There are some people whose shoulders others cry on. I have one of those shoulders. For all my life, I’ve had people, friends and strangers alike, telling me their woes and asking me for advice, which I feel most unqualified to give, but find it difficult to communicate that convincingly for the fear of seeming uninterested or unwilling to help.
Anyway, to come to the point, a friend came over the other day, looking a little upset. I didn’t probe but I could guess what it was. She’d been talking about her husband, who I’ve never met but can picture – your typical I-need-my-three-hours-of-watching-sport-so-don’t-get-in-my-way kind of man, the kind someone like me would’ve left at the alter provided I was foolish enough to have made it till there, but, in my friend’s defense, it’s possible, as it is with most men, she didn’t know his various sides before she married him. Anyway, he sounds quite obnoxious so I was sure he was the cause of her sad face. And he was.
She runs an event management company that mostly handles birthday parties. So, on the days that she has to go on site, which, in her case, is the party, she takes her two-year old daughter with her. I’d wondered why she did that, for it was work for her, but never asked. It turns out that her husband refuses to babysit, telling her that since her work is “light and just a hobby” it’s perfectly ok to take the daughter with her -while he enjoys his peace at home watching TV!
Hmm..I wonder what I would’ve done had my husband said that to me (and at that moment I thanked God for him!!) I probably would’ve cut the cable wire and let him stew (I like that thought!!) But, my poor friend is a little too soft for her own good. She told me that the previous evening she had to go for a party that she had organized for a client and it was a little far, so she told her husband to be with the daughter, and the maid, at home. He refused, saying that he was watching an important match on TV and could not attend to the child, and that she should take her to the party, which was to end late.
So, the little girl accompanied her mother and they returned past midnight. The next day the girl was tired for school but that didn’t seem to bother the husband..”children need distraction” he says to her being tired and refusing to go to school. Then he adds that if the child does not want to go, then she should not be forced to and tells my friend “you just want her to go so you can carry on with your hobby”. Agh. Just writing about this is making me mad, so I cannot imagine what she would’ve felt.
I have little patience so maybe I am not the right person to ask for advice. But I told her to tell him off the next time he calls her work a “hobby”. He needs to respect what she does and it’s for her to decide what it means to her. Men need to be told firmly, the more you allow them to get away with, the more they’ll push..
I hope I never meet him, because if I do, my acid dripping tongue will find it hard to hold itself back!