I was really prostrated by Tom's behaviour, and did not know how to escape that terrible situation. Tears filled my eyes. Tom was extremely angry with me, and shouting to the top of his voice.

In the morning when Tom went to work, I got up and thoroughly cleaned the house top to the bottom. I even washed and cleaned all skirting boards. Then I polished all shoes. Tom has a bad habit. Anything he takes leaves where he sits. It took me a while to shelve all books, sort out newspapers, and pile them by his computer desk. When I finished tidying up and cleaning, I made a cup of tea, and sat at the table in the veranda. The weather was sunny and the warmth of sunlight in the mid autumn in that afternoon was pleasing. After all, that hard work, sitting there, sipping that cup of tea and watching ripples on the swimming pool was like heaven.  Autumn is a season of colours. Trees leaves and foliage were turning into multi colour and eye-catching.

The gnomes around pool, throughout the years were getting aged and dingy. Hence they required some attention. I took tea cloth with soppy lukewarm water to clean them. Although when I completed cleaning, they looked better, but their Gray colour was not very appealing.  I slipped into my gin trousers and put on my T-shirt shirt, dashed to the local paint shop, bought a tin of brilliant white paint. I found a painting brush in Tom's tool room and painted all gnomes. When I finished with my painting, sat at table in the veranda, looked at them again. The bright white suited them and I was very happy with the result. I thought Tom also would be pleased when he sees them.

I thought it would be nice to have our super in veranda. I quickly went to the kitchen started to prepare a nice dish for our supper. Set the table nicely. Then I dressed up nicely, put on a mild make up and eagerly waited for Tom to come home.  

When Tom came dropped his brief case by the cloakroom and with his dirty shoes went to the living room without noticing tidiness and changed. I nicely asked him to remove his shoes and wear slippers. He took his shoes off in the living room, left them there, asked me to bring him slippers and picked up the evening newspaper from his desk which I had put there. I asked him how his day was. "As usual" he said, began to read the paper, dropped himself on the sofa and asked what we have for supper.

I asked him let's have our dinner in veranda. He came sat at table and I served dinner nice hot dinner. While he was eating, continued to read the newspaper without looking at me or surrounding.

"How was your day?" I asked again, hoping at least he would look at me and I could have his approval for my dressing and make up

"It was Ok" he mumbled without looking up

-"are you enjoying you dinner?" I asked quietly

- "it's OK." He mumbled again without any emotion.

After all that effort for cleaning, tidying up, cooking dinner, setting table, serving food, dressing up and make up, I did not get any appreciation. Even he failed notice any changes in the garden. Why men always take it for granted that women have to do everything without getting paid or at least being appreciated. Why they always think that they are the strongest vessel and the centre of the universe? What is wrong with them?

I was upset or angry a kind of resentment. Something within boiling and wanted to shout and say "look you bantered. I spend all the day and worked hard just for a moment of your attention and possibly a little bit appreciation. But past experience taught me I was no match for Tom's anger.

"Darling can you see any changes around swimming pool" I asked him quietly, and hoped to get a sign of approval. He raised his face from paper and looked at swimming pool.

"Where the hell did you get the idea to paint gnomes" All of sudden raised his voice "haven't you got anything to do woman?"

"That grey colour wasn't very pleasant and most Gnomes are painted colourfully." I protested softly, trying to say it in such a way not provoke him and make him angrier.

"Don't be so stupid" shouted Tom "Have you ever seen anyone to paint gnomes?"

Although I was pretty sure, I had seen colourful Gnomes in the market, but at this stage I bottled up my emotion and kept quiet, because of past experience,  I well  knew I was no match for his hot temper. He kept on and on. I felt awfully helpless and regretted having painted Gnomes. My Tears were filing my eyes and bleared my vision. I felt so fragile and frail.  I dragged myself upstairs and went to bedroom quietly sobbed. I wished I had never been born to face such tormenting.

Fridoun