It’s Stir-up Sunday and my Wife is spending the day making her traditional Christmas Cake. She has been planning it all week and asked me to assist when needed. How can I say no if I want a piece later on? Good things come to those to wait, as they say.
She doesn’t want me hovering in the Kitchen so I’ll stay nearby in the living room in case she needs me. I make sure the living room is clean and tidy, and the flowers are well-presented before sitting down to lift the lid of my laptop. I know from experience that I should not be on the couch if there is tidying to be done. Otherwise I am met with her presence in the doorway, hands on hips and a raised eyebrow. A sharp turn away without a word said will jolt me into action far quicker than the stereotypical ‘nagging’ Wife. (A stereotype when in fact it is usually the husband that does not help enough in the first place!).
As the day progresses, I’m called upon every now and then to clear up the kitchen or go out to buy more butter or baking paper or other things. I think there may be more than just a Christmas Cake going on here. More baking. And probably for work colleagues too and not for my grubby hands. Although I might get the lopsided ones so I’ll keep and eye out.
For the second time in one day, I am given a list and sent off to the supermarket. I’m tempted to question why she hadn’t remembered everything during her original shop. But I know better than to do that. At the supermarket I see other husbands standing at the baking shelves too. I see paper lists (an older gentleman) and also a younger man with a list on his iphone. Both, like me, probably trying to decipher which of the muscovado sugars I need. Dark, light, dark brown. Fine, medium. Will demerara do? A quick call to the wives usually sorts this conundrum out. For these husbands (or boyfriends), a reluctant solo trip to the supermarket is probably the path of lease resistance that leads to a beer in front of the football. I, on the other hand, am enjoying being part of the baking day. Far more fun and varied. I mean, didn’t they decide who the football winner was? Why are they playing again? But that’s another story.
On return, she has kindly left out everything I need to make us lunch. As she writes a few quick emails, I prepare everything and serve us before she starts the afternoon baking session. To keep me out of the way, she gives me yet another list of domestic chores to be done. I know they say a woman’s work is never done. But if she’s made it quite clear that she wears the trousers, does that also mean my work is never done?