Saturday, October 22, 2011

From guest writer Chris!

My friend Chris volunteered to write a blog for me. It has triggered me to think about what I am planning to do in regards to this election and I urge you to have a read of this before you vote!

Also if anyone else is feeling like blogging, drop me a line!

I have always been of the opinion that there are two topics that are off limits at social occasions – religion and politics – but recently I feel the both are becoming more accepted as legitimate topics to discuss at a BBQ or even a wedding. I’m not sure that I am comfortable discussing these topics with acquaintances or people I am meeting for the first time, particularly when their approach is the hard sell as to why all other political parties (or religions for that matter) are wrong. At the earliest pause in the conversation I’ll slip away “to grab another drink” and may just happen to bump into someone else.
So why then do you think it is a good idea to blog about this, you may be thinking. Well yesterday my wife forwarded me an excerpt from an agribusiness consultant’s newsletter which berated the Labour and Green parties by announcing their “terrible” policies. After being taken aghast by the bigoted comments contained in the email, I had strong feeling that the comments lacked any links to the policies of those two political parties. I did have to concede though, that I wasn’t familiar enough with the policies of the parties to be able to send a snotty self-righteous email to this consultant pointing out the short-comings in his research.
At that point, the light bulb came on and I had to stop and ask myself ‘why do I vote the way I do, if I don’t know the policies of the party/ies I support?’ Where do our ideas about democracy come from? Presumably when you are an impressionable teenager who has just turned 18, you vote the same way your parents do (if you get on well with them, or you vote for a party at the far end of the political spectrum to spite them, if relationships are strained). As we become more independent and more aware of the way the world turns isn’t it time we re-examine some of our fore drawn conclusions?
With that in mind I set about reading the key policies of the political parties I support (and some of the ones I don’t) establishing in greater detail the lay of the political landscape. Now, I admit it is not a quick process – nor would I expect something as complex as determining the economic and social policies of a country to be – but it was a useful one.
As I sit here writing this blog there are only 33 days until the election. I urge you to take a look at the policies of the party you are considering voting for, and perhaps some of the others. Make sure you believe in the policies that your party is proposing; this isn’t high school – it’s not a popularity contest. If all New Zealanders were informed voters and actively engaged in the political process New Zealand would certainly be a key player on the global stage.
So by channelling my anger at the consultant who shall not be named, into a more constructive outlet I now know what I am voting for. The added bonus is that if someone bails me up about politics as I am grabbing another beer out of the chilly bin I have some strong arguments and rebuttals at the ready – approach with care!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What your wife wishes you knew

I have been conducting an informal survey of wives and what they wish they could tell their husbands. This was triggered by a follower of my blog asking me to write on this topic. I asked a variety of wives from different ages, backgrounds and who have been married for various lengths of time and then collated the results. So this is for you and every other wife out there.

1. We get dressed up to go to the grocery store because sometimes that's the first time we have been out of the house in days.
This is particularly true for wives with small children. This time of our lives features a lot of t shirts, jeans, trackpants and pyjamas. Oh and body fluids that aren't our own. Sometimes we just want to feel pretty and for the rest of the world to view us as such. So yeah, we may take a while to get ready, and you might not mind going to the store in your crusty clothes, but we will feel better if you just let it happen without complaining.

2. Don't ask us where something is unless you have actually looked for it.
This was a comment made by almost every wife surveyed. There is nothing more irritating than having you ask us where something is when you haven't even looked. And not a man look, when you just open the fridge and expect it to jump out and bite you. Move things.

3. 'I invited people around and they will be here in an hour' makes us stressed.
This triggers a stress switch in our brains. There are key parts of our house that need to be cleaned before people show up, even if they are already clean by your standards. Also we will have to feed them which generally means cooking. And we will need to make ourselves look presentable. It doesn't matter who they are, these things need to happen and they take time. An hour is not enough time. Especially if you are arriving with them!

4.Comparing us to your mother is unfair.
According to the mothers surveyed this also annoys them. We are not your mother. Your mother is not us. It may result in us saying 'then move back with your mother'. But I have it on good authority they don't want you back.

5. Pick up after yourself.
Funnily enough, your socks magically making it back into your drawer clean and folded has many steps. Leaving them on the floor is not one of these steps. If you need to know the steps, ask by all means but learn fast.

6. Appreciate us.
This isn't about grand gestures or even giving us stuff (although stuff is good) this is just about telling us you appreciate what we do. It may seem small to you, but it's big to us. We are compliment vampires that can continue to do mundane things purely if we are appreciated.

These are just the common ones that I have heard from the surveyed wives. Please tell me ones you think should be included. I'll add them here if you comment on Facebook (where most of the commenting takes place!). Also if there is a husband who would like to contribute a blog about what husbands wish they could tell their wives let me know!