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Monday, 27 August 2012

Curtains for TSB

I had the weekend all planned.

A gentle day of minimal dusting, occasional vacuuming and snoozing with a good book (not THE Good book, but A good book, full of violence, blood, sex and copious gunfire), with a few healthy libations of beer/wine/whisky, culminating with the All Blacks attacking playing the Australians in the evening.

Apparently, I was completely wrong, as my Beloved said we were off to Wellington to shop for curtains.

I then asked what was in retrospect a rather silly question.

"Curtains?" "Why do we need curtains", "and what room needs curtains my Dear?"

"The front room obviously" she replied with rather a condescending sneer in her voice.

"But Darling, we've been in this house for 7 years now, and we haven't had curtains in that room for 6 of them"

"And if I remember correctly, wasn't it you that told me to take down the existing curtains when me moved in?"

"And wasn't it you who said we didn't need curtains because it made the room so nice and bright, and that anyway we had complete privacy because no one could see in?"

"And wasn't it you who said that curtains just gather dust and spiders, and that nobody in their right mind would want them?"

"The sunshine glares on the TV" she snarled said.

Ah, the light dawns.  My Beloved, being mostly a woman of leisure, is a devotee of Rugby Football in all of its forms (apart from League) and she's recently become an avid viewer of College Rugby on the Rugby channel. 
These show at odd times of the day, and apparently some of these matches are being broadcast at the same time the sun blazes in through our front windows and causes too much glare on the big Sony flatscreen, for my Beloved to make out all the details of the young men running around in tight shorts, covered in mud and blood.

So off we went to Wellington and bought the curtains.

I didn't know that curtain material was so expensive.  I could have bought a new laptop for the price of the bloody curtains, but what must be must be, so we bought them.

On the way home, we detoured slightly to go into the small town/suburb of Petone.  This area, traditionally a working class town by the sea, has undergone considerable gentrification over the last 5 years, and there are some nice shoe shops in Jackson Street. 

So I was told anyway.

We did the usual thing as we strolled along the street towards the show shop with the woman-enticing sign hanging outside - SALE 30% OFF  -, we looked into the shop windows as we passed down, pausing (lengthily) at various clothes and junk antique establishments along the way.  Funnily enough, when we reached a really interesting tool shop, where I wanted to stop and peruse the wondrous collection of specialised planes, moulding planes, spokeshaves and beautiful Japanese dovetail saws, my Beloved harrumphed impatiently at this obvious waste of our time, so we reached our objective, the shoe shop.

I did what every bloke would do.  I let my Beloved go in, and then I rapidly exited to go back to the tool shop.

A ½ hour later, when I returned to the shoe shop, my Beloved was still examining shoes and talking to the saleslady.  There were about 10-12 ladies in the shop, and they all stopped what they were doing and glared looked at me. The saleslady smiled (rather condescendingly I thought) at me and said:

"There are various shoe cleaning materials available for your examination at the rear of the premises, Sir"

She pointed to the rear of the shop.

"You will find various and exhaustive lists of technical specifications, which for some reason most Men seem to find fascinating."

I just pointed to my freshly polished and gleaming shoes, and she sighed.
"It's funny how many men do the same thing"

I just smiled gently and switched my brain off for the next 15 minutes.

My Beloved showed me a pair of shoes she had selected and (after a force 7 elbow nudge) I nodded benignly (I know my place) and she completed the purchase.

God, they were horrible.  A basic design of a traditional "Granny Shoe" but using a curiously mottled green and hairy leather.

As the shoebox was put into the fancy carrier bag, the saleslady again smiled at me in obvious dismissal.

I then said something I shouldn't have.

I said to the saleslady (but being overheard by all the other ladies in the shop)

"I always like coming into a ladies' shoe shop"

She cocked an enquiring eyebrow.

"It always puts me in a good mood"

Her eyebrows elevated further.

"When I see something like that" I pointed to a particularly repulsive creation disporting a huge wedge heel and sole, and displaying various yellow, blue, red and purple pieces of leather, "I can hardly contain my laughter, and I feel good for the rest of the day"

Something like this, but much, much worse.
She glared at me.

My Beloved glared at me.

Every bloody woman in the shop glared at me.

"I used to have one like that " hissed my Beloved.

I just smiled (condescendingly) at all and sundry, and left with that feeling of Male superiority known to every bloke who has just managed to insult the common-sense of every woman who has ever lived.

I paid for it later of course, but sometimes one has to pay the price of invincible self-superiority.

I kept smiling in fond rememberance whilst I hung up the bloody curtains.

And to finish the day off perfectly, the All Blacks thumped the Aussies 22-0.

Tough luck guys *snigger*
And I had beer to go with it.


  1. "I just smiled (condescendingly) at all and sundry, and left with that feeling of Male superiority known to every bloke who has just managed to insult the common-sense of every woman who has ever lived."

    I don't know that feeling. My amygdala just kicks in with a normal fear response in those situations.

    1. I used to get that, but I think that I've burned-out my amygdala long ago.
      Maybe that's why I can still teach after 15 years.
      No fear and no sense of smell.

  2. The Good Book! Like any of your regular readers would suspect you of reading the Bible.

    1. How can you say such a thing Jen.

      Is it that obvious?

  3. Curtain shopping sounds quite dire. I think the proper order of things is for the superior half to go curtain shopping, while you have a well deserved nap. Once she returns with new curtains you say, "well done." And it is never spoken of again.

    1. Excellent idea. Perhaps you could drop in off an evening and suggest it to my Beloved.

      Please warn me before you come, so I can get my flak jacket properly prepared.

  4. Rob is impervious to payback when he's smug and gloating. You do know I have to take your wife's side. It's a DNA thing.

    1. Yes, I do know you have to take the other side...I understand, you can't help it.

  5. You went to a curtain shop instead of asking for samples from an on-line catalogue? That sounds very labour-intensive to me.
    I'd like to know how many of the All-Blacks accompany their wives on curtain-buying expeditions. I suspect the answer is zero. Your wife needs to know this.

    1. Thanks for your support, it means so much to me. I've been told that feeling the material is an essential component to the whole buying process.

      It sort of makes sense.

      Would you buy a case of beer without trying one first?

      Anyway, the All Blacks are too tired to go to the shops after whipping the poor bloody Aussies.

  6. I would have thought the entire process could have been done on-line? Actual physical shopping is so last year.

    1. Thanks Steve, but seems that the physical expedition is needfull.

  7. I got a bit worried then when I read your post title. I thought, what, no more TSB. How will we survive. No more tits and arse, no more grumpy man, no more angry man, no more diatribe. Then I had another cake and all was fine. Curtains smurtains blahdy blah!

    1. Gosh Yonks, you're such a caring person.


      Have you no compassion?
      No feelings for a poor bogtrotten man?

      *retires, hurt, sulking, looking for a compassionate whisky*

    2. Oh, and BTW, do you see any "tits and arse" as you so colourfully put it in this post? you?

      It's obvious the curtains have some sort of testosterone absorbing qualities.

    3. I have noticed a more feminine side coming out of TSB recently. I like it :-) I on the other hand have started taking kelp and going to the gym which seems to have brought out an aggressive side to me, an aggressive cake eating bitch! Aren't you glad you're not on this side of the planet!

    4. Feminine side?

      Oh God, i hope not.

      What's next?

      Attending macrame classes?
      Having a spa?
      Doing the darning?...wait a minute...I did didn't I.

      Oh God, you're right.

      I wonder if I can get a pullover in a fetching shade of pastel peach?

  8. {Sexist mode: on}

    Are women genetically incapable of going shopping unaccompanied? I wouldn't dream of dragging my amour ourso that she could see me standing around in bookshops reading bits of cricket books.

    1. Thank you for those kind and somewhat incomprehensible words looby. Now I know I'm considered somewhat of a God in Technicalogical and Scientific circles, but I do admit (grudgingly) to have some extrememly small gaps in my education in the areas of literature, mostly because it's so bloody boring.

      However, what does "amour ourso" mean.

      I would imagine by context it approximates to "My Love" or "My Bit" or even "Her Indoors", but elucidation is sought.

      Completely agree on the last. I suspect that it is some sort of codicil to natural law, that time spent in bookshops is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  9. Operative word being "had." HAD the weekend planned.

    I steam-cleaned the carpeting. Dragged a 100-pound steam cleaner all throughout the house. My muscles are screaming at me.

    I loved watching rugby when I visited London. If it ever catches on here in the U.S., American football is doomed. Rugby is a vastly superior game.

    1. You too?

      Is there some sort of world-wide conspiracy that forces blokes into doing these things?

      Of course there is. It's called womanhood.

      I feel for your aching muscles. I suggest either the application of "Deep Heat" (making very sure you wash your hands very thoroughly before touching any "sensitive" bits. This is the voice of bitter and painful experience talking) or a little bit of alcohol, flavouring of your choice.

      I played Rugby at school in Scotland, but was never that keen.

      We played in the winter.

      Have you any idea what it's like playing Rugby in just shorts and a thin jersey in the middle of a Scottish winter?

      Let me just say that I'm lucky I've still got nipples.

      Down here in New Zealand, the whole country is completely Rugby (called footie)obsessed and more than a touch mad.

      It's great to be World Champs though.

  10. Curtain shopping.

    *shakes head*

    I spent the weekend assisting in a bathroom-tile tear-out situation.

    Mmmm. Mold.


    1. Oh, Pearl, you are so lucky.

      Most blokes would even sacrifice what little sex-life we have left for spending a weekend ripping out tiles.

      The crash of the sledgehammer, the "sshhluckkk" as a tile is forced off the wall with a prybar, the screams as a piece of razor-sharp glaze penetrates another sensitive bit.

      I envy you.

      Hmmm...mold. Very tasty when fried in butter.

  11. You are a brave, brave man. Facing down a shoe shop full of women? I wouldn't attempt that and I am one. I think....

    Yup, I am, whew!

    1. Not perhaps brave, just slightly desperate and more than a shade deranged.

      She's alrady got a complete cupboard (2.5 m x 1m x 1m) full of bloody shoes, and they're overflowing into the one shelf where I keep my shoes.

      Anyway, it's like facing down a pack of rabid dogs. You just can't show any fear.

      How did you check, if that's not an improper question?

  12. Luckily I leave my daughter to curtain shopping... last time they travelled round trip of about 60 miles to a shop everyone recommended... came home empty handed and order some from the internet to go to a shop less than a mile away. I went to pick them up (of course) and woman asks why we ordered them, they had loads of that style/colour/size in stock!!!

    1. There is no fathoming the ways of women and shopping.

      I gave up the whole thing as a bad job many years ago, and now just do as I'm told.

      This episode of having a dig at the ladies in the shoe shop was decidedly uncharacteristic.

  13. Of course, your Beloved is right, you do have to feel the quality of a curtain . . . I mean, would you buy a new tool on-line?

    1. Yes, you're probably correct, but at least I didn't sigh langorously whilst stroking the material.

      I do however, tend to groan whilst caressing a new saw.

  14. Its a universal.
    Men are always shocked at the prices of curtain material, lounge suites, carpets and other generally unnecessary things yet women aren't.

    1. Completely agree.

      it's always these unnecessary things that cause the grief.

      But if I mention bottles of malt whisky, or a new computer, then things get nasty.

  15. Replies
    1. Afternoon Richard, exams almost over. How are your reports going?

  16. Curtains and shoes? Oh no, she owes you for that. That's double torture. Nobody can make me shop. I order online, as long as it works/fits/isn't repulsive it gets used. Life is too short to make a quest of household needs. Boy does she owe you. Big time. My husband and I never made each other shop together. Except for a sofa. First and last time. We knew it would end in tears if we did it again.

    1. At least dresses were not included.

      Sorry, I don't cry (often)

  17. as Tracey Emin would say: you can't fuck a shoe.....!!

    1. The fragrant Tracey may be incorrect.

      I've seen it done.

      Mind you it was in an Army Barrack room after about 12 pints.

      I hasten to say it wasn't me, but the bastard used MY shoe. (Actually it was a boot filled with a mince pie, but I don't want to quibble)

  18. A woman can spend a months pay on the smallest thing and think nothing of it. Mine spent ten thou doing up two rooms and less than a year later wanted to change the carpets because they got dirty to easily... I wanted a tool to make money (air compressor for spray painting) for 1/10 of what she spent and she said it was a waste of money...a waste of MY wages. What she really meant of course was that anything that was not for her was a waste of money..
    Of course I found a way around that, I moved out and now have an entire shed full of expensive tools/toys..

    1. Their priorities definitely seem different from ours, but there are exceptions.
      One of my colleagues has a wife who, when he is contemplating buying a tool, insists that he buy only the absolutely best quality, regardless of cost.

      At least, that's what he told me.

      And to be fair, my Beloved did get me a Ride-On Mower at our last house.

    2. My dad always said you should buy the very best of everything, within your budget... Thats where I went wrong, I got a fine wife, but she was well outside my budget..

    3. So you had champaigne taste and a beer budget?

      My Dad gave me a piece of advice as well.
      He said:
      1. "When you get into an argument, and you win the argument, appologise at once."

      2. "It's a husbands duty to stop his wife spendng money"

      Wise words.


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