Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Househusband-Revised



Three parts.

First part:

My husband was an actor. Unless he was in front of a camera or in a sound booth mixing words with intonations, he was home. I was unemployed (by choice) because if he was going to be home, I was going to be home too.

And we worked out an existence. Owned a home. Two cars. A dog.

Then my husband was offered a great job. Came with all sorts of perks and steady paychecks. We feel blessed, especially since the whole company is made up of a network of human angels. But now he is not home. He travels, or commutes to a desk. Leaving me alone at home (with his dazzling Mini Me for company, but still . . .)

Moral of First part: I miss him.

Second part:
The wind was adamant today. I took The Chief for a walk in the park but continually apologized for the dust trail that followed our buggy. I felt responsible, even though the weather--I'm sure--is not my fault.

We crossed the street to head home. I saw my friend Erin on her bike. When we stopped to talk so did the wind. I thought it was a sign. I think a lot of things are signs, it can be confusing.

We talked about husbands and careers.

"I didn't see my dad a whole lot growing up. He worked a lot. So all my life I prayed that my husband would have a job where he could be home."

" . . .and?" I waited.

"His job allows him to be home when the children are out of school. He is home on Saturdays too. It was an answer to my prayers, which I think I deserved anyway, seeing how my dad was never home."

(Tongue in her cheek, wind blowing again.)

Moral of Second part: I can pray for my husband to be home. More.

Third part:
I cooked chicken tonight for the first time since don'taskme. The parents came for dinner and brought with them my bohemian uncle Jeff. We had pasta, artichokes hearts and passed around a plate of herbed goat cheese. It wasn't my proudest meal, but I'm a humble cook these days.

When my dad comes to dinner I like leave out a couple apples for his consumption. After dinner he ritually takes an apple, carves it using his butter knife in one continuous peel, contributes a few shakes of salt to the exposed core and shares.

Tonight was no different.

Only, Uncle Jeff sat watching, and after the first apple was undressed he commented,

"How did you do that? Using a butter knife?"

And my father responded,

"This is what dad used to do all the time. Do you remember?"

But Uncle Jeff replied,

"I don't remember anything. I was too young when he died."

(In a plane crash, while on a business trip, leaving eight children fatherless. My father, the oldest, was sixteen.)

So my dad got the last apple and peeled for it Jeff.

Moral of Third part: I've got to learn to peel apples using a butter knife.




Post-edit:
I wrote this post last night really late. I couldn't figure out how to write the Moral of Third part. I wanted to say that the moral is I want a stay-at-home husband. But, I can't quite bring myself to state that yet. It seems ungrateful--and selfish. I also wonder how many other women want the same.

I fell asleep thinking about how to end it. I woke up to feed The Chief in the middle of the night and thought "Butter knives are versatile utensils" and I wrote it that way. I think it meant that my husband can work now, and be at home later. He has many uses, I guess? This morning though, as I was spooning The Chief up some oatmeal, it came to me. I've got to learn to peel apples using a butter knife. Which I think means that I need to buck up and be the part of me that feels lonely. After all, there are some things that The Chief will only learn from me.

But the end is still not there yet, admittedly. I think it might be something like "I've got to get a brother for The Chief." Brothers sometimes turn into the fathers that went missing. We'll see . . .

Also deleted: And, buy more apples.

Made up word: herbed.
I like it though. The rosemary garlic loaf? It was all herbed up.

Try it.