Story for the Day: I'll Do It
Here is a small piece from book 11. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this.
I’ll Do It
|Rautu does not care because he has already done it.|
There was a phrase prevalent throughout the far reaches of Frewyn that always seemed to cause distress when uttered by the kingdom’s men. This particular phrase, so feared and yet so despised by Frewyn’s women, seemed to only affect those who were sharing a home. Moreover, the parlance seemed to disturb only the relation between husband and wife. There was a sibling immunity involved in the business, and though the phrase was often uttered by children to their expectant parents, it never held the same meaning as it did between couples who were married for some time.
Martje, though having a home in the Diras Castle keep and yet another at the Donnegal farmstead in Tyferrim, had been obliged to join Shayne in his small cottage when they had married. As both of them were working in the keep, they retained their own apartment in the servant’s quarter and seldom had the occasion to return to Shayne’s residence excepting on holidays when they could venture to the small dwelling in the east of Tyferrim’s town square. They had been there several times since their wedding and each time was spent in tolerable cheerfulness. There was much work to be done on the house, in Martje’s estimation, in the fittings of the few rooms and the thatching of the roof, the doors needed to be rehinged to keep out the draft of the cool countryside, the wood in the floor boards required some resetting, the feminine touches that had been absent must now be applied, and each time Shayne and Martje returned to the house, there was some small improvement that always needed doing before there could be peace in the home. For a time, they enjoyed doing the housework and advancements together: Shayne would create clutter, Martje would clean up after him, and upon the whole, the work was divided equally between them when one day there suddenly seemed as though there was more to do than was time for. This circumstance that both were sensible of at first was easily rectified. They did what work they could on the house until such time they had to leave for the capital again, but there was soon always something left undone. Shayne made promises of returning to their cottage in the late evenings to do a little each night so that when they returned to the residence, there would be nothing for them to do but sit together before the fire and enjoy themselves. There was not reason to distrust Shayne’s offer, as he was a respectable and assiduous man, but it was upon returning to their cottage a few visits after his promises were made when she realized nothing had been done. She said nothing of it to him at first, hoping he would notice it himself, and he soon did, but when upon returning to the house another time and seeing it in the same state, Martje was forced to remind Shayne of the work he set out to do. Here entered the dreaded Frewyn phrase and here Martje’s qualms began.
“I’ll do it,” Shayne told her.
She had heard the open-ended promise from him before but the nonchalance with which it was done and the dismissiveness with which it was delivered suggested it was perfunctory in nature and not of conscious tenor. He had not looked at her when he said it, making her believe she was being placated rather than obeyed. This would not do for Martje, as it often did not sit well with many Frewyn wives of firm character. She made polite prompts of his forgetting last time and not to forget again, but even these civil requests were treated with the same indifferent saying.
“Don’t worry, Mar,” Shayne said while he was busy replacing the leather on the chair cushions. “I’ll do it.”
The lack of timeframe given in this half oath was concerning to Martje, but she let it pass, giving her beloved husband the opportunity to prove his words true. This contention only continued, however, and the promise was never fulfilled. The reminders became more severe, the requests became louder, the tone of voice became higher in pitch, and soon Martje was shrieking at Shayne for him forgetting to do many things he said he would do a few months hence. Her arguments were softened with promises of the same, and soon the curse of the Frewyn husband’s parlance had overtaken their cottage. Knowing that the phrase once said was irremovable from the mouths of men, Martje offered to do the repairs herself or suggested asking Aiden and Adaoire to have them refurbish the house in exchange for a meal, but these recommendations made with regard to Shayne’s lack of time or lack of awareness were all negated.
“I said I’d do it, Mar,” Shayne said with mindfulness. “It’ll only take a few hours.”
While this might have been the case, Martje assumed that finding these mythical few hours would be an arduous task. She knew Shayne had much to do in a day at the keep as the king’s leatherworker and partial armorsmith for the Frewyn armed forces together with Tomas, and for him to find a few hours beyond the day they were permitted to spend away from the keep would be a wonder but Shayne made her happy more than any other creature in the world had ever done, making her inclined to believe his assertions. She reminded him one last time of her intention of having the entire family visit for the coming holiday once they had returned from the islands and left the impending restorations to Shayne with the expectation he should remember to finish the work with such an important event as a holiday gather coming. She was wrong, however, and when she returned to the cottage on the holiday eve to begin preparing for their meal only to find nothing had been done other than the necessary tools being laid out on the table, Martje had done with this affair.
It was in Martje’s livid and screeching state that the commander and Den Asaan came to the front of the house. They had come early in hopes of assisting with the chores of cooking on the commander’s side and supervising preparations on the Den Asaan’s but they would not enter the residence of the happy couple until Shayne was certain to come out with a few bruises for his forgetfulness.
The commander observed that the house had not altered since she last saw it many years ago, excepting now there was a rather large and rather angry woman within its walls which was all the difference in the world. The exterior of the home was shabbier than what she had recalled, but not beyond the hope of what a few alterations could fix. She supposed that the appearance of the outside was the reason for Martje’s screaming until she heard the telling call from Shayne promising to ‘do it now’ had revealed the cause. The commander laughed, shook her head, and declared to her mate that Shayne was in sincere peril of being killed by his wife.