Thursday, September 27, 2012

Confessions Of A Mousewife

Today's post comes from a very hilarious and manly housewife, Rob Bishop.  Rob's significant other is a third year medical student.  Rob is a talented writer who has even published a book during his time as a medical student's slave (what a way to use up free time). He is the father of two loyal felines and owns a pretty nice film collection.

Hopefully, he will grace us with his writing again soon, but until then.... Check out his first guest post on the C&B Chronicles.


                I do not have a husband in medical school. I don’t even have a husband. It’s not for a lack of trying. It’s not even because I haven’t quite found that perfect man for me. I have. But since he won’t have me, I instead settled for the silver medal of courting: a female medical student.
                That was a joke.
                She is more like the bronze medal.
               My trip to the podium is one not terribly dissimilar from that of your regular contributors to this blog save for one difference: male genitalia. Notice no use of adjectives to describe the size of the difference. Whether it is due to shame or humility is one of this entry’s eternal ambiguities.
                Way to connect with your audience, Rob.
                Skipping along the path a bit further, when confronted by others about what it is exactly that I do for a living --- and since I am apparently now an adult, the question does arise from time to time --- I answer with a simple, one word response: housewife. This retort is occasionally met with a chuckle, but more often than not, it is a much different look. One of pity.

The lovely Ms. Maroney is not impressed.
                What sort of man would openly admit to being a housewife? The short answer to the query is this—the same sort of man who habitually shaves his legs and eats ice cream by the pint.
                This isn’t going well. Better start being overly verbose. Maybe they’ll stop reading.
                The long answer is, you guessed it, longer, and likely a far more pathetic one. So I’ll spare you the details and instead you can picture John Travolta circa “Staying Alive.” Yeah. That’s the ticket, ladies.
                There is something wrong with you. Get back on track.
                Here goes nothing. Prior to the commencement of my four-year sentence as a medical school male housewife, or mousewife for short…
                I really hope no one calls me a mousewife.
                … I was a lean, tanned purveyor of manual labor, working a greenhouse for seven years. Despite the implication of working with flowers, it was the pinnacle of masculine endeavors, toiling away sowing geranium seeds and planting wave petunia hanging baskets, trimming azalea bushes and double-watering the perennials because we planted them in too damn small four-inch cups. 
                That sounded decidedly feminine. What is wrong with me? Insert something masculine so readers don’t think poorly of you.
                Professional wrestling. Scotch. Face tattoos.
                Good job. You amaze me.
                In between aiding old ladies with their picking the best celosia for the combination planters, I was tasked with hefting ninety pound bags of planting soil hundreds of yards from the retail store to the planting area. Sometimes, when college girls* were around, I’d throw a bag over each shoulder and make the lengthy trek. Again, picture Travolta circa “Staying Alive.”

This should help. Wowza!

                While the ball and chain worked her way through undergrad, and the thought of medical school was firmly entrenched as a ‘down the road’ idea, I was the breadwinner. And though the loaf was small and covered in aphids, it was mine and mine alone. And also those damn claw machines in the front of Wal-Mart. I have a problem.
                Seriously. Do you really expect anyone to respect you after this confession?
                My days as the breadwinner came to an end in the summer of 2010 when I put in my pink slip after over half a decade of service at Hurley’s Greenhouse and moved to Lewisburg.  It should be made clear that I was adamantly against the move.

Actual photo taken while loading moving truck.

                I was accustomed to hanging out at the gym with my friends in the morning, playing pick-up basketball after spending way too much time picking things up and putting them down. I was accustomed to going to work for fifty hours a week alongside my best friends, getting tan and paid at the same time. The change brought upon by the move was immense.
                I went from being the one bringing home the bacon to not only frying it in the pan but going to the store to buy it. And along with the bacon, I was tasked with shopping for everything from all the groceries to shampoo (it cleans your hair), conditioner (it conditions your hair) and deodorant (I still don’t know what this is). The shopping in Lewisburg was limited, and I became a regular at Wal-Mart to such an extreme that I not only knew the names of a wide array of the ladies at checkout, but they knew me probably better than they knew their grandchildren.
                Here is where I confess that I hate crowds. Not big crowds. Crowds in general. Because of this, for nearly eighteen months, I woke up seven days a week at 4 AM so I could both go to the gym without worry of people clogging up the free weights and hit up Wal-Mart without having to see the leprous, troll-like creatures native to the store during daytime hours.

Oddly enough, she's as smart as she is classy. Even more oddly enougher, she is unattached.

                Shouldn't you tell them that she was your prom date? Hell no.
                A few months ago, the story took another twist when we moved from the small town of Lewisburg to the city of Bridgeport, a burgeoning metropolis by comparison. This was good because it provided a much-needed change of scenery. It was bad because the crowds became much more commonplace.
                But for the second time in nearly as many years, I have adapted. Crowds remain a nuisance for me, but I am far more tolerable of them than during my youth. I do still get up early, albeit not 4 AM early. And I am home for good most days by 8 AM. Thanks to headphones at the gym, for the most part, I talk to only one person, my lady friend, during the day.
                One person and two cats! Freak.
                I buy the groceries and prepare breakfasts. I pack lunches and cook dinners. I watch six to ten hours of Major League Baseball a day from April through October, and in the hours when baseball is inactive, I watch films and read books. Sometimes, during the doldrums of winter, anywhere from four to seven movies a day or ten books in a week. Even my lady friend wonders how I do it. How I sit at home all day? How the only person I talk to face-to-face most days is her? To this question, I am completely honest with my answer.
                I spend every day with my best friend.

No, not Screech. But damn close.
                My best friend is someone I see every day. It's someone I couldn't live without.
                Here is where people are saying things like ‘Ahhhh’ or ‘How sweet’ or maybe even ‘Liar’.
                Time to yank the rug out, daddio.
                And here’s the rub. What I wrote is true, but it is misleading. I spend every day with my best friend. And even better, I spend all day with him too. I love him. I love me. Conceited? Good lord, yes. But the truth is the truth.

                So, as my bronze medal is working her way through her rotations, serving the role of being the sole source of face-to-face contact I have with the living world, I will continue to do what I do. Listening to podcasts while I wash the dishes and making trips to the grocery store in hopes of finding raspberries on sale. Driving to Target to get bags for the vacuum cleaner and spending far too much time tracking my macronutrient intake.
                She is my bronze medal, and despite my hermetic tendencies, I am dutifully filling the role of being her Trophy Mousewife.
                Way to close strong for the two people who haven’t moved on to watching videos of baby sea otters.

Cute as youngsters. Delicious as adults.

*and high school girls.   

-- r

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