15/07/2011 18:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: Man Wanted For Sex And Crisp Eating

The Semi-Detached Parent: Man wanted for sex and crisp eating

I need a man. I hate to admit it, but I do. I mainly need one because I have a piece of flat-pack furniture which needs assembling.

And before the full force of the sisterhood vents its spleen at me, Allen key in hand, yes, I know I should be perfectly capable of doing it myself.

But I just can't, OK?

And it doesn't stop at the flat-pack furniture. There's the plumbing in of the new dishwasher, which is as beyond me as brain surgery (which I am sure no one would ask me to attempt if I hotly disputed my abilities to do so). Basically, anything that comes with an instruction manual, the possibility of electrocution, or severing a finger, is not within the scope of my capabilities.

And I am tired of apologising for this or pretending I can do stuff that I can't. Because there is plenty of stuff that I can do, which, frankly has been as alien to the men in my life as removing a car's engine is to me, like separating the wash before bunging all colours of the rainbow in, or removing porridge residue from a bowl before putting it in the cupboard.

Like knowing what to buy a teacher as a leaving gift (no, a sixty-something tee-totaller cannot be fobbed off with that bottle of whisky that's been in the cupboard for a decade) and knowing that a toddler cannot go to nursery on photo day in spots and stripes, especially if they are STAINED spots and stripes.

So I decided to put the question to my female friends and colleagues: What are men good for? Apart from assembling flat-pack and plumbing in my dishwasher? Fifty-nine replies ensued. Here are the printable ones:

1. Nothing (suggested three times)
2. Getting on my nerves
3. Sex
4. Getting heavy stuff down from the loft
5. Getting stuff down from the top of the wardrobe
6. Brute strength and anything that requires eye-hammer co-ordination
7. Writing lists
8. Being good work colleagues
9. Fishing dead birds out of the water tank
10. Eating the salt and vinegar crisps that get left in the multi-pack

Anything to add?