I am a man!
Perhaps that sounds a surprising discovery at this stage of my life. But I have to say I had always thought of myself as being an individual first and a man second.
I usually like to read the bridge columns in the newspapers (unlike the average man). But the one on Sunday is written by a woman. She must be quite good, since she has just won the British Ladies Teams Championships. But I sometimes don’t quite understand her deductions and line of play. ‘But it’s much clearer than that bloke during the week,’ says She Who is Suddenly Now an Authority on the Game. Can it be that the way of thinking is different in Men’s and Women’s bridge?! This would explain why my partner sometimes goes walkabout during the bidding of course.
The other day I attended a buffet lunch at which we were given plates to go and select and pick up our food. One lady on my table said, ‘Oh, be careful; the plate’s hot. You’re a man; you’ll need a serviette to pick it up.’ Wait a minute, surely not all men are like that?! ‘Oh, it’s fine I said’, noting that she was holding hers in her bare hand. ‘Wow!’ I said, dropping it back on the table. She must have hands made of asbestos!
We were at friends the other night, when one of the ladies, talking about gardening, said, ‘what is it with men and lawns?’ Whereupon everybody laughed and muttered things like, ‘I know’ or ‘Tell me about it.’ That’s certainly not true anyway; it’s not all I do in the garden. I just like to tend to the lawn’s needs at the various times of year. I’ve just finished moss killing and scarifying and hope to aerate over the weekend, before dressing it for the winter. Then . . . oh, OK, I spend a lot of time on it. But surely all men aren’t like that?!
This is all very distressing. Can it be that I have devoted my life to creating a unique set of character traits and they’re the same as every other man’s??
When I got married, I spent hours (well, five minutes actually) proving that I can’t bake a cake. That’s that sorted, I chuckled to myself, never have to do that ever again. But maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Perhaps no ordinary house husband can bake a proper cake? If that’s the case, I’d better get on and learn how to do it, to maintain some element of my individual personality. I also, using the Men’s Guide to Easy Living handbook, managed to break a valuable piece of crockery on my first attempt at washing up. That let me off any washing up for the last few years. But perhaps all men have read the handbook? Oh, no, we’re all stereotyping ourselves into ordinary men.
Perhaps I should back the car into the garden wall next time I park, to show my individuality and metrosexual male credentials? That reminds me, I can, on the other hand, read a road map; that must be a distinguishing feature. Every man can do that? What about putting up shelves? Putting spiders outside?