x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Maintain the 'I' in marriage

I used to be completely independent, but since getting married, I rely on my husband to sort everything out for me.

Once upon a time, I was an independent woman. I needed no man. I handled myself confidently in airports around the world, undaunted by foreign languages. I dealt with bureaucratic requirements, renewing this, registering that, stamping something or other from this or that agency. I was in tune with my car and its upkeep, servicing it before the engine ever had a reason to groan. I was in control of my finances. I was informed on the nuances of any city I called home. I was solely reliant on myself for survival, and I was doing a very good job of living - and living well.

But then I got married, and I don't know what in the world happened.

It struck me recently that I have fallen easily into the role of damsel in distress when it comes to accomplishing anything other than shopping, really. If Mr T can't take care of it for me, then whatever it is will remain ignored indefinitely.

My car's insurance expired in June and got renewed only a month ago - after Mr T researched the best vehicle insurance options out there and made an appointment for a car appraisal. Likewise, my car's registration expired in May, and got renewed just three days ago - after Mr T made arrangements to have it taken care of.

Somehow, too, I have lost the ability to explain patiently to delivery people what our address is. "I don't understand what they're saying to me," I'd shriek, before tossing the phone to Mr T so he could salvage the situation. When he isn't around I just give up, hang up and resign myself to never receiving whatever package was intended for our doorstep.

Because Etisalat has the world's most convoluted system when it comes to any type of service they offer, our television can never do the normal thing and provide me with a show to watch when I turn it on. Instead, our eVision box either refuses to cooperate and freezes just as I switch it on, or the channels refuse to download and I am left staring at a blank screen. Somehow, I never seem to remember to push the reset button. Instead, I pick up the phone, call Mr T, and ask him, in despair: "What do I doooooo?"

If he's not there to throw out the rubbish, it's going to accumulate. If he forgets to pick up the mail, I will never notice because it will never occur to me. If he's not on hand to help me carry heavy loads from my car up to our apartment, they'll stay in the boot until he can get to them. Strange behaviour, really, for someone who used to lug bags of groceries home through snow and rain across at least six city blocks.

This complete reliance on my unsuspecting man has crept up on me, and it slapped me in the face last week when I got ready to grill some thawed chicken breasts on our new cooker. After using an electric appliance for a year, our recent move dictated that we switch to a gas one. Apparently, I have forgotten how to use a gas cooker.

I coaxed and cajoled the stainless steel machine to do my bidding, but try as I might, no flame was forthcoming. I had to face the truth: I had become too reliant and misplaced my resourceful knack.

I'm going to have to ask Mr T how to fix this.