I love men. Generally and specifically. I have a lovely husband and two gorgeous sons. A dad. Two brothers. Various in laws. I am friends with a number of my ex boyfriends. I get on with the husbands of my friends. I find it easy to banter along with all the football dads on my daughter’s touchline. Just as she seems to be able to get along with the 11 boys she boots a ball around with. Like mother like daughter.

And I appreciate men more generally. Especially hot, young men with very little clothing on and the chap at my local Costa. I like workmen who come over to the house and pass the time of day with me. And mend stuff, clean stuff, remove stuff, decorate stuff, assemble stuff, educate me in the fitting of appliances and the like.

And I very much like the young man at a local paint ball centre who was very nice to me at my son’s recent party and actually knew how to converse, nay maybe even flirt, with middle aged ladies. I am sure it was just his extremely pleasant manner but hey at 46 and (not so) suddenly invisible to the opposite sex he was a total breath of fresh air. It will certainly earn him my repeat business which I am sure was the point. Whatever his motives I will take it. One can’t be fussy.

In summary I like, get on with and relate to men.

But there are some things about men I cannot stand. Here are just a selection. I should probably caveat this by saying that I am not aware that my football touch line male friends are guilty of these crimes. I haven’t asked. But if I was out on a boozy night with their wives it is likely a selection of these gripes would surface around the table. Just saying.

My son’s are growing up. Eldest is nearly 13 and taller than me. Middlest is 11 and not quite so tall. And both of them have lost the ability to aim. It is likely a proximity issue. When they first became old enough to stand to wee, and I was banned from making them sit for fear of emasculating them, their tackle sort of rested on the loo rim making aiming pretty easy. Now their genitalia is hovering a foot or more above the seat the likelihood of bad aim has increased exponentially.

It is worse in the morning. And before you ask, no I don’t want to think about why, these are my babies godammit. They have their own bathroom shared by their father. But for some reason they  feel the need to hold on until they are downstairs.

They are also incapable of lifting the seat. Apparently it will not stay up. Surely that is what hands where invented for. It is not like they are using them for anything else, for instance aiming the appendage in the vague vicinity of the bowl.

Eldest informed me that he doesn’t want to touch the seat as it is ‘germy’. Well yes I agree however as nearly all those germs emanate from his own urine I believe he should just get the f over himself. He wasn’t swayed by that argument. Guests use that toilet and so there are other germs at play apparently. I may have shouted at this point that he could just use HIS OWN BLOODY TOILET THEN which he merely shares with people who have at least some of his genes in common but who also have dubious aim…

And so I have lost count of the times I have sat down on this loo to be greeted with a wet seat. I no longer sit without checking. I live in fear of a guest receiving such treatment. If you know me personally be warned.

In fact the ‘male’ bathroom in our house is a total war zone. I do not enter unless it is absolutely necessary. Both sons cannot hang towels. I bring the mirror up to a beautiful shine merely to have it smattered with toothpaste and hair gel and hair spray and god alone knows what else by the same evening. Toothpaste scum covers nearly every surface. Every time I clean the room I throw out at least 15 empty bottles of unguents and shampoos and Radox and face scrub and about three empty loo rolls.

And why can’t my men get the idea that if they would like me to replace something for them which is about to run out then maybe they should actually tell me. Rather than assuming that I will somehow order the said item from Sainsbury’s through a mere process of osmosis. It is no use telling me on Saturday that you are all out of deodorant. The shopping comes on Fridays. It always has. It always will. And no I do not have time to run to buy you some before rushing off to deposit you at football/ rugby/ hockey/ a mate’s. The other night husband asked ‘Why have we run out of toothpaste?’ I am not sure the correct answer was ‘F*** Off’ but there you go.

And no I do not have time to scour the house before each on line shop checking if you have run out of ‘evening’ Radox…that Eldest needs to ensure is not too ‘zesty’ thus impairing his sleep…my god I am a WOMAN and my sons’ ablution requirements far out do my own.

Well maybe I have the time but I certainly lack the will when I have spent an hour at the kitchen table, head in hands, surrounded by the calendar, clubs list, fixture spreadsheet and weekly up date from husband’s PA on his whereabouts trying to decide what the hell to feed them all whilst allowing for all their myriad allergies and intolerances and dislikes and avoiding red meat on every single day because I read somewhere that it is a ‘bad thing for arteries’ and we have difficult heart history on both sides of the family only for Sainsbury’s to turn up having decided that tomato and basil fresh pasta sauce is an appropriate substitute for bolognaise fresh pasta sauce when everyone knows my men only tolerate food with meat in it and that meal was one of my two ‘red meat days’ and I can’t add cheese as the missing ‘saturated fat’ protein as husband hates it and I don’t have time to make it myself from scratch which a good wife and mother does as that is the evening I have to feed people in four shifts whilst hopping in and out of the car shouting ‘Please have your shin pads in by the time I get back!’. No. Will. Left.

And it is not only bathrooms that resemble bomb sites. Bedrooms do too. I do not set my children many tasks. Which is probably lazy parenting. But I do insist on them making their own beds. Middlest has an issue with this. Quite why I am not sure. After all it isn’t me that insists on taking 8 cuddly toys to bed every night and it wasn’t me who pestered and pestered for all those touchy feelie cushions and the one shaped like a poo emoji. I believe that was him. And so I am really not sure why I have to spend minutes of my life every day picking all of them up off the floor.

And I don’t put husband’s gym kits way because the drawer they live in is spring loaded with so much unfolded lycra that it threatens to overwhelm me every time I open the drawer. (Note to self, I must carry on vainly trying to teach my boy children how to fold stuff up). It is no wonder husband merely buys more and more kit as there is no way he can possibly know what the bejeebers is in there.

And that leads me on to the looking thing. My god the looking thing. For the love of all that is holy please open your eyes. Or wear your glasses. If you can find them. Or both. The cheese grater is in the same cupboard it was last week when I asked you to set the table.

And finally, finally. That glass on the work top above the dishwasher. That glass that is always there. Always. How I hate that glass.