Wives multitask

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Honest company, I thank you all,

That have beheld me give away myself

To this most patient, sweet, and virtuous wife.

— Shakespeare, The Taming Of The Shrew, 111, 2


How many men can truly say that about their wives, especially after being married for a long time? But the old saying is true, behind every successful man is a good wife. Yes, that support and encouragement is needed in every relationship if it is to succeed.

Some cynics may say that behind every successful man is a woman latching on to his coat-tail, but that’s a different story completely.

Heaven help you if you don’t get the right wife, as your ass will be grass. Which reminds me of the definition of the two words: ‘finish’ and ‘complete’.

What is the difference? Well, they are like wives, if you get a good wife, your life is complete, but if you get a terrible wife, then you are finished. Some men are completely finished.

That cryptic, cold, cunning statement really sums up the effect that a wife can have on her husband. To do this positively, though, the wife has to multitask.

We live in an age in which people are becoming more and more complicated. Children have so many distractions that contribute greatly to their short attention span. Boys grow up into men who expect much out of life, so any woman who wants to not only land a man, but also keep him grounded and focused, has to multitask.

Gone are the days when a man simply marries a woman because she looks pretty and can bear children. Now, she has to be all things to her man, and that’s why she has to master the art of multitasking.

That’s my focus today, wives who multitask, right after these late responses to ‘Jamaica time’.


Hi Tony,

I was just reading your piece about tardiness, which made me think. One appointment Jamaicans won’t be late for and that’s the visa appointment.

Charles G.


Hi Tony,

Jamaica time is not restricted to Jamaica, but is a chronic disease with some Jamaicans living abroad. I have experienced it often here in Toronto from other Jamaicans. They show up late to parties and other events, citing “Jamaica time” as their excuse. People would often show up to meetings late and the facilitator would start late, waiting for the latecomers. When I held a meeting I started on time out of respect for those who arrived on time. As your column was missing Sunday before last, how ironic that this column was a week late, by fate or design?



Wives have always played a pivotal role in the success of many men, sometimes going above and beyond the call of duty. One wise person once said that a good wife is a man’s companion, his friend, his lover, and his nurse.

One other guy said, “The secret to happiness is having a woman who’s a lover, a woman who’s a friend, a woman who’s a companion, and not letting them find out about each other. Sometimes people take a serious thing and make it a joke.

In this modern time though, wives have learnt to multitask in order to keep relevant. And here’s how. First of all, a wife has to be good at geography. She can tell the location, time and place of her husband at all times. A wife who masters this skill is one step ahead of the game.

Sadly, there are so many stories of wives not knowing the whereabouts of their husbands; where he’s going, where he’s been, not even where he works. Yes, there are women who have never been to their husband’s office. It’s not a matter of snooping, but an awareness.

As one wife said, “You crazy, I have to know where he works, and show up there from time to time so people can know me.”

Apart from geography, there is history. Oh, yes, a wife who knows history is always ahead of the game. She should know her husband’s past, or at least the more important parts, like who he used to date before they got married. “I don’t want to be surprised, I must know who was in his past before me so I can know how to deal with her.”

This history also takes a different slant too, as nothing that the man said in his past is ever forgotten. There’s an old saying that liars have to possess good memories to remember what lie they told and to whom.

Well, never lie to a wife, as her talent for retaining historical data will come back to haunt you. She will remember everything that you told her 20 years ago, or a name that you happened to mention when you both first met. “Er, wasn’t that Sharon who you told me you danced with in 1990?”

Then there’s the detective side of this multitasking. Many seasoned policemen cannot solve crimes, but some wives possess the skill of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and Nancy Drew in one. A wife can detect a whiff of a strange perfume on her husband from a mile away, even if it was left there inadvertently by an innocent hug or casual embrace from a friend or co-worker.

“Fi fie fo fum, I smell the essence of another woman.” In fact, if a man even gives another woman a lift in his car and the wife drives in there afterwards, she’ll know. “Honey, who was in your car?” That’s why some men make sure that they buy the same perfume for their wives and girlfriends. But that is another story.

No matter how a man tries to keep the house tidy, if a visitor was there, the wife will know, as her powers of detection are sharp. “That cushion is misplaced, that cup was used, that knife is turned the wrong way, there are crumbs in the kitchen.” A sleuth superior to Sherlock Holmes.

A wife has to be a wardrobe mistress and fashion designer. Ask any husband who dresses to go out with his wife. Her remarks often are, “Er, you aren’t really going to wear that to the function, are you?”

“But what’s wrong with my jeans, floral shirt and sandals?”

Then a wife has to be great culinary connoisseur. Yes, she has to be able to cook well. They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. True, we do live in an era of fast food and instant meals, but a wife who can cook is a great asset in any marriage. “I tell you, when my wife prepare a nice oxtail and broad beans, nutten cyaan beat it.”

Another area of multitasking is in economics. A wife who masters that art/science is a boon to any marriage. Women on the whole have a talent of making a dollar stretch; knowing what groceries to buy, making things last, and prioritising purchases. “Oh, no, we don’t need a new flat screen TV, the kitchen and bathroom need a makeover.”


Wives have to be psychic and intuitive, and it’s a wise man who takes heed when his wife says, “I don’t like that man, I don’t trust him, my spirit don’t tek to him.” Listen to her, for in most cases she is right on point.

Now, you may have noticed that I’ve been referring to wives only, and not women in general, and that’s because a wife is different from an ordinary woman. A wife is not a girlfriend, a matey, a mistress, the other woman, but is further up the totem pole.

A wife has certain privileges and status. The things that a man would do to his girlfriend or mistress he would never do to his wife. You will hear a man say, “Let me talk to my wife about that first.” But never will you hear him say, “Let me talk to my mistress first before I get back to you.”

This applies to sex too, for what a man will do to his girlfriend or mistress he would never attempt to do with his wife. “No sah, I could never do those things to my wife, is girlfriend sex that.” The irony is, many wives would love it if their husbands had ‘girlfriend sex’ with them instead of being so conservative. The flip side is, some wives would never allow that to happen. “Say what, you want to do what, with my bad back, you crazy?”

But the wife who is smart, multitasks and treats her husband like she’s a girlfriend. She initiates sex, she never denies him, she turns on the thrills, she jumps through hoops and swings from the rafters; she turns into a gymnast, an acrobat, a contortionist.

That’s how wives multitask, and it’s an art that if mastered, will guarantee a great relationship. Now, you’re going to ask, do husbands multitask too? Interestingly, one told me that he worked out countermeasures to deal with his wife. But that’s for another day.

More time.



Footnote: The Federal Government shutdown in the USA had a devastating effect on thousands of people who live there. Many resorted to selling their belongings, including cars, pawning their stuff, just to pay basic bills such as rent and mortgage. Some benefited from the kindness of others who gave them food. What struck me in all this is how fragile the lives of many Americans are, as they live from pay cheque to pay cheque, with not even a little savings to tide them over for a month. After just 30 days without pay, their lives were shattered. There was nothing for the proverbial rainy day.

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