You can’t talk yourself out of something you have behaved yourself into!

– Stephen Covey


Please mind the gap

Please mind the gap                             please mind the gap                                           please mind the gap

There has been great discussion in recent months about the gap between the incomes of men and women who work at the same jobs. In Australia, the difference between these incomes was about 18.8% and ensued more discussion about the reasons for this discrepancy, how can this issue be tackled, where will this extra revenue come from, should women be taxed differently etc. etc.

Equality exists only in an ideal world. A world in which I, as a full time career woman with a husband and children would come home from work just about dinner time and simply dump my laptop on my bed. I would then go and disrupt the children doing homework and stay to chat with them. I would share a glass of wine with my spouse, nibble some vegetables or things from the salad bowl and mooch about in the kitchen. On a good day, I might even lay the table for dinner.

After dinner, I would help with clearing up and then watch TV or be active on social media while my husband signed permission slips, excursion slips, counted out change for the children’s canteen money, confirmed play dates and dental appointments, checked school bags for errant notes, birthday invites and lost fruit.

At weekends, I would clean the car and then exercise my fingers on the TV remote while my husband bought birthday presents for the parties the children were invited to, housewarming presents for our friends and cards for these occasions too. Then he would complete the weekly shopping and come home to make a quick, light lunch before ironing the washing gently flapping on the line.

I would help out too, oh absolutely! I would cook dinner; barbeque some steaks, potatoes in foil and grill asparagus, while my husband made salad, laid the table and continuously refreshed my drink as I cooked these huge, flat pieces of meat. And Sunday night I would cook dinner too, from a packet of pasta left on the counter, right by that jar of pasta sauce, all bought and kept ready by my husband. Then I would help tidy up, watch TV for a bit and get up, yawn, say goodnight and go straight to bed.

But instead I am the husband from the ideal world.

I do everything that I think he will do one day. Then I tidy up, watch a bit of TV, and get up, yawn, say goodnight and walk through the kitchen making sure all the food is put away, the kitchen counters are clean, the dishwasher is switched on and the rangehood fan is switched off. I check that the doors are locked, the curtains are drawn, the children tucked in, the dog is in, the lights switched off and the alarm switched on. Only then do I pick up my handbag and keys and head to my bed so that I can wake up and do it all, all over again.

So next time anyone wants to discuss equality, please mind the gap.

My name is …

You don’t choose it but everyone has one. Most parents give it to their children. Some cultures have elaborate ceremonies while for others, it’s merely a kiss on the head. And yet in every instance, it is telling of the times, a name is almost a window into time.

My parents’ generation had traditional names, of gods and saints, virtues and goodness, given to them by my grandparents and great grandparents. My grandfather used to say this helped parents inadvertently chant a god’s name several times a day. Gradually this became their prayer, their devotion and their hope….. their children.

Then my parents’ generation broke ranks and gave us slightly modern names that were less tongue twisting and easier to spell, they fit on all the application forms with room to spare.
But no longer in my school was anyone called Verity, Honour, Dorothy (Dorothea meaning gift of God) and all Benedicts became Ben but there seemed still, plenty of Pauls, Peters, Marks and Johns.

But I often stop to wonder, why did my parents’ generation never name us after any gods, saints or virtues? Did they know from birth that we would never be worthy of such lofty ideals? Was religion less important to our parents than our grandparents? Or did they simply want to appear less religious? More modern, perhaps?

And then there was our generation, we had to go and outdo our parents, somehow, so we found names that were even easier to spell, sometimes exotic, cosmopolitan, at other times simplistic, names of faraway places, sometimes just misspelt for style, still able to fit on an emigration form with room to spare. And I thought nothing of it. I thought it was a shrinking world, they blamed the internet and called it globalisation and I let them all be.

But now I feel I have to speak out. Now, as children get named after meals, food ingredients and TV programs. Especially, the children of celebrities who have to be over and above everyone in their unique names. In a decade or so when the first of these whimsically named children grow up and visit posh restaurants, as children of celebrities regularly do and misbehave as children of very well-heeled people definitely do, the newspaper reports and magazine articles of these capers will be very confusing.

In these instances, even the most well-read audience will take a while to distinguish between the names of the people, the names of dishes, the names of the restaurants and their locations for these incidents.

If you don’t believe me, try and make a sentence with some of the celebrities’ children’s names, items from the menu of a posh restaurant and a name of a TV program.

With that, I rest my case. I have to go now. I’ve promised to meet Sunday Roast and Southeast at the Snowball for a Tanice (Toffee and nut ice cream extravaganza).

– Bewildered –