AS I SEE IT: I think I’ve married a Martian

I CAN more or less guarantee on a Monday morning when all my colleagues settle at their desks for a day’s hard graft that one of us, in our predominantly female office, will recall a story about a “heinous crime” her man has committed over the weekend.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2010, 9:45 am

Now, I hasten to add, I’m not talking about “crimes” like adultery that seem to feature in today’s tabloids almost on a daily basis, I’m referring to those everyday “crimes” that confirm to women everywhere we were the only sex to have been blessed with common sense.

“I only asked him to bleed the radiator, and guess what he did?” asks one colleague. “He only bled the radiator of its water and not the air! There were puddles of dirty water all over the carpet!”

We all laugh at the image, while at the same time mentally recall memories of our man committing a DIY crime.

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Our male colleagues meanwhile remain silent. They hear everything, but don’t have the inclination to join in with such “tittle-tattle”.

During lunch, a different colleague comments on how busy she has been during the weekend.

“Once again, I’ve had the kids everyday,” she explains. “He had to do some ‘work’ on his computer on Saturday, and then of course there was the ‘bonding session’ with (delete as appropriate) his father-in-law/best friend, otherwise known as a trip to the pub to watch the footy!

“I haven’t had a lie in for weeks and when I eventually do get one, I get up to discover the baby still hasn’t had any breakfast, the house is a pigsty and my husband is so stressed that he needs to go back to bed!”

At this point all her female colleagues sympathise, but can only offer the words “that’s just men for you isn’t it”.

At this stage, our male colleagues in the office can’t take any more. In unison they guffaw and tell their female colleagues to “give it a rest” or comment “eh up, they’re off again”.

The women laugh at their response and then nothing more is said.

These conversations have been replayed in all the offices that I’ve ever worked in. As a single twenty something, such conversations were of no interest, but as a member of the married-with-child club I eagerly participate.

And where would we be without such light-hearted teasing of the opposite sex? Many of the nation’s much-loved comedians base much of their material on it.

On the flip side, my husband readily complains to anyone who will listen about how long it takes me to get ready for work in a morning, or my annoying habit of double checking if I turned my hair straighteners off as we’re finally ready to leave the house.

Maybe such banter helps to reaffirm the assertion that “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”, and maybe that’s just the way we like it.

JULIE MAGEE