Saturday, September 10, 2011

Faith in my Abilities

This is NOT how it works. Nope.

My husband's faith in my abilities would be moving - if it weren't so annoying. He regards me as his personal Filofax ("When did Dirk and Michaela get married?" "Where did I leave the screwdriver?" "Do we need to buy rubbish sacks?") and an Omniscient Presence. In fact, my actual lack of omniscience annoys him. He won't accept it. He bombards me with questions beyond my abilities and is annoyed when I can't answer them.

For example: last night I received a worrying e-mail from my mother. My aunt had returned from her holiday and found her house ransacked and her jewellery gone. I gasped as I read the mail.
"What's wrong?" said my concerned husband.
"I've just received an e-mail from my mother. Listen, she writes:
'Dear Ginger,
Just a quick note to let you know that Auntie Gingerbread came home from Spain yesterday and found her house ransacked and her jewellery gone. Love, Mammy'"
Mr Gingerbread appears at my side, his face a picture of concern.
"Which jewellery did they take?" he asks.
"I don't know - it just says 'jewellery'."
"How many thieves were there?"
"I don't know."
"And how did they break in, anyway?"
"Seriously? I don't know."
"Did they take anything else?"
"Look, I read the e-mail to you. I really don't know."
"Was the house insured against theft?"
I tap the e-mail on the laptop screen.
"Husband," I say, "I DON'T KNOW. This is all the information I am privy to. I might be close to my mother, but we're not telepathic. That is the sum total of my knowledge on the subject, I swear."
He looks at me, indignant. I still think he thinks I know more than he's letting on.
But I don't. Really. Now you, dear readers, know as much as either of the Gingerbreads know, honest.

To be fair, I demand all kinds of information from him, too - information HE COULDN'T POSSIBLY KNOW (he thinks). We are in the middle of a season of fertility - within our circle of friends and family, sprogs are being popped by the new time (oopsie. My pregnant sister says that I do not give The Mirkul of Birt its due deference, so let's re-phrase that:) women are a-glow with the joy of their blossoming bumps. One Gingerbread sister has just had a baby, another sister is due in October and my sister-in-law is expecting her first. The announcement of the first niece/nephew on my husband's side of the family came after he'd had a loooooooong conversation with his sister.
"My sister is pregnant!" he said.
"When's she due?"
Blank face. "In ... 2012?" he volunteers uncertainly.
"When, exactly?"
"Are you asking me if it's spring?" I ask.
"I think it's spring," he says.
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"You know, I didn't ask."
"But it's not twins, is it?"
"I don't think so."
"So she didn't say how many weeks pregnant she is?"
"She might have, but I've forgotten."
"But she's okay - she's healthy and enjoying the pregnancy?"
He scratches his head. He's been on the phone for half an hour with his sister but the question renders him bewildered. "I suppose so."
"What on earth were you talking about?" I ask him. "Did you ask her about the pregnancy at all?"
"Yes," he says, injured. "I asked her if she was puking in the morning. She is. And most of the rest of the day as well."
You see what I mean? I had to phone the sister-in-law to discover that, apart from the technicolour morning-slash-all-day sickness, she's fine, everything's progressing as it should, the baby's due in February and they haven't been able to determine its sex yet.

I think we've been spending too much time together in these summer holidays. It's about time I got back to work.


Janelle said...

ha,ha,ha, ha! I'm in stitches over this. My husband and I regularly have the same conversations! I read this to him to demonstrate the absurdity of him asking for more information than there is. His response? "She shouldn't have brought it up until she had all the information." I responded with, "But, she had just received the email. All she did was gasp and he asked what was going on." He says, "she shouldn't have gasped until she knew something more." Seriously? Men :)

Voie de Vie said...

You two may be speaking the same language, but ... :)

Anonymous said...

We do this all the time, but my husband's genetics mean it can be very important and VERY delayed news. For example, we just got back from a trip cross-country from Pennsylvania to California (almost separate coasts, but not quite), where his sister found out a month and a half late that her grandmother is no longer capable of living on her own.

As for the baby stuff, I totally sympathize with your sister-in-law! I'm 10 weeks along today and the morning sickness is so bad I give up, I'm going to call for meds tomorrow. I feel like I'm constantly on a boat, lol. Well-wishes to all!

fairyhedgehog said...

That's so funny. Why do we do this to each other?

Donna Lee said...

My husband also thinks I know the exact position of everything in the known universe. And where he left it.

We have the same conversations about conversations. I don't know what men think when they're on the phone but it's not about whatever they're talking about, either that or their short term memory is nonexistent.

Rachel said...

Oh, this is so familiar! Especially locations of things. Requests that start, "Where is..." are now met with, "Have you looked for it? ... Where have you looked? ... Everywhere is not an acceptable answer... Try looking in the place where it lives... No, I'm not telling you where it lives because you know that fact, if you give it a moment's thought." I will let you know whether this training regime has any effect at all.

As for information exchanged in conversations with his family... "When you arranged for us to meet your sister on the corner of a street in London, did you specify a time? No? We'll just wait here, then."

Petunia Pill said...

I just happened upon your blog...oh my're killing me with this post! I dare say, I could have been the author...change some of the details, but the general theme here...well, it's MY LIFE! I've decided that it's just EASIER for him to ask me everything rather than to open his eyes and look for himself! And yes, after 27 years of marriage, I still haven't learned that he NEVER asks the right questions to be able to provide me with the info I require on a situation! Thanks for the giggle! Best, Annette