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A few good men

Dorothy Victor, July 28, 2013, DHNS : 18:03 IST

Humour

In Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the master storyteller makes a bold statement, “Get thee a good husband and use him as he uses thee.” A good number of women of the modern era are indeed beneficiaries of his brilliant advice. Say goodbye to the doormat wives of yesteryears. Say hello to the new generation of wives who have found the golden key to unlock the resourcefulness of men at home.

A close friend of mine, for instance, once related to me, “In my home, my husband who is very resourceful takes all the big decisions, like what should be done to save the Taj Mahal, how to combat poverty in our country, who should bear the consequences of bad governance and so on, while I make all the small decisions like what car we should buy, where to plan our next holiday, how to celebrate our wedding anniversary and such other trivia.” Incidentally, the same resourceful husband has on another occasion admitted, “I always have the final word in any discussion: It is — yes, dear!”

When a man chooses to be resourceful, his marriage is in harmony and his life more secure than his stereotype macho contemporaries. A story is told of a co-operative husband who was advised by his close confidant to assert himself. “You don’t have to let your wife bully you,” he said. “Go home and show her you are the boss.” The husband decided to take the friend’s advice. He went home, slammed the door, shook his fist in his wife’s face, and growled, “From now on, you are taking orders from me. I want my supper right now, and when you get it on the table, go upstairs and lay out my clothes. Tonight, I am going out with the boys. You are going to stay at home where you belong. Another thing, you know who is going to tie my bow tie?” “I certainly do,” his wife said calmly, “the undertaker!”

Clearly, it is beneficial for any modern day husband to know that he has only two chances of having his way with his woman: slim or none. And today’s men are indeed a perceptive and adaptable lot. They can cook, housekeep, baby-sit, replenish the monthly supplies, play host, and take charge of sundry services that his dad would have been at his wit’s end to perform. These men are indeed their wives’ pride and their mothers’ envy.

Just the same, as any hero has a hundred critics, these supermen have their share of being ridiculed too. ‘Henpecked and bullied,’ they get branded. From being referred to as a ‘dude’, the idol gets relegated to being called ‘subdued!’ But that won’t dampen the spirit of such men, whose only mission is to be in the good books of their better halves. For, these wise men know that family happiness is in direct proportion to their wives’ happiness. A happy home after all calls for someone to give way. Like the rule in sailing, which states that the more manoeuvrable ship should give way to the less manoeuvrable craft. Happy indeed is the home where the more manoeuvrable man is resourceful in making room for the less manoeuvrable poor, weaker sex!

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