He says, She says - From where I'm standing...

"All I ever did was love you
Even the times when you were on the phone
Laughing with someone else
And then when the call was done
You threw the receiver on my face
Adding to the bruises from the night before.

All I ever thought of was you
Even when you came home way past midnight
Smelling like someone else, smelling of someone else
And the bed was just for sleeping, not love
And the mornings were lonelier than the rest of the day
It wasn't always this bad, I would say.

All I ever changed was for you
Buying those pretty clothes and getting my hair done
And waiting for you all dressed up in the evenings
The flowers on the kitchen table cut fresh from the garden
The house smelling of spices and wine
And then you walked straight to the bedroom and shut the door.

I never shouted back at you
Even when you doubted my friends
And hurt me more with your words and ways
When you went through my dresser
Like I was stealing from you
When all that is mine is already yours.

I can't see the love anymore
In anything you say or do
I've been waiting for a long time
And I've picked up the courage to say it to you
I'm leaving, I'm going, I'm choosing myself
Over you, though you may not even care if I do."


" Honey, now please be patient and let me have my say
Hear me out so you know why things are this way.

First of all, it's true I laugh over the phone
I have a sense of humour, surely you know
And on that particular day, I was buttering the cookie moulds
And the receiver slipped and sprung out at you
Hitting you where you'd already been punched
From your brawl in the bar the night before.

As a nurse I have my crazy shifts
And I was working overtime that week
I smelled different because I smelled of antiseptic and vomit and poop
You were already half-asleep by the time I came home
And I was gone again by the time you woke up past noon
Between your late mornings and my late nights, we kept missing each other.

Now, sweetheart, don't take this the wrong way
But you spent my savings on your clothes and hair
Sure the cut flowers were a nice touch
But the smell of cinnamon and cheap apple cider
After a day of cleaning out toilet pans in the geriatric ward
Made me want to throw up so I ran to the bathroom from the front door

Now about your 'friends', I have to say
Bryan the gardener, Toby the plumber and Jack the construction guy
You literally called them off the street into our home
And they messed up my clean carpet after I'd put in a whole Sunday's work
I was searching for my underwear when I saw a bit of lace
Peeping from your dresser, so I opened it and found a lot more.

It's true that you can't see my love anymore
It's because there are some facts that we need to face
You call random men home for beer and snacks
You keep racy underwear hidden in your dresser
You spend more on your hair than I do on my clothes
All in all, husband dear, you're an unemployed wastrel, either gay or having an affair."


This was merely a play on people's expectations on gender-based role typification. On reading the first part, one automatically assumes it is a ranting wife who's throwing tantrums at her bread-winning husband, whereas the second part dispels that notion and turns it on its head.

While not a part of my usually enraged writings on gender-inequality, this nonetheless speaks about the stereotypes that one assigns automatically to women.

Reposted for Open-Link Monday on Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

28 comments:

  1. I can imagine quite a lot of people being troubled by this. A very brave write.

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  2. Anthony, I must thank you for your comment. It made me think and re-read this poem I had written a long time ago. And I could see how some of the phrasing could have led to the very purpose of my poem being reversed. I have rewritten the last part so as to make my idea more clear.

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  3. Yes, it does what you want it to do. Actually I first read it as one line aloud and the rest thought by the listener--and I couldn't figure out if it was he or she until I reached the Italics--unseen earlier--and then your meaning flashed at me ZONK! Well done! Showing how we are full of gender expectations whether we want to be or not.

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    1. Thanks Susan! I wasn't sure if I had managed to translate my idea effectively. Have a great week ahead!

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  4. The second part was a clever turn ~ There are indeed gender expectations and seeing it from both sides will makes things clearer ~ Now I wonder how the situation will be resolved ~

    Have a lovely day ~

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    1. Wish you a great week Grace :)

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  5. I agree well done-it is so easy to fit the mold and not see, but assume!
    I love what you have done~
    Very clever :D

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Ella :)

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  6. Oh My Goodness, I am almost speechless. This poem pulled me in and at first I felt sorry for the first speaker, then I could understand the second speaker's point of view. Then you threw me for a spin when you through in the genders. Well played and well written. I'm going to read it again. LOL.

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    1. Hello Kimolisa :) Welcome to my blog. I'm happy you enjoyed the role-reversal :D

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  7. This was a beautiful write.... made me stop and think. Lovely poem.

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  8. what a wonderful reversal.thoroughly enjoyable.

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    1. Thanks Abin. Good to know you liked it :)

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  9. That was awesome!!! I enjoyed every word. I love a story throughout which I don't know what's coming next. ~andy

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    1. Happy you had fun Andy! Thanks for reading :)

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  10. wow Mixi!!!! You managed to get that gender reversal to the T!!!! For a second there I was confused... :)

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  11. Once again Awesome Mixi. When I read the first part I didn't think he might be having answers. But that was surprising U turn.
    Travel India

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    1. Thanks Vishal! Always good to hear from you :)

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  12. Stupendous Mixi! This was outstanding (rarely do i dare say things like that on a poetry post - afraid of exposing my ignorance :) )

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    1. Suresh Sir, I don't think there are many things that you would be ignorant of when it comes to the written word :)

      Thank you so much for being ever encouraging!

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  13. Very well written. I like the the response.

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  14. Ah... yes, a tricky piece and I was fooled by my assumptions. :)

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    1. Hehe! Aren't we all? Thank for reading Margaret :)

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  15. The second part is stunning,Mixi! Absolutely brilliant!:)

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

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