Growing up, the only public display of affection my parents ever felt comfortable exhibiting was when mom sat down on the mat, my father on a karamajong stool, and with the attentiveness of a neurosurgeon she would cut his toenails and gently rub his aching feet until the week’s stress faded away.
This wasn’t unintentional but rather designed. It wasn’t only therapeutic to the head of the family but to all of us. Seeing them like this made us, the children, feel safe. It told us that all was well and without even knowing it, it calmed our spirits and we lived merrily; without worrying about things like divorce or fights.
Today, most wives miss the plot. They simply can’t stand touching their husband’s feet; it disgusts them. They are too cool and classy to give them a foot rub. Some take such a gesture to be a demeaning. They instead send them off to beauty parlours where soft handed professionals, usually women, females happily do it for a fee, a small tip and maybe a phone number swap (just in case he needs a ‘special’ foot massage).
At these same salons men get an almost romantic scalp and neck massage after they get a haircut. Aftershave cream is gently rubbed on his cheek and ears buds tickle his ears as a woman cleans his ear. All the while his wife is out hanging with the girls.
When the man goes back home he meets the ever jolly house maid who gladly helps him remove his shoes and socks, brings him his favourite sandals and asks him if he would prefer a hot cup of coffee or a glass of freshly squeezed passion fruit juice.
By this time the wife is filing her precious fingernails as she watches her favourite soap opera. If the man is lucky, he will get a tiny “hello”, as the queen of the house goes back to her finger business.
If the couple have kids they are not allowed to come anywhere near their mother so as not to mess up her fresh painted fingernails. If husband asks her what they to have for supper, “I don’t know, let’s see what the maid prepared” is the answer.
If the husband isn’t tolerant enough, he will definitely find a solution (call it ‘another source of happiness’ which he richly deserves). Friends and relatives will then suffer through endless litres of crocodile tears as the woman telling them how her husband no longer cares about her, doesn’t eat at home or comes back late at night. Remember, if you don’t take good care of your man, someone else will.