Old Moon

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Did you ever notice those unwritten rules in most households than confer special privileges on certain poeple? As I picked a chicken carcass to strip it in order to make the final casserole from it, I nibbled on those little bits that really are too small to be of much use in a dish. If you have a whole bird, the carver rarely bothers to extract the delicious little "oysters" from behind the second joint. I didn't even look over my shoulder to see if anyone might catch me at it. It's my perk as the cook.

Whoever goes out to the mailbox (we spent 45 years on a rural route with distances up to 1/4 mile to the box) gets to see who is receiving what and from whom. Often no one is much interested--unless someone is waiting for something desirable, of course--like maybe a personal letter or a reply on the last submission. Of course, most of the time, I hated those as much as bills. Too few were offers to publish. That same energetic person got to decide what was junk too. I still get a charge out of tossing the glossy newsprint flyers offering discounts on pages of stuff I know I'll never buy, or even covet.

Depending on one's place in the family, it may take an act of will to view some of these jobs as privileged. My husband, bless him, doesn't mind carving--anything. He's good with turkey, rib roasts (or he used to be when we could afford to buy them); legs of lamb (see previous parenthesis); even duck. My suspicion is that he really likes getting to choose and sharpen the particular knife (almost never the one I put out) and demonstrate his facility with it. The larger the audience, the better, but he's just as good and careful when it's only the two of us and a flank steak.

When we had a couple of saddle horses, my husband always carried the last buckets of water to the stalls at night. I know (on photographic evidence as well as his bragging) that he viewed that as his special chore because our mare used to spend ten minutes with her head over the half door and her muzzle resting on his shoulder while they whispered sweet nothings to each other every night at bed time.

It's fun to look for the perks, especially because if you don't, you may miss them. Sure, maybe it's a form of "silver lining," but we can all use a bit of that now and then.


Glenda (Writerlady) said...

One of the perks I enjoy in our household is managing the finances. My husband never looks at the bank statements. He never complains about what I buy, what I spend on my hobbies or clothes, because he has no idea where the money goes.
He has complete confidence in my abilities and he knows me well enough to know I will make sure we don't overspend.
When I hear women say they sneak several packages into one before they come into the house bacause they don't want their husbands to know how much they spent, I smile. That is no problem for me.

Maureen Ryan Griffin said...

Hi Joan! I'm a writer and friend of Glenda Beall, stopping by to say hi. I love this idea of looking for the perks -- and what great examples! I can taste that meat behind the second joint and see that knife!
Maureen Ryan Griffin

JLC said...

Oh boy! I never looked on all that as a perk in the days when my husband was constanly traveling, sometimes to be gone as much as six weeks! Once he retired, he took that one over for himself again. I've bever been so glad to relinquish anything!

JLC said...

Dear Maureen-- How sweet of you to second the motion. I just thought of another one--choosing the colors for the towels in the bathroom. I love knowing I can have whatever I decide is best!
Hurray for the small things that make us happy!