Under house arrest

Saturday July 5 2014

Women love to see us at home. No matter how destructive you are, women are happier if you stay indoors where they can see you. PHOTO/FILE

Women love to see us at home. No matter how destructive you are, women are happier if you stay indoors where they can see you. PHOTO/FILE 

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Women love to see us at home. Even if you leave dirty dishes in the sink, rummage through the clothes cabinet and leave clothes strewn all over, fart like a trooper, pee on the toilet seat and leave it up … no matter how destructive you are, women are happier if you stay indoors where they can see you.

They want you there even when you are hogging the TV with your sports channel and making them miss their favourite La Mujer de Alehandro.

They want you there even if they aren’t talking to you. They would rather you sit through their lengthy brooding sessions, so that they can occasionally shoot you looks that can turn the blood in your veins into powder and offer you dry monosyllable answers: Fine. OK. Not funny.

I know many claustrophobic guys with very small concentration spans who would rather be anywhere but at home; guys who can’t stay in the house for two days running.

Long holidays running past the fourth day scare them. Too long in the house and they feel the walls closing in; they just want to be on the move.


But sometimes as a man you have to learn to be still and do nothing. Stay at home, because when you start moving you become a moving target. If you leave for a beer with a friend, or just to visit that pal in the next apartment block, your woman will not take it kindly: “Why can’t you just stay in the house for once?”

Have you ever sat in the house on a weekend and wondered how you will leave the house without your woman getting all-emotional about it? Or do these crazy things only happen to me?

It’s a public holiday, or a random weekend. You are all lazing about and haven’t shown any indication that you might leave, which means you are in those dreadful shorts or tracksuits, reading some old magazines or watching football highlights.

Then your friend sends you an SMS saying that he is having a beer and offers to buy. Or just to catch up. So you sit there and struggle with one important question: how do I leave without upsetting the apple cart?

I mean, you could be a mandingo about it and leave without caring about consequences, but the problem with leaving like that is that you will come back and when you come back the house will be so cold you will need to wear socks to navigate it.

And that’s too much work. But here is the weird thing: The moment you start thinking of leaving, she will have gotten wind of it. These people are animals: they can smell our intentions even before we act.

A friend of mine told me: “You know, men think we are stupid. When my husband wears a particular cologne, I know he won’t be back before midnight.”

 I was like, “The hell? You can tell this by the scent he wears?”


“Yup,” she replied, “Not only scents but also clothes. I particularly hate some of his jeans because every time he wears them he comes home in the small hours of the morning drunk, and we always fight about it.”

I shuddered at the sophisticated level of sleuthing women can do. There are guys who are known to leave the house in sandals, because sandals are non-threatening and they say you are only next-door. Then they come back six hours later, bearing an olive branch – meat. You have to celebrate the Kenyan guy for bringing home nyama choma as an olive branch.

But sometimes our women will see through all this and attach a GPS on us: the child.

“Junior, go with dad to the shop.”

And in one swift swoop, your hopes of nipping into the bar for a cold one on a Sunday flies out the window, unless Junior doesn’t mind a drink too.