Wife work

‘Why your wife she not cook your lunch sir?’

Lots of the shops I shop in are staffed by ladies from the Philipines. Unfailingly polite, hard-working and friendly.

It’s always fun to hear the cultural differences and see the surprise in the ladies’ eyes if we end up talking about the chores a wife has to do around the home.

Let me make it very clear that Mrs Saul looks after me extremely well, particularly when it comes to dinner during the week and food during weekends. I do my bit though – I do tidy up, stack and unstack dishwashers and do my best to keep things nice. I also do my own laundry and take care of my breakfast and lunch during the working week.

What always surprises me about the ladies’ reaction to hearing this is that they tend not to be envious, but shocked at this state of affairs.

Today was a good example. I was pretending to be shocked at the cost of the sandwich I bought. I said to the lady at the counter that I should save money and make my own sandwich at home to bring to work. Maricel looked very surprised and said that she thought I was married, so surely my wife would make my sandwich for me. When I told her that my wife works fulltime she shook her head in disappointment.

‘Sir, in the Philipines, even if the wife is working, still she is doing these jobs for the husband’. This wasn’t said in a tone of voice that said ‘lucky English wives’. There was a definite sense of disapproval at the fact that poor Chris might have to make his own food from time to time.

I had a similar reaction from Joy at Spinneys when I bought lots of washing powder and was told that my wife would obviously be very busy washing with it. When I told her that I did my own laundry (up to a point – the gentleman at Sparkle also help with certain items), there was a look of utter shock. It was as if I’d told her that my wife was the breadwinner and I was a househusband.

‘Poor Mr Chris!’.

I think Philipino husbands may be getting an easy ride of things.

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2 Responses to “Wife work”

  1. Fourth Breakfast Says:

    I heard a coworker say “I’m not married so I have to do my own laundry.” To which I mentally thought “That’s probably why you’re not married–you have some pretty funny expectations.” I didn’t know he would have supporters in his point of view!

  2. Nuppo Says:

    To Fourth Breakfast:

    Among my colleagues I am also considered to be an unlucky “bachelor” (girlfriends traditionally do not count – they are for “time pass” only). So I do tend to buy my own lunch (which are funnily enough considered “junk food”, though they are mostly salads…). When random colleagues ask me how I manage not to starve when I am home “alone” and I reply that I cook.I see the shock in their eyes ! You are not buying your food from “hotel” ? How did you learn to cook…etc…

    In short, I think you miss the point, Fourth Breakfast, even my educated colleagues would consider it their duty to perform those chores at home…and hence this poor fellow bachelor you are referring to, just has not yet made a choice of brides that his parents are scouting from him. I wish him good luck.

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