My husband told me a story when I returned home from work the other day, one that frustrated him and amused me. I preface this story by saying my husband is a great partner and readily participates in household chores.
His last name is Kitchens, which is a fitting description of how adept he is in our kitchen as well. The management of our home, however, more often than not falls to me. Broken disposal, stopped up toilets, lawn maintenance, and dead electrical sockets generally fall to me, or at least the contact list in my iPhone. I schedule the cable company, plumbers, and security personnel for home repair visits.
At 68, my husband is conducting his decreasing professional work in a home office and thus is around most of the time. At least, it feels like a lot of the time — but that’s for another blog post! 🙂
Arriving home Wednesday I was greeted with, “Oh my God what a day I’ve had!” Quite concerned, I was all ears to hear his story.
“Well, this morning Art came to fix the toilet, garage door, and electrical outlet. He could do everything but the garage door, saying the spring had broken and we should call a garage door company. So I did.
Post haste a garage door repairman (and his ten year old son) showed up while I was in the shower. Soapy hair and all, I showed the man to our garage. Minutes later he was back with a bathroom request for his son. Of course at this point the dogs are bouncing off the walls and barking with excitement.
Shortly after that, the man and his bloody hand appear at the door in need of bandages. He was dispatched for butterfly stitches but not before insisting on completing his assigned task.
The dogs went ballistic for a second time as the UPS delivery man dropped off a package, again, interrupting my attempt at work. The last insult to injury was the bug spray man showing up for a quarterly treatment. The dogs, once again, play havoc with my conference call.”
I was appropriately sympathetic in my response — all the while fighting with the corners of my mouth to keep them in a neutral position, rather than reflect the hilarity I was experiencing inside.
And truly, I know what he feels like, because I’ve been responsible for those tasks for the past 25 years!
As men make the transition from office/airplane/working to home life, this will become more common. So friends, what should be our reactions? Let me hear from you!
Liz Kitchens is a writer and blogger. Her blog, Be Brave. Lose the Beige, reaches out to Lady Boomers, women of the Baby Boomer generation. Liz also blogs for Growing Bolder and Vibrant Nation, two sites devoted to aging issues. Liz conducts workshops on the health benefits of creativity and is an ambassador for the Creative Caregiving Initiative sponsored by the NCCA, The National Center for Creative Aging. Liz founded the Jeremiah Project, an after school and summer creative arts program designed to foster self esteem and encourage creative thinking among at risk middle school aged students.