The only time I rue being single is when I become so ill that I should remain bedridden. I have been sick with some sort of allergies-turned-into-sinus-infection thingy. I spent two solid days sleeping, getting up only to fetch a replacement box of tissues, heat some soup, or make some tea. My upstairs neighbor has been kind enough not to bang on the wall, though I know that my continual hacking through the night must be driving him crazy. My obliques are sore from the effort, and each cough now produces aching abdominal pain.
Eventually, I had to leave my house for provisions: pho, garlic, lime, onion, ginger, broccoli and more tissues. I didn’t put on a bra or comb my hair. I just wound my soft scarf around my swollen throat, threw on a jacket, and made my way for some take-out Vietnamese. They were so good to me at my restaurant, giving me hot tea while I waited for them to pack up my order in the containers I brought. They added extra garlic to my pho and gave me extra chili paste. I felt nurtured.
Still, during times like these, I need a wife. Or my Mommy. I just want someone to make me fresh chicken soup, draw a bath, go out and buy garlic and tissues, and feel sorry for me until I return to my bouncing self.
I found this poem. I didn’t write it, so don’t get angry with me!
I can’t wait until I feel like being single again!
A Wife and Her Benefits
By Rm. Shanmugam Chettiar
Wife is a maid without payment.
As a bed mate, a house maid,
A care taker, a cook, a nurse,
She serves her spouse and his kids
For the wages of title – wife.
Retirement benefit is, perhaps, widowhood.