Here I am in my 2nd week on the site. We are currently on standby waiting for the next rig operation so I have quite a relax time chatting over dinner with a Mud Supervisor and an Engineer that deals with Water Based Mud Treatment Plant. Yeah, I know…with my college background and all that’s what I should be doing right now, no? Thank you, sub-conscious mind!!
This Mud Supervisor is a 60 year old Italian and the other guy is a 30 something South African. We started the chat with the “usual conversation starter”: Safari in South Africa, how to get there, food, condition, etc. Of course you can’t talk about South Africa without talking about Mr. Mandela, right? So we talked about him for some time; how inspirational he was, what people in his country call him (Mudiba? Mudaba? I couldn’t remember. But I do remember that it actually means an old tree of wisdom, or the grandfather to all people), things like that. And then this Engineer said that their new president is nothing sort of Mandela. He started to complain about how bad he has been as a President, and when he said that this President has 7 wives, we were all stopped eating and said “Get out of here!”
The Engineer said that this is the truth. In fact, he told us a story about how this president just took 20 million USD from the tax payer’s money to build his own ranch with a private helipad and a bomb bunker.
Now this was when the mud supervisor said, “Of course he needs a bunker. He’s got SEVEN WIVES, for heaven’s sake! I got only one wife, and I already think about having a panic room for myself. Those fortresses and bunkers are not to protect him from his people or terrorist, it’s his wives he is running away from. I am telling you that.”
We all laughed about it, then these guys started to talk about how having one wife is actually bad enough. You know, because woman likes to talk a lot, they shop a lot, they worry too much, all that sort of stuff. I laughed with them simply because I can see some part of me in those women they talked about. Don’t worry, I counter attack them as well when they are having too much fun. Hail to the ladies!!
The thing is, men joke about their women all the time. At first, it really bothers me. I felt like they have no respect whatsoever. I mean, why do you even want to marry if then after you got married you just complain about her all the time, right? That’s just ridiculous and disrespectful. So I talk about it with Mr. Hubby. His response was actually quite a shocker.
“You know, honey, these guys work hard being far away from home and such to provide for their family. Sometimes they miss their wives so much and they need to speak out. The only way of doing it without looking emotionally weird is just to joke about it. Do you know when we joke about our wives, we are actually bragging about her? For instance when I told my friends that I need approval from my finance minister for all my expenses, I kind of feel proud that I have a wife who can take care of my money and I feel safe about it. And besides, don’t say that you don’t joke about us when you are hanging out with your girls.”
Well, come to think of it now, we do joke about our men when we hang out with each other. So Okay, this one is a draw. But even until today, I still have some doubt about Mr. Hubby’s reply. I mean, he could have just said that to woo me, right? Although, I have to admit, it worked that time. :P
Tonight's conversation, though, turned into something extraordinary for me when the engineer said,
“But really I am so lucky to have my wife. She is so down to earth and grounded. The center of my house. She is my diamond.”
I saw him saying that ever so sincerely and I started to think that, hey, my hubby may be right. May be he was telling the truth and not just saying what he said that time to calm me down. I am so happy for the engineer’s wife for having scored a good man that truly loves her. In times when men and women can easily cheat on each other like now, hearing a man saying something like this about his wife is actually felt like a cool breeze of hope to me. I feel that the world is not so bad after all. That we can all still aim for that happily ever after, in sickness and in health, in poor or wealth, till death do us part kind of marriage. But ofcourse, being a man as he is, he just have to end the conversation by saying,
"She never asked for anything from me, except for handbags. That's a war I can not win :)"