A Facebook post recently – well to be accurate, the repost of a Facebook repost of someone’s supposed mobile phone message…was actually good as gold. In the post the readers were urged to teach their sons to cook while they were living at home. To prevent them becoming ogres or drug dealers or people who mope around the kitchen making sad noises. I think the advice excellent.
No man should leave home without knowing how to take home with him. The Army won’t stand it. Neither will the Navy. I have no idea what the Air Force does. In any case the servicemen have to know how to take care of themselves and there is no reason the civilians should be any different.
Gentlemen. You need to be competent, and if possible, good at:
- Cooking basic foods. Never mind wedding cakes and lamingtons. Learn how to make a meat and potatoes meal. Learn how to fry a full – if greasy – meal in one pan. Learn how to clean the dishes properly afterwards.
- Doing the clothes washing. All the way from turning your jeans inside out, using the right amount of detergent, hanging the things out properly…to folding and ironing. Yeah – iron that shirt right. You will look professional or cool or sexy or whatever you want to look like.
- Making the flaming bed. It isn’t rocket science. You can tuck the ends and cramp your toes or leave it loose if you want, but make the sodding thing each day. You might attract someone to your batchelor pad and a made bed is an invitation.
- Grocery shopping. The drudge stuff like carrots and eatable cuts of meat and potatoes that are not in high-priced bags. Get to know where your money goes, because Sonny-boy, it is going to go there for a long, long time.
- Cleaning the dunny. You leave that thing dirty long enough in your batchelor pad and it will eventually kill you. Or at least kill your chances at romance. Clean the damned thing every week and you’ll never get typhoid fever or dysentery.
- Mending clothes. You only need a few needles and some thread and you can use the same thread for everything. No-one expects you to make haute couture but going to a party with your fly undone because the zipper has unravelled is not going to get that fly undone later in the evening. You are going to look like an incompetent. Learn to sew on your damn buttons. Once a month – make and mend.
- Do your taxes. If your affairs are so convoluted or criminal as to require a tax agent be able to recognise and pay for the assistance.
Now, let me address myself to the young ladies in the congregation. My Dears, you need to be able to:
- Change a flat tyre. On any corner of the car. On any surface. No good calling the RAC if you are 56 miles beyond the Black Stump at 3:00 AM. Practise in the driveway on each wheel and then do it out on the lawn. Do it. Stop being mechanical princesses.
- All the boys bits listed above.. You want to be dependent upon your mothers all your life? Okay, but remember that means that your mothers will tell you what to do all your lives…
- Drill a hole, tighten a screw, tighten a nut, change a light bulb, wire a plug, dig a hole, change a hose…etc, HM the Queen has people to do this for her and this is right and proper but you are not HM the Queen.
- Paint a wall. If you wish to paint it puce that is your own affair. If you wish to paint it with treacle or your own faeces you are reading the wrong blog.
- Shoot a rifle. Not a pistol or revolver – leave these to the professionals. But you need to be able to shoot a .22 at least. If you can work yourself up to a .30-06 all the better.
- Bait a hook. And I don’t mean bait a marital hook with a bosom. I mean bait a fish hook with a worm or a bit of meat. Then fish with it.
No-one needs to be incompetent – no-one needs to be stereotyped – no one needs to be dependent. We can all take care of ourselves and in doing so can be better companions to each other. The world works when we work – get yourself working!