Lessons for men: This is a knife, this is a screwdriver

I WROTE a few weeks ago about just one of the differences between men and women - the need for shoes - but many more words have been written over the decades about differences between the sexes, and that's when there were just two that were recognised.

Now we are also discussing transgender, transitioning, gay, lesbian and a few others, which makes it all a bit more confusing.

I've long been of the opinion that it's a miracle that any relationship survives; as anyone (no matter what gender) who has been in a long-term relationship knows, it requires hard work, respect and compromise, along with the fleeting romance.

While chatting with my son, he bemoaned the fact that he and his wife are still, after six years, in conflict over the position of the toilet seat. She (of course) likes the seat down; he leaves it up.

I have never seen the need for arguments over trivial things; we're not talking division of household duties here (which is much more worthy of negotiation).

Don't sweat the small stuff is my philosophy. Wherever the dunny seat is, it takes a nanosecond to put it where you need it.

I do, however, have issues with another male trait, as I am sure (no, actually I know) my partner has issues with things I do.

My bugbear is blokes who use kitchen knives to tighten or loosen screws even though they are aware that, every single time, the knife tip snaps off.

Now, I'm a professional cook and have a roll of expensive, sharp knives.

When I met my partner and he first cooked me dinner, I noticed that every cutting implement in his drawer was snapped off, while the table knives all had curly tips.

So, when I started spending time at his home, I brought my knives with me. I threatened him with a fate worse than death if he snapped any of them, and took the precaution of hiding the knife roll when it wasn't in use.

When we departed last year for a three-month sailing trip I bought a new, cheaper set of knives for the yacht as all the ones onboard were (you guessed it) snapped off and I didn't want to risk my expensive ones with the obligatory salt-water rinse before washing up.

We finished the trip with all knives intact.

Then, when we were preparing the yacht at the start of this winter, we took delivery of the boat from the boatyard where it had been undergoing repairs and … all the knives had the tips broken off, this time by the tradies, all of whom had full sets of tools onboard.

I'm convinced it's a conspiracy.

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