So, Maria really wanted a party for her 40th birthday. I mean, really, really, wanted a party. There was to be streamers, balloons with purple ribbons hanging gracefully below as they danced around the room, smiling faces of loved ones and friends who would all bring her thoughtful and tasteful gifts. Yes, Maria really wanted a party.
A week after the non-event, Maria and I discussed the lack of festivities over our decaf soy mocha lattes, which quickly got swapped for espresso martini's because decaf soy mocha lattes are stupid.
As Maria lamented her 40th at home with l'husband and the demon-children with a cake, thoughtfully baked by Woolworths, it dawned on me. The problem was not with l'husband, but with Maria, and more importantly, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
Working to the logic, that everyone time Maria gave l'husband some menial mind-numbing task that she couldn't bear to do herself, he'd stuff it up because he used his 'initiative'.
Working on the premise that l'husband would use his initiative and organise the desperately longed for soiree where Maria would, while wearing new party frock purchased specially for the occasion, bask in comments like "no, darling, you don't look forty", or "you've had three kids, no, surely not", or "you must be so pleased you're flatchested; look at these droopy bowling balls you pert thing"; Maria was sadly let down.
Instead, working on the specific instruction given, l'husband did something most unusual and did exactly what he was told. Using his 'initiative', he thought this was a big deal to Maria and that she clearly didn't want to be reminded that her 'list of things to be done by 40' was still sitting there with most items unchecked.
So, to all you Maria's out there, remember, men - and I am one, are largely stupid. Be explicit and tell us exactly what you want and don't leave out details because this is where we get creative. Next thing you're romantic weekend for two has just become a week-long tour of interstate golf courses. Or your much-longed for birthday bash with your nearest and dearest, has turned into an evening feeding spaghetti to a three year old rather than sashaying about in your new dress with spaghetti straps!