Deborah Ross: 'From now on I’m not leaving my cave, unless it’s to hog the remote control or laugh at a cape'

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, the recent neuroscience research showing that the brains of men and woman are exactly the same, and not in fact genetically pre-wired in any Mars and Venus kind of way, may be good news, and may be bad news, but either way, ever since I heard it I've been sitting in my cave and refusing to come out even once unless it's to hog the remote control, stack the dishwasher in the most irritating way – "THE BOWLS DO NOT GO THERE!" – or to say clueless things about fashion, like: "Capes. What are they all about?"

Occasionally, my teenage son will poke his head into my cave and ask: "What's for dinner, mum?" to which I will reply: "I haven't the faintest, darling, and can't you see I'm in my cave, and must therefore not be disturbed or called upon to do anything useful or handy, like cook dinner or change the light bulb no one else can reach without standing on the old stool, and so risking death? Now, be off with you; although not before bringing me the remote control, so I can hog it. Or a cape, so that I can laugh at it."

My husband, who is also fond of his dinner, has had a try too, but with no more luck. "I'm sorry," I had to say to him. "But I'm not budging. I like my cave. It is a nice cave. No, you can't come into my cave. When you had a cave, did you ever let me in? Didn't I beg and plead? Didn't I say: 'Please, can't I come in if only for 10 minutes every other Tuesday? Or at least every month?' But you said: 'No! This cave is for men from Mars!' And: 'Venus, you are not welcome here! Take your daft cape and do not darken the door of my cave ever again!' ".

Well, I think, sonny boy, you must accept that your Mars days are over, that the good times stop here, that bowls always go on the upper rack, that capes are totally A/W 2010, and that henceforth I'm going to be caved-up, so to speak, for the foreseeable future, as well as for the unforeseeable one. I don't know how my husband and son will feel about all this but can tell you I feel ... damn, I just don't know how to say it. Emotions: it's always just such a struggle to express them, isn't it?