by Lisa Curry
Back in February, I blogged (perhaps “bragged” would be a better term) about my what a great housewife my unemployed husband made and how I had it made like a 1950s husband.
In March, Mr. Curry found gainful employment, so I had to resume taking care of some of the domestic duties around our household, such as grocery shopping, laundry and getting the little Currys fed and on the school bus in the morning. But still, he picked up the kids from their after-school sitter and handled the homework and pet feeding before I got home from work, so things weren’t so bad.
This past Saturday Mr. Curry left for a three-week business trip to his new employer’s headquarters in Germany.
Frankly, I don’t know how single parents who work full-time survive, because the first five days of this are killing me. My life is a blur from the moment I get up in the morning until I drop into exhausted sleep at night.
Feed the kids breakfast, rush them off to the sitter’s with their sports gear and packed lunches for sports camp, fly to work (which feels like a respite from stress these days, and that’s saying something), rush home to pick up kids, take care of pets, cook dinner, wash dishes, pack lunches for tomorrow, referee sibling squabbles, make sure everyone takes a shower and brushes teeth, fall into bed.
You might think Mr. Curry is having the time of his carefree, child-free, pet-free life in Germany, but you’d be wrong. He’s a homebody, and he doesn’t speak any German at all.
Nor is he an adventurous eater. He was convinced before he left that every meal served in Germany would be smothered in sauerkraut, which he detests, and that he’d starve for three weeks. Instead, he’s discovered that he can always order good pork or beef (sans sauerkraut) served with fries and a salad.
Alas, he can’t eat fries without ketchup, and the Germans in Hofheim, where he’s staying, only have Kraft ketchup – disgusting, he says. Not a bottle of Heinz, the only ketchup worth eating in his opinion, to be found. Further, they pile clover on top of their salads.
“It can’t be clover,” I said. “Cows eat clover. I don’t think humans can even digest it.”
“Well, it looks like clover,” he insisted. “And they put a whole pile of it on there. They even put a little bunch of it on my pork chop last night as garnish.”
I think it’s watercress, but it might as well be clover, for all he’s going to eat of it.
He can’t watch TV other than British CNN, which is the only English-language station on the hotel television, and all they talk about on there is South Africa, he says.
So for entertainment, Mr. Curry, who reads nothing but car and motorcycle magazines, is now reading books – novels I, his beleaguered wife, lovingly hand-selected with great care for him from my overflowing bookcases. He finished the first the other day and has now started on the second, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, a particular favorite of mine.
“Who’d have thought reading a book would ever become the highlight of my day?” he asked on the phone today.
When he gets back from Germany, I’m going to curl up with a good book for an entire evening and let him deal with the kids, the pets and everything else.
That thought may just be enough to keep me going for the next sixteen days...