Friday, February 08, 2008

Take My Wife – Please (Maybe)

By Lisa Curry

The year 2008 brought big changes to the Curry household. After 22 years with the same company, Mr. Curry (a.k.a. my spouse) joined the growing ranks of America’s unemployed as a result of corporate merger/acquisition. After 10 years of freelancing and part-time employment, Mrs. Curry (that’d be me) rejoined the full-time workforce, primarily to gain health insurance coverage and avoid those COBRA premiums that would eat up all Mr. Curry’s severance.

Now, I am not and never have been a lesbian, but I always thought it would be a fine thing to have a wife. Not a wife like me, who hates housework and can always think of a dozen more important things to do, but one of those housewifely wives who cooks and cleans.

And guess what. Now I have one. It’s Mr. Curry, who has turned out to be a way better wife than I ever was. (Although he prefers to refer to himself as “Lisa’s bitch.”)

I leave for work in the morning before the kids are out of bed. After I’m gone, Mr. Curry wakes them up, makes their breakfast, and gets them on the school bus. And when I say he makes breakfast, I mean he actually cooks breakfast, and not in the toaster or microwave like I always did. The other morning he got up early and baked a batch of big, sticky cinnamon rolls in time for me to have one fresh out of the oven before I left for the office.

After the kids leave for school, he gets on the computer, searches for job opportunities on, and applies for ones that look likely. Then he cleans. And when I say he cleans, I don’t mean he just washes the dishes and vacuums.

First he cleaned out the silverware drawer. Took out all the cutlery, vacuumed out the crumbs and such, wiped it thoroughly, and put all the cutlery back in. I think the last time I cleaned the silverware drawer was when we moved into this house five years ago.

Two weeks ago, he took on the linen closet. Now we don’t have to use one blue pillowcase with the floral sheets because the other floral pillowcase is missing in action somewhere in a tangled jungle of linen. All towels and sheets are folded and stacked on the shelves in orderly, color-matched sets.

Last week he tackled the cabinet in the bathroom vanity. No more ooey-gooey bottle of Nyquil that expired six years ago under a heap of assorted bottles and jars. All medicine, bubble bath, hair gel, and other personal-care items are lined up in tidy little rows on a pristine surface.

Today his conquest was the kitchen pantry. I received an email at work from him that said, “Found something in a produce bag that was very flat and brown but otherwise unidentifiable underneath about 3,000 plastic Giant Eagle bags. I expected it to stink, but surprisingly, it doesn’t.” I suspect the unidentifiable substance was potatoes or onions, because any other kind of produce would surely have been in the refrigerator. I also suspect it didn’t stink because it’s petrified, like fossilized dinosaur poop.

When I come home from work at the end of each day, the children’s homework is all done, the pets are fed, and Mr. Curry has dinner simmering on the stove. Frankly, I don’t know how he manages it. When he worked and I was home, the kids and I were always still wrangling over their homework when he walked in the door, the dogs and cats were yowling to be fed, and we rarely ate dinner before 8 p.m.

Would I like Mr. Curry to find a job? Well, I can pay the bills, but if we’d like to send our children to college or retire someday, we’re going to need his income, too. And I know it isn’t very much fun for him being stuck home alone all day while the kids are at school – believe me, I’ve been there. Once he’s vanquished all the hidden messes in our house and figured out which aisle the Giant Eagle stocks the pancake syrup in, what’s left to give purpose and meaning to his life? So, yes, I guess I want Mr. Curry to find a job.

But maybe not just yet. And in the meantime, like a 1950s husband, I’ve got it made.


Tory said...

Wow, Lisa, you're a lucky woman. What a guy!

And have him consider not just looking on but doing informational interviews (where you systematically interview companies about what jobs are out there.) They've always been the ticket for me in any job search!

Martha Reed said...

Is Mr. Curry available for hire?

It sounds like he's tackled his situation with zest - what a balanced response. I'm sure the kids are enjoying it, too, having Dad at home. This will make a great story someday, and when he does go back to 9-5, you may be surprised how much you miss him!

Great post - thanks for the morning chuckle. Got my day started off right.

Annette said...

Lisa, as soon as he figures out the aisles at Giant Eagle, they will remodel and move everything.

And does Mr. Curry have a brother??

Seriously, consider yourself blessed. Mr. Dashofy CAN be convinced to wash the dishes, but I can't get him to clean out the little drain strainers afterwards, so I find a nasty collection of smelly gook the next time I look in the sink. Sigh.

Nancy said...

OMG, I think I'm drooling into my keyboard!!!

JKoep said...

Hey Lisa,

Sounds like you have the good life. There are many ways to pay for college. I'd keep him barefoot and pregn...OH wait that's not going to work...well if he get's bored perhaps he'd come down the hill and give my place the once over.

Lee Lofland said...

I have team enroute to bring Mr. Curry in for debfriefing. We should have him back to normal in about two weeks. Sometimes, models from that generation have problems with their wiring. It's not serious.

Don't fret, you'll be back to cooking, cleaning, and homework in no times.

I'll check back later to see how he's doing, after I vacuum. Oh, and I still have to do the breakfast dishes. Yep, I cooked for Denene before she left for work.

lisa curry said...

Lee, you made me think of that "Man Song" with the line that goes something like, "I wear the pants in this family... after I finish up your laundry."

Jim and everyone else, you've got me thinking perhaps Mr. Curry, formerly a manufacturing / operations manager, has future career potential as a Merry Maid??? (I wonder if they offer flexible hours, so he could be home in time to get the kids off the school bus. Hmmm...)

Tory, I've never heard of the informational interview process you mentioned, but that sounds interesting. If you don't mind, I think I'll email you for more info.

Thanks, everyone!

JennieB said...

This was so beautiful it brought a tear to my eye.

DH actually spent ten years as something akin to a Merry Maid. It was his own business, and he ran it very well, and made quite a lot of money, too. There's a bunch of money in house cleaning. Of course, because he was always cleaning other people's houses, it fell to me to clean ours, and I'm not as good at it as he is. And he'd always compare my cleaning to his, so it became a big bone of contention. These days, the house is always unorganized and dirty, because now, nobody's cleaning. If Mr. Curry has a job interview in Nashville, I'd like him to stay with us.

Denise said...

Wow, Lisa, I'm so jealous I'm turning green here. You've convinced me I need a wife too.
Can you send him to the northwest corner of PA for a few weeks after he's caught up at your house?

Nancy Schiller said...

Kudos to Mr. Curry.

I wish him well with his job search, been there with a displaced husband and yes it will happen, he will return to the work force. But in the meantime, I'd mention the garage, basement, and with spring on the way, the heck with Giant Eagle, there's yard work -- just think of the possibilities, wow!

I'm wondering though, what do you get Mr. Mom for Valentines Day? Jewerly, flowers, candy?

Joyce said...

Lisa, I think you and Mr. Curry could make a fortune by renting him out to the rest of us!

Maybe he and Lee could start their own company. We just need to come up with a catchy name.

Lee Lofland said...

Right, Joyce. Just call it Dream On.

Joyce said...

I was thinking more like, I don't know, maybe Bitches n'at.

Martha Reed said...

Mr. Clean?

lisa curry said...

Hee hee. I like Bitches n'at. :-)

Anonymous said...

hey if you need the money you should rent him out!! we women can all use a glen in our lives.once he is done indoors the weather is going to be nice and then outside he goes!! maybe a garden ha! nothing green for him! patti hurley