What she REALLY means.

September 13, 2008

Two spouses. A total of 27 years of wedded, um, bliss. You’d think I’d understand Wifespeak by now.

Apparently not.

Case in point: today. With the New Zealand spring off to a fine start, Viking Woman decided to spend a Saturday removing the old, vomit-green paint from a nightstand and chest of drawers we bought weeks ago from the Salvation Army.

At the time of purchase, and in reaction to the elevation of eyebrows nearly to the level of my hairline (and, believe me, that’s quite the hike), she assured me I would not have to lift finger one, that the chore of transforming these battered collections of wood and particle board into beautiful and functional furniture would be hers, and hers alone.

I should have known better. After 27 years? I REALLY should have known better.

Today started well: me at my trusty MacBook, Viking Woman rustling up tools. Me inside, her outdoors. It’s called bliss, folks. Let me rephrase that: it’s called HEAVENLY bliss.

Too good to last? Oh, yeah.

A step sounding inside the door.


Here it comes.

“I know you’re terribly busy with your business story, and that it needs to be finished by Monday morning so we can afford to eat, but could you possibly lend me a hand?”

That’s what she said. This is what she meant:

“Stop looking at porn on the Internet, you freeloading freelance writer, and get your lazy ass out here and do some real work for once in your life. I’ve got seven drawers here and I just know you’ll end up begging to use one of them, so earn it, Fat Boy.”

It’s called Wifespeak.

Here’s another example:

She says: “I just want to finish this book before we go to sleep.”

Translation: “You ain’t getting any tonight, you sad, pathetic, hairy toad, so put yer kit back on and stop scaring the cat.”

In other words, she is more interested in some writer she doesn’t know (and who probably had to perform an act of  oral sex just to be published – how else to explain how some of these hacks get into print) than in the 63 seconds of ultimate bliss you were kind enough to offer.

In the end, I did her bidding, partly because I’m a good partner but mainly because I’m ever mindful of the empty glass jar under the sink bearing a handwritten tag that reads ‘John’s gonads.’

I scraped and rinsed, and scraped and rinsed, and then scraped and rinsed some more. And when it was all done and those paint-naked drawers were drying in that glorious spring sunshine, I stripped off my medical gloves (smiling as I did so at the thought that at least one kind of latex-like protection is too small for my appendages) and went back to my trusty computer.

Where I proceeded to write this blog while the experience was still fresh in my mind. And the paint chips still tangled up in my nose hairs.

The fact that the scraping (and rinsing) has caused me to lose all sensation in my right thumb is, I’m guessing, simply an indication of a job well done.


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