WHAT do I write about? I pondered aloud. “Me!” said the wife, “That I’m going to live sixteen months less because I married you!” “What utter rubbish,” I said, “your life span will increase with a partner like me!” “Read this,” she sniffed, handing me the morning paper, “it says married women live sixteen months less than their unmarried sisters.”
“Hey, I’m sorry,” I said, “never thought I’d have such a drastic effect on your life!” “Life is short anyway, do you have to make it shorter?” she sobbed. “Maybe we could compensate for this shortening,” I suggested. “Like doing what?” she asked brightening up, “a cruise, more dinners out, or a holiday in the Caribbean?”
“No, no,” I said hastily, “I was thinking more on the lines of you sleeping less, quicker baths, faster make up sessions, so you could spend all that saved time on productive activity..” “Like what?” she asked dangerously. “Oh like this and that, you know what I mean?”
“No I don’t,” said the wife moving slowly to rolling pin hanging behind kitchen door. “Okay,” I said desperately trying to get the situation under control, “I mean you living a more value-based life!” “That sounds sweet,’ said the wife, coming away from kitchen door, “you really are quite considerate you know, I’m sure that report’s wrong.”
“Or maybe all husbands aren’t like me,” I suggested smugly. “What were you thinking of doing this evening?” “Well a nice cup of tea was in my thoughts,” I said. “And?” “Aha you want to bring some value into that don’t you?” I asked. “Well it was you who talked about a value based life!” “I was thinking maybe those Punjabi samosas you make so well…””And?” “That lovely chutney you put together!”
“You want me to spend my time in the kitchen? Is that your idea of a value- based life? I’ve got sixteen months less to live because of you and you want even those months I have left slaving for you? What do I get for all that slaving?” “Nineteen months more of me,” I said simply.
“What?” “It says in the same report that men live that number of months more than their bachelor friends,” I said. “You mean to say,” said the wife, “my life span gets shortened so you live longer?” “I didn’t write this report,” I said lamely. “Then maybe dear husband, its pay back time,” said the wife as she walked back to kitchen door, “start with making our evening tea!”
“And Punjabi samosas?” I asked desperately. “Is what you’ll live on in those sixteen months without me,” she sniffed, “there’s a shop down the road; get used to hobbling there and buying your own stuff..!” I cursed those silly reports as I put on my shoes.