|They may come in handy... one day.|
Today is International Womens' Day*. Ah! So that'll be the smell of burning bras in the air as the sisters march against all forms of patriarchal oppression.
I should have known that something was in the air (and not just immolated Playtex) when Mrs H committed what is surely a mortal sin in the world of blokey blokes. The other day (I have already began repressing dates as a means to bury the bad memories) Mrs H went into my Holy of Holies, she marched right into my Sanctuary and defiled what is blokey holy ground. She went deep into 'me shed.'
I can sense men gasping audibly across the interweb! Old Pa Hurley has had to hold onto the furniture to avoid falling to the floor in an onset of male pattern dizziness.
The first I knew was when the back door opened and she pronounced "we need to have a sort out."
I put down Hilaire Belloc (in ceramic form) on the table as I paused mid cuppa. What could she mean? I knew Rhys Priestland had had a bad game against England, but was she proposing bringing Mike Phillips back into the starting 15? I wouldn't be adverse to that, loving a bit of the Phillips righteous anger in his play.
Or was she referring to the way Cardiff City have slipped down the league somewhat after blazing a trail in the League Cup?
Or was she thinking we should drive up to Scotland to visit Cardinal O'Brien, to clap the Prince of the Church on the back with a resounding "well done boyo" for speaking out against the oxymoronic insidious idea of 'gay marriage'?
All three were certainly worthy of an in-depth debate and concrete action. I'd have to polish my shoes (especially if visiting the Cardinal), but then it's always a good thing to have an excuse to dress-up, have a shave and splash on some smellies, like a latter day Henry Cooper.
But this was different. I could see the fire in her eyes that neither rugby, football nor even the hot socio-political topics of the day could induce.
It was then that she dropped the bombshell. She had been into the inner sanctum of blokeyness and had (sit down or hold onto some sturdy furniture!) emptied out the paint pots. And sure enough, looking up the garden I could see a plethora of paint tins, big and small, metal and plastic, sat outside the door of my little piece of paradise.
Oh the ignominy! Old Ma Hurley had once told me that she had made Old Pa Hurley empty out some of his old paint tins from his garage (rumour was that there was original old grey paint used by Robert E Lee back in the day) but even though you laugh and chuckle, you never really think you'll see the day yourself when you are... erm... emasculated via the removal of paint tins.
Oh the shame. The ignominy.
Every man knows this day will surely come, but when it arrives.... oh boy oh boy.
And there we are. I am now a man in name only. My old, rusty, almost empty, years old pots of paint. I suppose like old flames when you meet your true love, or the comfy smelly old trainers under the stairs that give the cupboard a cheesy, musty smell all of their own - you know you have to do this, to move on, to embrace the future. But I must admit seeing my old rusty, dusty, paint encrusted friends go, the large and the small, the matt and the gloss, the emulsion and the undercoat...
I had to try hard not to be like Lot's wife, looking back at Sodom (if the goodly Scottish Cardinal is looking in - that one's for you Your Eminence) as I put the paint tins into the car to go down to the municipal tip - though not looking at my old loves as I loaded them in wasn't easy!
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.
When I was a young bloke I saved my pots of paint like Old Pa Hurley, but now I am a middle aged married man I have to let Mrs H have a clear-out once in a blue moon.
So as I said at the beginning, it is International Womens Day. And I have done my bit! I have acquiesced in, nay -- I have facilitated in the removal of an icon of blokeyness. I am akin to the fifth column working for the feminists. Will I have to go in disguise the next time I cross a pub threshold? Will I get a medal from Harriet Harperson the Harpie, the Haranguers of He-Males everywhere?
I may just deserve one.
* This was written before midnight!