop the floor. I say long, girl-power monologues about how we don’t have a faux-hetero relationship dynamic, about how I don’t want her to do things for me like I’m some stupid, useless husband.
We’re not like them, I say. I like cleaning and cooking and don’t expect my partner to do anything for me.
Yes darling, she says. Now, do you want balsamic vinegar with dinner?