My wife is of the misguided belief that countless women are throwing themselves at my feet.  Just one look at me would prove that this could only be fiction.  I’m not the kind of physical male specimen that has feet – or any other body part – women would in any way be interested in throwing themselves at.  With the curious exception of my wife.

So let me try to look at this from her perspective.

I go into strangers’ homes to do the type of work people are enormously appreciative of.   I complete jobs in front of their very eyes, which to them, in that intimate setting, are akin to brain surgery.  They gratefully give me their money as if some primeval thirst of theirs has finally been quenched after several parched years.  A large percentage of my clients fall into two categories:  1-Single women who have never been taught or aren’t confident enough to operate a few simple hand tools.  2-Married women whose husbands could easily be placed into category 1.

There are also two sub-clauses:  a-Too young for me.  b-Too old for me.  I am, of course, beholden to these women for bringing me into their kind employ, but that is as far as my sympathies go.

Because I deal largely with female clients, it’s natural, I suppose, for my wife to suffer even the most minor pangs of, shall we say, covetousness.  But so far I have yet to notice any specific occurrence of flirtation, forwardness, inappropriate behaviour or feet-throwing.  With perhaps one exception.

She was in category 1, sub-clause b.   Whenever I spoke to her she’d tilt her head to one side and slightly away from me, smiling and giggling in, for lack of a better description, a coy manner.  Then she would inevitably bring her hand up to her head and play with her hair, tucking it conveniently behind her ear.  This would happen three or four times per conversation.  I’m no anthropologist, but I’ve always identified a well-timed hair-tuck as a tepidly flirtatious gesture.

Although I can’t be sure.  And that, it seems, is part of the problem.  My wife knows that I’m generally oblivious to such signals, whether tepid or full-throttle boiling.  But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been happening.  I’m apt to miss a blatant proposition even if it put its hands directly down my trousers.  So who knows?  Maybe there have been several clients/women throwing themselves at me and I’ve just been too obtuse to notice.  Could I really be non-euphemistically only interested in hanging blinds in their kitchens? Perhaps I could have single-handedly succeeded in ending the dry spells of all the desperate, single women in South London.

Maybe I’ve been charging for the wrong service.

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