Mothers Nurture - Wives Have A Different Agenda

The bishops chair, one of the oldest pieces of furniture in Sweden, about 1000 years old (AND STILL SERVICEABLE!).

From Wikimedia Commons
From Wikimedia Commons

World Woes

Sometime in the 80s, my wife unwittingly stumbled across the answer to all our modern World’s woes. Now, she’s a lovely lass, and she’s the most selfless person I’ve ever met, but if I’m a fool, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If I’m not a fool, she still doesn’t suffer me gladly. If I’m only a fool sometimes, she doesn’t suffer me gladly, at these times - or at any other time. So I spend much of my time talking to myself, a habit at which even the cat looks askance. Or else I make a nuisance of myself, and my opinions, on the internet.

Troubled Opinion

It’s my opinions that cause the trouble. I think I'm being philosophical, she says I'm being nonsensical. So, I know my place. I really have no interest in the décor; I know that for sure, because she told me so, when we married in 1973 - and she didn’t need to tell me again. I spent the first couple of days putting forward brilliant ideas, which she charmingly gainsaid. Eventually, I realised I was well out of my depth. I decided that interior design, would never be my strong point, and that was the last time I interfered.

Happy

Anyways, she was probably bringing in more money than me - I don’t know for sure, because that’s another thing I was told to keep my nose out of - but that’s how we got along. She didn’t mention the amount of beer I saw off in a week. She ignored the ephemeral, electronic musical gadgets I bought, and then shelved - outdated and useless. For my part, I'd sit on whatever chair was provided, surrounded by her choice of wallpaper, carpets and ornaments - and I was happy with that.

But, I was still entitled to an opinion - I thought. Sometimes I’d come in late at night, and a piece of furniture wasn’t where I thought it should be. I once took a tumble, ending up with my feet in the air like a dead fly - and I was held responsible for the incident. That was okay; I got used to that.

The Rant

Well, one day I was having a rant. I didn’t know then, it was a rant; I was a grumpy old man before my time, I suppose. I thought I was being profound; she thought I was meddling in her affairs. She’d rattled my cage, when she told me she’d ordered a new sitting room suite. I gave forth my opinion about the amount of material waste going on in the World; about the hours worked, paddling like mad and going nowhere, refurnishing a home, unnecessarily. “A chair is just a damn chair, as long as it’s comfortable,” I professed. “When did we ever wear a chair out in this house? When did anybody anywhere, in the entire British Isles ever sit in a chair for so long, or so often, that it actually wore out, could no longer serve its purpose, and they need to buy another?” I philosophised. I have her this time, I thought; don’t stop me now! “We’ve had half a dozen sitting room suites in about as many years”. I exaggerated. “My mother got her sitting room suite as a wedding present from her Dad in 1946, and she’s never needed another one.” She looked confounded. A brilliant, watertight argument, I thought. This time, that glib tongue of hers, is silenced!

“Well”, she said, “You should have married your Mother.”

Now, here’s the point about that domestic rant, which I never forgot; that was going so well until it hit the buffers. If consumerism ever does go out of political favour, if future generations ever do decide that profligacy is no longer sustainable - that lovely lass I married (apparently, mistakenly), had the problem solved years ago.

Mum's Memory

Mum died in the year 2000, and that living room suite she’d had since 1946 went out, along with all her other furniture. Some things went to a charity shop. Nobody wanted the suite; it probably went into landfill. It was still fully serviceable, but after a lifetime of loving, sentiment and care, it found itself redundant, at last.

I still miss Mum, and think of her often. I have a great respect for her, and her generation. I believe they were much more resourceful than we’ve been. They had much more to deal with in their time - foisted upon them, and out-with their control. However, I’m glad I didn’t marry her; horses for courses, please. Mothers nurture; wives - have a different agenda.

More by this Author


Comments 32 comments

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

Hmmm! You grumble some, but you're still there! My Mum died the year before yours, and I miss her too. She kept things for ever, and it took a very long time to clear her home. She was born in 1925 and lived in London during the war, so she knew all about making things last, and not throwing away anything that might still have an ounce of useful life left in it. On the whole I don't think incest is the answer, although I can see where your wife was going with her flip remark.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Amanda, since my Mum died, I always say to my wife, you’ll never regret a moment you spend with your Mum. The world’s never the same after their gone. But, she doesn’t need any urging from me. And I get the house to myself, and the cat, at weekends. Everyone’s a winner (except the cat.)

Your Mum would’ve seen the Blitz. The chemists in London can’t have sold many laxatives that year.


Elyse Eaton profile image

Elyse Eaton 6 years ago

You've made me chuckle today. Thanks.


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

This is a cute story and I enjoyed reading it :). The title kinda took me by surprise and did not prepare me for what I was going to read.


poetlorraine 6 years ago

i am a bit tired so i will read this again. Sure does not fit in with the title.... i like your writing style and your thought process


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Elyse, My poem, to you:)

It’s better to chuckle,

Than cause a kafuffle.

It’s better to laugh than frown,

The lines round your eyes,

Might double in size,

But at least they’ll go up - not down.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Kristenblog,

The truth is cuter than fiction.

Thanks for reading it.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

poetlorraine,

Tomorrow is another day; today was the other one yesterday.

Thanks for looking in on me.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

There is something about lounge suites and marriage! We are using the suite bought by my folks when they married in 1935, believe it or not! But it is a constant source of friction in the home - the wife doesn't like it and I think it's close to being a work of art! I just don't understand why anyone would want to get rid of it, but that's exactly what's about to happen!

Thanks for the chuckle and the rant, makes me feel less bad about my grumpiness! At least I'm not alone!

Love and peace

Tony


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Waste not, want not - as the saying goes Tony. We have to keep the same posterior for life. We might even require a hip replacement op, before we need a wallet extraction.

All the best.


DC 6 years ago

Parents of our generation went thru so very rough times and had to be frugal and that is still true today. I have alot if respect for that generation and we should learn from them.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Yes DC - and I think they were happier than this generation. My Mum and Dad struggled to bring us up, but the lack of cash caused less anxiety than the lack of cooperation from their progeny.

I get more satisfaction from making something myself than buying it out of a store.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Yes Ive always heard the worst thing a woman can do is start mothering, too late for me , mother's really are the boss though you have to admit.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi polyannalana, a poem for you.

Wives and lovers might come and go,

For any ol’ reason or other,

But every mother's son should know,

Yar' Mum is always yar’ mother.

(I’m a frustrated greetings card writer.)


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Neat ;)


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Thanks paraglider, from you, it is indeed a commentpliment.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

lol. As a newly married man (3 years) I'm early on learning the ropes...albeit the hard way. As for your argument about the suite? Man, I've been making this argument forever with a lot of people, not just my wife. She likes shoes. Not a single pair has ever seen a hole in the sole. Not a single lace has ever come unraveled or broke for that matter. I wear my shoes until I can pick them up and they can be used like a hand puppet.

Great humor. Great hub. :)


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

I was all set to be either horrified or have my mind broadened against my will when I read the title...but instead, I heard my husband talking. He, the ever logical engineer, sounds much like you. And, I, at least once in awhile, sound like your wife. I have actually said those very words, "then you should have married your mother". I would summarize my position in this manner...some things serve a purpose, they are created for function alone. (a workbench for instance) Other things are created for pleasure as well. (the draperies, a dress, a pair of shoes as examples) When they cease to please...then half of their purpose is gone. Doesn't change your mind though does it? Oh well, I tried my best.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Springboard, that pair of shoes you describe, sound a bit like the pair my Granny threw out. I pulled them out the bucket, and I’m still wearing them.

Thanks for the much needed moral support.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi mulberry1, I don’t think women are more wasteful than men; I don’t how many WMDs were designed by women. But it’s a matter of opinion - you’ve inspired a poem.

It’s a matter o’ a pin yin,

Said the man with the wooden leg,

If I don’t have my pin yin,

I ‘ave to hop upon my head,

Last time I did that thing,

I broke my walkin’ glasses,

An’ it’s a matter of opinion,

Wot ever the use now these-is.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Ha cute title and not what I expected and I had sleeves rolled up ready to comment but then I read your hub and you know Its hard to beleive that furniture lasts that long. Especially furniture that is made today compared to 1946. They made things sturdier back then. Today houses, cars, furniture are made to last a few years and then they go to junk. Good hub though.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi ladyjane1, well done - you hit the nail on the head. The point I think I missed, or forgot to mention, about the quality of modern goods. It reminds me of the Pete Seeger song.

Little boxes on the hillside

Little boxes made of ticky-tacky

Little boxes, little boxes,

Little boxes all the same

There's the green one and the pink one

And the blue one and the yellow one

And they're all made outta ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Where's the incest I was promised!?


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

It's in the post:)


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Gosh I don't remember reading this and posting, so like my mother in another few months I will be back and post again. It was better this time, maybe I am finally starting to get my friends, understand that is. As Mothers go I had the best and she loved me best but not better than my husband, he loved her too and I always swore I think she loved him more than me maybe because the last few years I was her mother, he was her buddy. He would say let me tell you a joke and she would sit down beside him and start laughing and he hadn't even got going on it yet-but she loved to laugh and she knew he would do it for her. Moms and Mums are great, most often. Where would the world be without them?


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Mums or Moms are the best Polly - we wouldn’t get far without them. (We wouldn’t be here without them.) They were there at the start, and are there until the end, and the World is never the same when they’re gone. I’m glad your Mom was well looked after as her days were getting shorter. She obviously had a good sense of humour, and that’s what we look for in our buddies.

Many thanks for the second visit - I should be too modest to say 'you can never get too much of a good thing'. Opps, there now, I’ve said it - so I can’t be that modest!


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

we still have the couch my mother in law gave us when we got married in 1981.We have at various times changed the outer cloth , the backing, the springs and the wooden base and last year we happend to want to change one and had to change them all since as one layer came off the lower one seemed defective.We would have loved to change the other parts too but these are all the parts the couch has!!.

What it has for sure is my wife's love. "look what a sturdy thing my mother gave us,"she often says"thirty years and still in service- unlike what your mother gave me"she adds pointing at me.

and if you think wives are use and throw types you should see how my children treat mobile phones.Papa it is actually an year oldd they say and move on to buy another one whose functions i never understand.

but such is life.I am glad i found another crazy person on hubpages . am enrolling as a fan


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi neeleshkulkarni,

My generation witnessed the last of the 'make-do-and-mend' ethos here in the UK. Our parents and teachers taught us to be thrifty and to save, to be honest, and never to get into debt. Now it seems that the opposite is encouraged, and such past virtues are scorned.

I think your wife is wise to value lasting quality rather than ephemeral tat; you’re a lucky man. She obviously doesn’t think you’re ephemeral tat.

Thanks for commenting.


lindatymensky profile image

lindatymensky 5 years ago

I'm following you because ladyjane1 said you were a good writer and you are. Linda


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Linda,

Thank you for following, and for your kind comment. It's nice to be nice:)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

Been a day to remember Mom, kind of a nobody loves me or ever has day, lol, and then I think of Mom. We know our Mom loved us if no one else ever did and then that makes it even sadder.


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Aww - I get these days too Jackie. I was a bit like that on Saturday. The weather was miserable for June. I came home from work and I just wanted to sit and feel sorry for myself. But on Sunday morning, the sun was shining; it's true what they say about the little things.

Cheer up - that’s how your Mom would want you.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working