week 15

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Deze week geen column over één iemand in het bijzonder, maar over ‘mannen’. Ik moet bekennen, ik zeg het regelmatig met een zucht: ‘mannen’. Om vervolgens mijn wederhelft nog even in te peperen dat de wereld niet draait zonder vrouwen. Om het onszelf makkelijk te maken hebben wij mannen- en vrouwentaken thuis. Ideaal als het om de bak aan de weg zetten gaat (mannentaak uiteraard), iets minder als het om de was gaat (vrouwentaak, maar wel uit zelfbescherming, je zou maar al je witte shirtjes rose uit de was zien komen of alle onderbroeken gekrompen uit de droger krijgen). Afgelopen weekend ben ik naar de voorstelling ‘Mannen komen van Mars, vrouwen van Venus’ geweest. Huub Stapel stelt hierin de verschillen tussen mannen en vrouwen aan de kaak, gebruikt daarbij veel humor en betrekt het publiek erbij. Het was verhelderend bij tijden en misschien soms wel eens bevestigend. Dat laatste vooral voor die man die voor ons zat, en enthousiast zijn hand op stak bij de vraag wie gescheiden is. Bij ieder minpuntje aan de vrouw begon hij hard te lachen en bevestigend te knikken. Ik gok dat de scheiding nog niet zo lang geleden is en meneer de vrouwen nog even heeft afgezworen. Uiteindelijk kwam ikzelf tot de conclusie dat het bij ons thuis allemaal zo gek nog niet gaat. Maar aangezien ikzelf een vrouw ben en maar al te goed weet hoe ‘wij’ kunnen zijn, zal ik daarom deze week een kleine lans breken voor de man. Ik begrijp namelijk nu dat, ook al zet ik de wasmand of stofzuiger recht voor het trapgat, de man misschien wel zijn nek breekt bij het er langs lopen, maar dat het even mee naar beneden nemen ervan, er simpelweg niet in zit. Dit, omdat volgens Huub de man in dossiers werkt en dus eerst het ene zal afronden, voordat hij het andere weer oppakt. Ook begrijp ik beter waarom ik bij tijden een tweede carrière in het opsporingswezen vervul op zoek naar de rolmaat, de sokken of een trui van wederhelft; simpelweg omdat de man net als vroeger nog altijd het zicht heeft in de verte, daar waar het wild loopt. Ik snap misschien iets meer van de praat tussen mannen onderling, draait altijd om beter presteren dan de ander, en snap het gezucht bij praat tussen vrouwen, draait altijd om problemen die er zijn geweest, nu zouden kunnen zijn, misschien in de toekomst kunnen opspelen of er hadden moeten zijn. Arme Arjan en Erna, een koppel wat al veertig jaar samen is en op de eerste rij zat, diende ter illustratie dat mannen nou eenmaal niet data onthouden zoals wij vrouwen kunnen. Erna droomde volgens Huub van een prachtige ring van haar ‘Arrieparrie’ omdat ze juist die dag tien jaar samen waren. Die kwam ’s ochtends niet, “maar het moet natuurlijk een verrassing blijven”, niet toen hij uit het werk kwam, “hij geeft hem natuurlijk pas na het eten”, en ook bij het naar bed gaan niet “hij ligt gewoon al te slapen, houdt hij dan niet meer van mij?”. Coby en John, hun buren, waren ook aan de buurt. Ik heb me bescheurd bij het beeld van de grot, die ene waar mannen zich bij tijden even compleet in terugtrekken, en een Coby die “ik moet de grot in, John lieverdje, waar ben je toch, laat me er in, praat met me”, door de draak die John ervoor geposteerd had zich niet liet afschrikken. Sterker nog: ze haalde een brandwerend pak. Misschien is dat in de verte wel ietwat herkenbaar… Op internet las ik na de voorstelling de reacties van bezoekers terug. “Vrouwen zal ik wel nooit begrijpen”, stelde een mannelijke bezoeker hierop. Wees getroost, echt begrijpen doen wij jullie mannen ook niet.

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