Archive for February 9th, 2011

I’m Not Your “Mummy” Boo

About six weeks ago, I got myself a puppy. A black cocker spaniel, whom I have named Boo. Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to have a dog, but unfortunately, my dad – a lovely dad in every other way – is not keen on animals. So no dog as a child. No dog later, either. Student life, followed by years of travelling, more years of living abroad, then more years of shared living, apartment and no-pet living, and then a cottage with no garden all meant I couldn’t have a dog.

But I do now finally have a garden, and hence I am finally able to have a hound. I don’t have the dog long, but she’s cute and smart: she can sit, lie down, give the paw, stay, and walk on a lead pretty well. So far, so predictable.

But what has surprised and annoyed me in these weeks since I’ve had a dog is the number of people – all women – who look at the dog and look at me, and say things along the lines of, “Oh, she knows who her mummy is!” or “where’s your mummy? (never, I note with dry interest, ‘where’s your mammy?’)

I’m flummoxed by this figure of speech. Boo is a dog, not a child. At the vet, where I brought her for a booster injection, two women declaimed thus. Female strangers on the street, admiring her, all say the same. Every single day when I’m out walking her. Even friends who call to my house also use the same term, until I ask them not to, because, frankly, it makes me cringe.

I have a dog. I am not her mummy. I’m the dog’s owner. Her four-legged golden cocker spaniel mother resides in rural Galway. My puppy Boo – sweet and smart as she is – is a dog and not a human being and will be treated like the dog she is. Of course I’ll take good care of her, but I am baffled as to why people want to humanise an animal, or automatically assume that your role of owner makes you that animal’s “mummy”. If it is simply a figure of speech, it’s a weird and uncomfortable one, and I wonder why it is only women who use it?

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Sexy Housework?

Imagine, if you will, that you are a young professional woman. Through your profession you meet a man, a well dressed, well-groomed man. You fall for each other, date, and as people are wont to do, you move in together.

So fine, so rosy.

Imagine then, again if you will, in a short space of time, this charming man reveals himself to be Wayne Slob. He cuts his toenails in the kitchen, he leaves the toilet seat up, he leaves cups everywhere. He turns from sexy right, to an intolerable and unhygienic wrong. You begin to question whether you find him sexy any longer, possibly while removing a toe nail clipping from your carefully Nana knitted cereal.

What to do!? What to do?!

Why of course! Write to Rosanna Davidson!

Dear Rosanna, what to do about Wayne?

Now me, I’m old school.  Were I to discover I lived with a person who had full use of his limbs, was capable of feeding himself, but remained  a lazy dirty slob I might take a number of actions. I might, A) come to some arrangement whereby the housework comes under my remit  but only if all cooking chores are undertaken by him. Or B) yell all the time, making myself hoarse and him wonder what kind of scary harpy he had attached himself too, or C) move into separate accommodation.

But dag nabbit I had forgotten to take into account option D)  the ‘sexy house work’ routine!

For verily what woman does not consider dressing in a french maid’s outfit while bleaching out the bath? Who does not automatically ponder ‘now where is my latex catsuit?’ while emptying the rancid kitchen bin that you’ve both been playing Jenga with for over a week? Need to strip the beds? Strip yourself first foxy mama! Litter trays starting to hum?  Jiggle those boobie pasties and drop your bootie on down while you scatter the low odor wood pellets, jiggle it, jiggle it, he might be watching from his place on the sofa. Now sing, SING my pretties, let the Dyson lift you higher! Soar on the fumes of anti-bacterial spray! ‘I believe  can fly, wooooo I believe I can touch my thigh,’ no wait…oh, getting dizzy from wearing my thigh high leather boots on the landing. Say, I wonder whatever happened to Shake ‘n Vac…

Finally (!) when all of this sexy cleaning is done, you can lie on your freshly laundered rubber sheets, glare at the mirror screwed into the ceiling over your bed ( is that a smudge?) and think back to a time when you used to be an adult and wonder where it all went horribly wrong.

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