My wife is not leaving me

MY wife has left me with a pat on the head and the dog and flown to England for six weeks.

People say she has left me and they’re not surprised.

She told me when she rang that she hasn’t left me and she is surprised. I told her I thought her unnecessarily churlish and she said, no, she was necessarily churlish.

It kept me on my toes, she said.

I spend more time on my toes than Rudolf Nureyev.

She returns soon (assuming she was serious about not leaving me) and I shall shower her with gifts, the purpose of which will be to assure her of my continued affection and esteem.

A whipper snipper would be nice, or an electric drill.

The problem is, if I give her these things she’ll learn to use them and I will find myself sliding further down the slippery slope of obsolescence.

It’s not easy giving gifts to the woman you love in the 21st century. Irons, washing machines and microwaves are probably hanging offences; and if you give them perfumes or make-up they want to know:

a) Who did you smell this on, that you thought it worth buying?
b) Am I in such a state of advanced decrepitude that you think I need it?
c) Was it tested on animals and does it contain genetically engineered anything?
d) Is this just another chauvinist plot to stereotype women as sexual objects designed merely to be decorative.

This brings us back to whipper snippers and electric drills, which are a short bus ride away from self-interest and accusations of “you don’t love me.”

Maybe the answer is a five-year university degree. Not only does this say, “You see, I recognise you are an intelligent and sentient being – as well as being a sex object” but it probably wouldn’t set you back much more than a decent diamond ring and you can pay for it on the never-never.

Mind you, it has to be the complete works, concluding in cap and gown, little scroll with ribbon and letters after her name. Unlike diamond rings, you can’t cut corners and go for a cheaper version. A six-month evening TAFE course in home-brewing will only get you into trouble.

And you’ll have to learn to talk intelligently about Proust, or brain surgery, depending on which degree she’s taking.

There are risks, of course. Universities are full of intense and earnest young people whose vitality hasn’t been reduced by a misspent youth (mostly because they’re still busy misspending it).

If your partner spends too long in their company it won’t take long for her to look at you and reckon you’re past your sell-by date.

Before you know it she’l be leaving you with the dog and a pat on the head to fly to foreign lands with a friend shemet at uni.