Today’s poem is for reader-friend Diane in honor of her new love of Ogden Nash. Diane has a really fine husband, but I think she may enjoy this anyway.
What Almost Every Woman Knows Soon or Later
Husbands are things that wives have to get used to putting up with.
And with whom they breakfast with and sup with.
They interfere with the discipline of nurseries,
And forget anniversaries,
And when they have been particularly remiss
They think they can cure everything with a great big kiss,
And when you tell them about something awful they have done they just look unbearably patient and smile a superior smile,
And think, Oh she’ll get over it after a while.
And they always drink cocktails faster than they can assimilate them,
And if you look in their direction they act as if they were martyrs and you were trying to sacrifice, or immolate them,
And when it’s a question of walking five miles to play golf they are very energetic but if it’s doing anything useful around the house they are very lethargic,
And then they tell you that women are unreasonable and don’t know anything about logic,
And they never want to get up or go to bed at the same time as you do,
And when you perform some simple common or garden rite like putting cold cream on your face or applying a touch of lipstick they seem to think that you are up to some kind of black magic like a priestess of Voodoo.
And they are brave and calm and cool and collected about the ailments of the person they have promised to honor and cherish,
But the minute they get a sniffle or a stomachache of their own, why you’d think they were about to perish,
And when you are alone with them they ignore all the minor courtesies and as for airs and graces, they utterly lack them,
But when there are a lot of people around they hand you so many chairs and ashtrays and sandwiches and butter you with such bowings and scrapings that you want to smack them.
Husbands are indeed an irritating form of life,
And yet through some quirk of Providence most of them are really very deeply ensconced in the affection of their wife.
Copyright © by Linell Nash Smith and Isabel Nash Eberstadt.