Tact and the Man
Women are apparently reputed to use a far greater number of words than men on any given day. I have come to the conclusion that most of this is attributable to the fact that women generally think before they speak, engage the brain as it were, and also try to convey any negative message as gently and humanely as possible.
It may have been some eleven years ago, but I still remember with blinding clarity the young male doctor at one of the big London hospitals with whom I was discussing whether Drama Queen No. 3 should be induced as she was showing signs of being big and late, just like DQ Nos. 1 and 2. I mentioned I didn’t want to be induced if it heightened my chances of needing a cesarean. The doctor flicked me a quick glance and responded with the flattering remark, “Oh no, I find women of your age are a bit like old bangers. Once you get them cranked up, they just keep rolling.”
Fortunately, by thirty-nine weeks pregnant, you are not at all sensitive as to how you look, other than large, however, I have always cherished the vision of myself as an “old banger” and look at car scrap metal yards with a certain fondness and kindred spirit.
As a run up to the sailing holiday, I mentioned to Husband, in the tone of one proffering a rare treat, that I might get a bikini to replace the boring one piece. Instead of the expected glint of excitement in his eye and skip in his step, his brow furrowed and he said in a worried tone, “Won’t you need to shave off the body fur?” Aside from making me feel I should check myself into the Sydney Taronga Zoo chimpanzee enclosure double quick time, it has also had me checking my stomach in the mirror for fear of that obviously new and horrible manifestation of my forties-female stomach hair. I need hardly say he’ll be lucky to see an inch of uncovered flesh in the near future.
Other great sayings have included musings on the fact that apparently I do, “tend to swell up like a balloon.” In the interest of fairness, I would admit that this statement is probably true, once you add in the puce with rage factor brought on by this candid assessment.
In the interests of family harmony, here’s my top tip to beleaguered males. The correct response to an unfamiliar dish appearing in front of you is not a suspicious poke and a muttered, “What’s this?” A cheery smile and, “This looks delicious. What is it?” will win the day. N.B. this approach can also be applied with notable success to new female outfits, no matter how startling to the male eye they initially appear.