A Lawyer and a builder


My uncle drives out to my house with his mate a builder

They talk in builder talk where a variety of grunts has meaning

I wonder whether I should do the girl thing and make a cuppa tea

Instead I dare to be unlike they were expecting and grunt too

They look a bit confused but I think they are just confused by my feminine accent

I try to get a grunt out with more resonance, more depth

Now they really are beginning to take a second look at me

I decide to talk in my own housewife-don’t-mess-with-me voice

“I really want to get rid of those aluminium windows, I want wooden ones”

If my uncles mate didn’t understand my grunts, he understands this less

“Why you want to get rid of those for, you have to paint the wood ones every five years”

He shakes his head and looks suspiciously at my uncle, who looks away

We move into another room for his inspection,  no cuppa tea closer

This looks good says the builder in animated tones, no grunting at all

I imitate my uncles no nonsense voice this time, anything for a kick, I am a housewife

I want all that concrete exposed and that ceilng replaced, that wall out but then I smile pleasantly

The grunting starts again, they don’t want me to understand

My uncle takes his mate outside and I hear him say

I told you she was different, she can’t just have any old builder

She needs someone who wont talk down to her, who wont mind her being odd

She’s always been different this one, my uncle looks over to me

She might not sound all together but shes a lawyer, yeah man she is

They both look at me so I smile and say, cuppa tea, I’ll just put the jug on

Tracey Tawhiao (c) 2010