Archive for November 24th, 2007

Ahhhh, Saturday. The weekend. The break between one work week and the next. A chance to … to … to what?

Around here, it’s a chance to play a game of Scrabble with Gay while the kids hang with dad in the garden, pitching in with the yard work … or pretending to … while a relaxed and quiet atmosphere prevails.

Or not.

Today, not only did we have the now-constant racket of puppies a-whinin’ and a-howlin’ and perpetually-hungerin’ loud enough to beat the band somewhere in the upper octaves, these often ear-splitting wails were accompanied by the whine-whirl, vroom-vroom of weed-wacker, the deeper bass growl of chain saw, with assorted power tool embellishments.

Yes, it was men-doing-stuff day, and in my world that means NOISE.

From eight o’clock this morning until about fifteen minutes ago I could, almost literally, not hear myself think. Three men doing stuff … cutting the grass, building something, propping up the banana trees, getting the kennel ready for the puppies to move off the verandah … can make my Saturdays a practice in concentration, a day-long search for a quiet moment, wistful wishing that I still owned a mouth guard so I could take some measure to keep my teeth from rattling out of my head.

Our house is a work in progress, so some Saturdays include carpentry work. Our garden is over an acre of lush growth, so the grass needs cutting and shrubs need pruning and coconuts need picking up. Mark’s list of chores never seems to get any shorter, so there’s always something that needs doing, and just about everything requires some piece of equipment with a motor attached to do it.

There’s an hour lull for lunch … Didn’t I just clean this kitchen? … when the machines are switched off and the mouths on. With the conversation completely in Creole, I don’t spend any time trying to listen in, not that I’d need to strain my ears. Three Seychellois men munching down fried mackerel and baked breadfruit somehow manage to carry on conversation without pause and seem to crank up the volume with every bite. The talk must be engrossing, as there’s not even a second’s let up, but whenever I ask Mark what all the yack was about, like an evasive teen his answer is always, “Nothing.”

Lunch over, it’s vroom, growl, whine all over again, and seeming even louder for the absence.

Knowing that think time would be limited, I opted to clean the shelves in my kitchen, so instead of something deep and interesting for the last NaBloPoMo Saturday post, you get this.

A thought, though, before I go …

If women worked with power tools more than men did, do you think we’d make them quieter?

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