At first it was a silent protest – I didn’t say a word when I unwrapped the gift. How could she? Ten years of marriage and that’s what she gets me, an oven glove. A poxy oven glove.
Now I know we didn’t usually do presents on anniversaries, we were trying to be different in our marriage, trying to create our own new traditions and redefine, in our own unique, ok so not so unique, two car-one IVF baby-semidetached home- go to work in London every day on the train –and garden centres on the weekend kinda way. And this is how she thanks me, with an oven glove.
It wasn’t even a personalised one. Not that a few diamontes saying I love you Sacha would have made the difference, but at least it would have been a start, a show of thought.
However, my silent protest on unwrapping, my internal rage upon reflecting meant that I had to act. This couldn’t just go round and round like the usual passive aggressive trade offs we’d make, “well I would empty the dishwasher if the bin bags weren’t in front of it and someone took them outside” **rolls eyes, looks at the two year old who can’t really comprehend bins or my churning rage**
Yes, the wrong of the oven glove and all it symbolised had to be righted. I wish I had the balls (the tits?) to say ”is that all you think I’m worth, chain me barefoot to the kitchen why don’t you, that seems sooo feminist…are you really the person I went to that Germaine Greer lecture with when we all stood in unison cutting up our Tesco Clubcard as a symbol of our unshackling ourselves from domestic enslavement?”
The oven glove of misunderstanding, the glove of failure to recognise the one in front of you. An oven glove for someone who had to buy last minute Comic relief cupcakes on Tuesday because they had a meeting with the Director of Finance so got home late last week is a slap in the face. It’s saying you don’t know me. Or is it? The problem isn’t the gift, although some diamond earrings would’ve been nice… it’s the metaphor…an oven glove, a utensil incapable of thoughts outside its purpose, stained, forced in to a situation to protect everyone by sacrificing itself, and its’ reward? Being dropped on the floor never cared for despite being used day in day out. You didn’t give me an oven glove, you gave me, me. And I didn’t like what I saw.
Revenge of course is hard, and requires planning, and isn’t easy when you have to go to Waitrose on the way home to pick up a shimmering blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire as it’s your turn to host book club with the girls, or you need to get onto Etsy to find the perfect birthday card to your 8 year old niece in Australia who you’ve never met except via Skype.
But it will come. The best revenge is living well, right….well, I’m biding my time, getting ready for my exit. And, when I do, it won’t be a silent protest. I will drive off down the street shrieking with the laughter of a free woman, blaring “you don’t own me” out of the radio, off into the unknown like Thelma and Louise, waving the oven glove out the window and releasing it into the wind.
Revenge after all is a dish best served cold….and there’s no oven glove required for that!
Serena Gilbert, Kent