Part-Time Wife

So I’m sitting here with egg on my face.

That’s not even a metaphor. Literal (or do I mean physical?) egg, dripping onto the keyboard.  Also, cooking oil in my hair, (it was meant to be olive oil but we ran out – and what with the egg in my eyes it was very nearly soy sauce).

Tomorrow you see,  is Glen’s birthday.  So today is Pimp-a-wife.  However, instead of unveiling a beautiful swan, I seem to have liberated my inner pigeon.  And not one of those plump Gastropub pigeons either – one of the mangy Trafalgar Square ones with missing toes and chip breath.

Yes I know that beauty on the inside is what counts.  But what with the nagging and everything, that’s tricky too.  Option B is to  jump out of a birthday cake, but  if I had to stay still for a long period  either my knees would give up or I’d need the loo – plus, how would I breathe amidst all that sponge? Last time I tried my hand at baking it was impossible to tell where the ‘cake’ ended and the tin began, so I’m not going there either. Plus, I’m not great at public, (or private) displays of affection. I said I loved him on our wedding day and I haven’t taken it back – now that’s romance..

Egg-pack or not, I suspect I’m falling slightly short on the whole wife thing. So I’ve been intrigued to hear about a book by Gaby Hinsliff called ‘Half A Life: The Working Family’s Guide to Getting A Life Back’. (No sure about the ‘Back’ bit, but let’s run with it for the moment).

Hinsliff argues that the solution to Wifely Fails is to opt for what she calls being a ‘Half Wife’: an cut-price version of the full wife package.  To do this, the working wife needs to set aside two days a week of ‘wife time’, which are then filled by what she calls traditional wifely tasks. Problem is, she doesn’t stipulate what bits you need to prioritise.  Domestic goddess – or love slave? Mow the legs or mow the lawn? Do the shopping or fix your hair? Two days isn’t really very long – but on the up side, you presumably get five days of ‘non-wife’ time, when you can – I dunno, stalk Michael Fassbender and eat beans from the tin. You have to admit, it holds a certain appeal.

Plus, the idea could easily be extended to other areas.  The ‘Quarter Christian’, for example.  Turn up for church, throw in a couple of quiet times or a prayer meeting, et voila: job done! Oodles of lovely me-time without all that complicated God-stuff. Or the ‘Occasional Friend’: available for parties, but not babysitting.

In any case, this egg-mask  clearly counts as overtime.  Forget Glen’s  birthday: by the time I’ve wiped it off, He’ll owe me a cake.





11 thoughts on “Part-Time Wife

  1. You could always add some flour and baking powder to the egg and you’d have the beginnings of a cake…

  2. In the absence of a ‘shaking fist’ emoticon I have three words for you Jon: Marks and Spencer’s…

  3. I have the most easy-peasy 10 minute choccy cake recipe I could send you – you do it in the microwave, in a mug :D

  4. This has made me laugh at the end of a long day! Thank you.
    PS – I bake birthday cakes because I love cooking, but M&S is just as good if you don’t love the cooking bit. We’ve had quite a few Colin the Caterpillar cakes over the years and very nice he is too!

  5. It’s interesting how often Christianity is treated like a kind of recipe of right ingredients, but none of those really count when real life hits us full on. I recall when I was loosing Kay how it was the few, apt words in the ‘silence’ of events (Lewis’ ‘A Grief Observed’) which really mattered. The same is no doubt true in all of life – moments heavy with consequence and meaning.

    Never been a great cake-maker either… used to do cake mix cheese cakes – does that count?

  6. Sorry Emma, was a bit slow to get back to you with the quickest choccy cake recipe ever! Here it is:

    Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

    4 tablespoons self rasing flour
    3 tablespoons sugar (any type!)
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1 egg
    3 tablespoons milk
    3 tablespoons oil (any – olive, sunflower, whatever!)
    very large mug / soup mug / small pyrex dish

    Mix all ingredients together well in a bowl – I use a hand whisk to get rid of any lumps. Add optional extras if desired (choc chips, berries, jam, marmalade, coconut, etc). Pour mixture into your large mug, or small pyrex dish. Then place in microwave and zap for 3 mins on maximum power. Wait until cake stops rising and sets in the mug. It tends to rise upwards, so shouldn’t spill out of the mug, even if you think it might do!
    This does enough for two, and is nice with a dollop of ice cream :D

  7. Half Wife? Hmm… sounds like something that might encourage half a husband, which I wouldn’t really be interested in. Half a baby, half a heart, half a savior who half saves, somethings just cant be split and retain any of their value can they? I used to be consumed with what the perfect wife looked like. Mainly because I thought the “success” of our marriage depended on me (too many Christian books full of blame and pride boosters) Now I have a really different view of how God uses even rotten isolating marriages to shape and change and grow us for his own glory. Iron sharpening iron and all that stuff. If you haven’t ever read it, Mike Masons “The Mystery of Marriage” would be a beautiful late-birthday present. No frosting in the hair or hair in the frosting. (Sometimes I do a baked custard like creme brulee for my husband’s b-day. So easy with just four ingredients, baked ahead of time and chilled! Just put the recipe on our new business facebook page called “Rose Briar Cottage Duckary”)

  8. Love this comment Caroline.

    So encouraging to be reminded that perfection is not what the gospel is about – at least, not ours! As you put it, “God uses even what’s shape and change and grow us for His glory”: all my innards are shouting ‘yes’ to this. Going to order The Mystery of Marriage now..

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