I am minding my own business. Unaware that at some point I am to become irrationally furious.
I shall shortly Watch Something On The Tele - Vision. It shall be the culmination of some mild grievances and general feelings of puzzlement (this is now a word). I do not enjoy the experience of puzzlement. It makes me cross. And I have not slept of late.The build-up:
I do not pretend to be 'down'
'wit' the 'yoot'
, but do have a number of brothers younger than me. I do not pretend to be an expert on masculinity in our post - fin de siecle times either but do, you know, have a number of brothers.
From the younger contingent, I hear tales of moisturising. Of skin care products in general.
Of clippers. And shaving products. None reserved entirely for the face.
I know for a fact that a number of 'men' in my immediate vicinity shave, pluck, wax and highlight hair with unseemly regularity. There has been talk of fingernail care.
Don't get me wrong. About once every couple of months I will have a downstairs trim. I am a very hirsute man from the navel downward, and very often the case is that I cannot see the wood for the trees. I like to make sure that Little TD is still in attendance.
But every week? With 'special' clippers? Whilst waxing your chest? And 'doing' your eyebrows? And highlighting your hair? Whilst 'moisturising'?Christ.
A couple of nights ago, I am doing a Google search for something obscure. One of the hits looks promising. I click. Bollocks. It is one of those discussion forum things I do not really understand. Are they like MySpace? And how does that
Upon further examination the forum reveals itself to be an on-the-line support group for stay-at-home-Dads.
A Support Group
. For MEN
who have to get up fairly
early and then endeavour to keep their offspring alive for a full eight hours. And not do much else.
Why, yes of course. A Support Group
is the very least they deserve. Fuck me
what a nightmare for them. How do they do it? Those poor MEN?
Obviously silly women
have been doing it since we lived in trees. But so they should. What with being women and that. Well. That's what they're for
. They know this, and hence require no support at all
. MEN on the other hand require on-the-line forums in which they can discuss how hard it all is to shoulder this huge responsibility ' without any ill-will of course' instead of inventing new spaceships.
Which is what they would otherwise be doing.
Because they are great. But need to share
. You know, what with it being their
choice. They have to share
I am watching television. This is not something I would normally consider worthy of comment for two reasons:
1: I am fairly sure that the on-the-line 'community' are perfectly capable of watching television/seeing films/reading the newspaper and forming their own opinions without the aid of 'blogs'.
2: I never EVER watch the Tele - Vision, for reasons that shall shortly be made clear.
I am at my Mam's for a coffee. Day. I have the 'luxury' of not being at work for a week or so. In classic Mam fashion, she is in the kitchen, something is simmering on the stove, a small portable Tele - Vision is broadcasting a daytime show called This Morning and she is making some new curtains.
A faintly surly-looking chap who appears to be faintly hungover and I think is called Ey-mon is interviewing a man and a woman. The woman is a counsellor/therapist of some sort, the man a sufferer/victim of some sort.
I am only half paying attention.
The man is the classic male victim/sufferer sort. Late thirties. Middle class. Obviously sees a 'stylist' and has those fussy 'clever' spectacles that probably cost significantly more than everything I own put together.
I can see immediately that he has an 'invented' problem to justify his otherwise adequate existence. You know the sort. Couldn't bear to feel bad about people in Colombia without imagining that he too has big problems. He didn't have a copy of the Guardian on his lap but he might as well have.
Whilst my Mam wonders if the remaining fabric would be sufficient for some cushion covers, I focus on this man's 'ailment'. It is revealed.
HE HAD POST NATAL DEPRESSION.HE
I am aghast.
The woman I can understand. An invented problem that she can give 'advice' on and give out a freephone number on the show that probably diverts to her mobile. She can offer 'counselling' to made-up-problem sufferers for fifty quid an hour and this is national exposure for her. We all have to earn a living.
But this chap. He explains to Ey-mon that he really 'sort of' loves his son now.Now
. But at first it was so
difficult. He explains to Ey-mon that his wife underwent a thirty-six hour labour.
And that he
found that very
One assumes his wife was thoroughly enjoying the experience, and not feeling the slightest guilt at all the 'trauma' she was putting her husband through.
He'd probably bought himself a Mac G4 and was feeling that this purchase was quite enough responsibility for now.
At this point Ey-mon is perched on the end of his sofa as if about to leap at this world-class wendle. The side of his face is doing that weird pulsing thing that the faces of people who are REALLY grinding their teeth do.
I suddenly feel some sort of kinship with this faintly surly Tele - Vision presenter. We seem to be thinking the same thing.
YOU DID NOT
POST NATAL DEPRESSION. I DO NOT BELIEVE DEPRESSION TO BE A SUBJECT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY; IT CAN BE AN AWFUL AFFLICTION. (BUT NOT A FUCKING
MIND YOU. IT IS NOT COMMUNICABLE, AND IT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN ONLY MENTALLY SUBJUGATE YOURSELF TO AS IF THERE WERE NOTHING IN YOUR POWER TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. HIPPY
POST-NATAL DEPRESSION IS ACTUALLY PROPERLY REAL. AND PROPERLY DEBILITATING.
YOU DID NOT
HAVE POST-NATAL DEPRESSION. YOU WERE 'A BIT FREAKED-OUT'
. GET OVER
YOURSELF YOU DREADFUL
OF A TWAT
YOUR WIFE IS NOTICEABLE BY HER ABSENSE. SHE IS PROBABLY FUCKING THE PLUMBER. POWER TO HER.
YOU NEEDN'T WORRY.
YOU'RE SO SHITTING SPINELESS
YOU CAN PROBABLY NOSH YOURSELF OFF
. WHICH IS ALL YOU'LL EVER BE GETTING AFTER YOUR TELEVISION DEBUT.
Really though. What happened to men?
Anyway, I'm off to have a belching contest with Jodie Kidd. She'll probably win, and then show me how to make a car.