Monday, March 29, 2004

It's a man's world

My sister called me quite distraught. She caught her husband with a packet of pretzels in the sitting room, which was already cleaned for Pesach. While I patiently explained to her that it was not a personal attack on her nor did it mean that he does not take her, or her cleaning seriously, I was battling with my innate sense of honesty that wanted me to admit that I used to do it too.

I really do admire the vigour that women display in getting all traces of anything to do with wheat out of the house. True the extremes are sometimes funny. I have never actually seen any of the kids swinging from the curtains or chandelier holding a sandwich, but if the women feel the need to remove all traces of bread from there too I am happy to be supportive and even take the curtains down without a murmer.

I am perfectly happy to see a five pound box of washing powder thrown out because it wasn’t on the pesach list and the washing room is already cleaned. I don’t mention that the clothes going into the room to be cleaned are far more likely to have actual chometz on them, because then I might find no more fresh clothes in my cupboard.

For some reason I find it hard to accept that when G-d commanded us not to eat bread for eight days, he really meant us to be driven into smaller and smaller spaces with our food until we climax a couple of days before pesach furtively eating day old sandwiches on the porch. Yet I hold my tongue because I have come to the conclusion that what we men do is incredibly patronising.

Most men you will ask will tell you that, as a general rule, our women today are stricter than the men. Most women will be more forceful and declare that if their husbands had their way their kitchens would be totally treife (unkosher). The reason for this is that the men are the ones that spend their time studying so they know all the loopholes and reasonings. The Women learn in a much more practical way so they get only the do’s and don’ts. That is understandable. What is not is the prevalent attitude of ‘let her do her thing and I will do mine. I find it is demeaning to suggest that they do the work and we condescendingly tell them ‘it’s ok dear you don’t understand’ and then go off and do our thing, to their genuine horror.

I therefore freely admit that I do go along with all the things she makes me do and if I am less of a man for it I think at least I have earned her respect – even if she does not know it.

For the same reason dear readers I will be taking a Pesach break and probably will not be posting till after Pesach.

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