“I feel like a proper wife now” said Mrs.C after serving me the first meal we had in our newly wed’s nest. She had cooked it herself after checking few details with her mother. Its the sort of thing that conjuers up visions of old fashioned female servitude that we darkies are known for.
Mrs C however is no house wife. She’s part of that select crowd Sri Lankan women who brought back the capabilities of a first world degree (with honours) and people skills that work on at least four continents. I have seen her command respect, loyalty and fear from Rugby prop forwards many time her size.
She can also bang out a fantastic Kiribath and Seeni Sambol at 7am on a Saturday morning without being fully awake – because she feels like it. Its the sort of thing my mother respects (a rare honor accorded to a handful of people). Despite her feminist credentials she frequently wringings that she isn’t “looking after” me. Which consists of cooking me yummy meals while I lounge in lordly fashion before the TV occasionally emitting silent odourless farts.
There are numerous obstacles to such gastronimic activity occuring on a frequent basis. We both get home late from long commutes and lack a slave to prepare meals. Therefore were are dependent on the mircowave and freezer for work week suvival. Weekends are the only time for a major cook session. What starts off as a mere two curries that mission creeps into three curries, two pasta dishes, a cake, and some other desert. Two open recipie books are consulted simultaneous. I fetch pots and pans from increasing distant shelves, Eventualy amdits the swirl of multi cultural fumes I’m called to triage what looks like an over baked cake. Panic is constrained by exhaustion. The overwhelmed and exhausted chef bemoans the “catastrophe” from the caouch.
Not to worry though. Its only the top of the cake that is crusted brown. Everything else is fine. I take over bludgeoning some unknown mixture to a directions from a tired voice sprawled amongst the cushions.
Eventually the smoke clears. I clean up the pots and pans as per detailed specifications of what needs to be stack where and how (our hovel is not spatially rich). These are interspersed by “I’m being fussy no?” which I deny with a shrug. As a SLDC (Sri Lankan Doctor’s Child), I know what true fussiness is. Mrs C doesn’t even come close. She has the patience to put up with my “dreamy absent mindedness” without letting it get out of hand.
By 9pm on a Sunday night she is ready to pass out yet sleepily persists on tut-tuting the bloated corporatese in subordinate’s report. The next day some quivering soul will be told to get the facts, clearly state some conclusions, and spell check. Its something feminists in the west struggle to understand. A puzzle Mrs C isn’t bothered about. Meanwhile I will perfume the office with her perfect curries at lunch.