JournalismPakistan.com April 25, 2013
One of the most bitter complaints that wives have against their husbands is that when their relatives come on a visit the husbands find time to cut office and take them shopping and sightseeing. But the moment it is the wife's relative who has fetched up for a few days the office workload automatically escalates and the husband cannot get away.
This leads to problems. The wife asks the husband why it is that when her cousin is here there has to be an annual board meeting. So how come all the important events always coincide with the coming of her kith and kin - not that anyone knows what kith means but it is intrinsic to the phrase, so there.
To add a certain zest to her argument the irate wife says, the same thing happened when my parents visited, you couldn't go anywhere with them but the time your parents came, you suddenly took three days off and even went with them to the Gold Souk.
The standard expat husband simply shrugs and says, it is one of those things, I just have so much to do. A whole report to write, please understand.
She would understand if it wasn't for the fact that when his brother came over on their way to London (they are always either on their way to London to Toronto, it sort of goes with the territory) the husband not only had a small party for their friends, but even took them to the desert and let them watch a belly dance.
Now, my family is here and they want to go tomorrow night. Husband looks stricken. Husband looks completely panicked. Husband says, you take them, I'll fix it. Wife says, no sunshine you are coming, too. All over expatland hundreds of husbands in similar situations in the past, now, and in the future will stop reading here and commiserate. They will also say, must you write such articles and unnecessarily cause problems, what's with you. I am just cussed, that's all.
Now the above mentioned husband, finding himself in a corner will say, you don't understand, I have a delegation from HQ coming next week, we have to make a major presentation. I cannot come and I cannot take the day off.
You will make a presentation today, says the wife - you will present yourself for the Adventure safari.
Husband says, no.
Wife says, yes and we also have to buy them a nice 'remembrance' gift.
Husband makes a gargling sound in his voice and says, isn't it enough we paid for their visas and you won't let me ask for the money. We don't have to buy them flipping gifts.
We bought gifts for your silly cousin and his yippy little wife. I didn't see you complaining then, you even bought a handbag for your sister. So, it's my sister.
Yes, but when I bought a dress for mine the first thing you said was, it looked expensive.
Ask any husband worth his salt and he will tell you that it is entirely untrue that he manages to find time to be with his relatives but the same doesn't hold true for when the wife's side of the family visits.
Nonsense, he will say stoutly. I agree. It is pure coincidence that when the wife's relatives visit the office work increases. It is one of those scientific principles and you can't really blame the husband if this lot has such bad timing.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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