I don't feel as macho as I used to. It's not just my advancing age (I'll be 60 next February.) My asawa has stripped me of my last official chore at our new residence outside of Iloilo City. Back in the States I would load the washing machine, put clothes in the dryer, and fold the clothes. I would also load the dishwasher and empty it (though my spouse would often rearrange the way I had dishes stacked.) I tried to vacuum, but since my skills with our Hoover weren't up to my wife's standards, she snatched that job away from me, too (frankly, that didn't really hurt my feelings.)
I would cook my own meals for the most part since my better half preferred rice with every meal and some fish that stunk up our whole house when she fried it. Why sometimes I would even clean my own bathroom, I mean CR. Of course I took out the garbage (which I am not required to do at our new home, but do dump it when the mood strikes me.) But this latest job that has been unceremoniously taken away from me in my twilight years kind of hurts.
I have been relieved of water duty. Yes, when we do have tubig in our subdivision every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (anywhere from a starting time between 9:00 am-10:45 but always prompting ending at 4 pm), I was filling our huge water barrel outside our kitchen door, and two smaller barrels, one near our kitchen sink and one near the CR (Comfort Room.) I also filled up every available water bucket and plastic soda bottles which comprises our emergency toilet flushing source. But no more. As I turned on the main faucet in our CR's shower last Saturday in preparation for the water pressure to be turned on, my asawa promptly informed me that she would be filling up all the water barrels now.
"Why?" I asked with a somewhat hurtful tone in my voice.
"Because every time you do it you get all the rugs wet." was her reply.
Now when my stressed spouse says "rugs" she is referring to something that I would call a place mat (see next photo.) These cheap 50 peso (1.15 Us Dollars) affairs are scattered throughout our home (back in Guimaras we used my old boxers or t-shirts by the kitchen sinks and CR and the doorway; I have banned those at our new home.)
You might wonder how I classified filling the water barrels as a "manly chore?" And rest assured, new reader, that I make very little attempt to be "politically correct" and proudly use the word "manly." Well, first I get to haul buckets of heavy water from the outside spout to fill up the outside barrel. My asawa, who started working on her family's rice farm literally in the heart of the jungle at the tender age of seven, is quite capable of lifting buckets of water without my help. But I enjoyed splashing the water into the barrel, and if I occasionally missed my target, who cares. The barrel is outside.
But I guess the problem started when my asawa insisted on buying a hose from Ace Hardware in SM City to make the chore easier. I plunked down 350 pesos (about 8 US Dollars) for one of the cheapest hoses I could find and started filling up the outside barrel with it.
Trouble is when I took the hose and placed it into the barrel in the kitchen, the unattended hose would sometimes suddenly jump out splashing the "rugs" (place mats) on the floor. They would get soaking wet. If I would have just taken the "rugs" off the floor before I started my water filling chores, and replaced them when I was done (and had a chance to mop up the floor), I probably would have been OK. But that would have required extra work and common sense, two things I have an aversion to at times.
So now I am left without manly chores to do around the home. Some faithful readers may recall that I used to be treated like a king and did not have to lift a finger to do one scrap of housework. Well, we're back to that status again. However, I did get out my screwdriver and hang up a pair of scissors and a couple of tools on the side of the wooden stand that our LP Gas stove top sits on, but that only made me long for the days when I had my "man cave" garage back in the States. I used to pretend to build stuff in there, had a wall full of tools, including my beloved 19.2 volt Craftsmen Rechargeable Drill with two batteries. Our DirecTV installer saw that drill, clearly impressed by it as he announced: "Yours is bigger than mine!" He had some measly 18-point-something inferior model. I could barely control my snickering. He obviously had a case of "tool envy.")
When we build our new home in the Philippines, you can bet I'll have a garage in the plans. I miss going out into the garage and pretending to be useful. We also hope to have running water on a daily basis that doesn't smell like sewer water and is only available three days a week (supposed to have that service in our subdivision within six months from now.) Then my asawa will lose her new water refilling job, but rest assured she still has plenty of more chores to do. Me, I continue to sit on my rump every day and pretend to "work" on this website. It's not very manly or macho, but it gives me the illusion of usefulness. And I'm OK with that. Beats working any day!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF MY READERS FROM THE STATES AND TO ALL THOSE AMERICAN EXPATS IN THE PHILIPPINES. HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY AND THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.