Having it all is a hiding to nothing

Ye gods, why do women whinge so much about so little? Get some real problems, for God’s sake.

Saw this article in the Daily Mail today (‘They have it all, so why is it so hard for some women to be happy?’) and I couldn’t help thinking: God, what a bunch of whingers women are.

No wonder men get sick of us. 

"Men try to make us happy, but end up doing all the wrong things," intones the writer. "They buy the wrong birthday presents, book the wrong type of treat, buy their wife the lingerie she doesn’t want to wear."

Well doh. As one of my friends once said: "At least you’ve GOT a husband…"

My husband, incidentally, has a foolproof way of getting me the right thing for my birthday. He says: "What do you want for your birthday?" and I tell him. It works a treat. If I was hanging around waiting for rose petals to be strewn on the bed or a secret midnight flight to a Paris restaurant, I’d be sadly disappointed. Better to be happy with simple things.

Men are not mind-readers any more than women are. Why do we expect them to be? In fact, why do we expect anything at all for our birthdays? Birthday presents aren’t important, and nor are treats. Much of the population of the world lives entirely without such gew-gaws. 

It strikes me that most of the women in this article are like budgies in a cage – what they need is some real bloody problems. Problems like not having enough to eat, or enough for a new pair of shoes. Instead, they’re whingeing because their men don’t help more with the kids, or with the housework, or work too-long hours.

How many of these women regularly check the tyre pressures or put oil in the car, I wonder? How many mow the lawn and gravel the drive and do the heavy lifting, or earn the lion’s share? It strikes me that many women are happy to have a traditional marriage just so long as advantages accrue, but they get snippy the minute they’re actually required to DO something.

I notice it especially with children, which – in my experience – women want far more than men do. One of the reasons I don’t have any is that I knew damn well I’d effectively be a single parent and the DH would do sod all. God knows, he doesn’t even look after the cats – kids would be WAY beyond him. He can barely remember to put the milk in the fridge.

I am willing to bet that many women who don’t think their lives are all they could be aren’t too busy, they’re just too busy being princesses. It reminds me of one friend who had an affair the second the ‘romance went out’ of her marriage. Her husband wouldn’t make love to her any more, she said. The fact that her husband was working 16-hour days renovating a gite so that she and he and their daughter could all have a better life seemed to have escaped her.  No wonder the poor sod didn’t feel like sex – he was so knackered he was falling asleep on the floor, surrounded by tools. 

Women don’t cope well with routine, says the writer. They look around and think ‘is this it?’ Well, here’s some news: of COURSE this is it. There IS no it. Hemingway perhaps put it best when he said that happiness isn’t something you experience, it’s something you remember. People in the West don’t live mindfully, in the present – they’re always either nostalgic for something they used to have or looking forward to getting something they want, rather than enjoying the moment. And that moment passes so quickly, it’s gone.

As for having it all, this again reminds me of something – Denis Leary’s wonderful routine No Cure for Cancer. "Your life didn’t turn out like you thought it would?" he says. "Join the fucking club."

Give that man a medal.


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