Life Swapping

I might take him up on his offer. My husband keeps saying, “Why don’t you go in for me today, and I’ll stay home.”

I imagine my day. I’ll drink real coffee, while it’s still warm, wear real clothes with real shoes on my feet. I might actually be able to go to the bathroom with the door shut, and not have to explain to anyone what I am doing in there.

If I were my husband I could eat an entire nutrition-filled grown-up lunch, sitting down. Hello expense account. I could have long-winded uninterrupted conversations with real people who are over three feet tall. These conversations would have a beginning, an end, and actually include some words with two or three syllables.

During this day of swapping, something terribly exciting will happen. I will complete a task. Complete a task! Just the thought of this warms me more than a tray of tequila shooters on Ladies Night Out. Wow. I might stand back and admire that task. I may even accept praise from one of my many intelligent and articulate co-workers as they admire my well-done task. I may even work late. Why rush home? I’ll hold a meeting at Hop’s to discuss important office matters, such as the cost efficiency of paper towels versus cloth for the employee bathroom.

Then, I’ll zip home in my shiny, expensive sports car to my shiny, wonderful family, honk in the driveway, burst through the door and dump my briefcase in the hall. “Honey, I’m home!” I’ll toss my coat near a chair, whip my tie over the railing and twirl my daughter until she is dizzy and bumping into furniture, then rile up the dog, ignore those cries of “Helllp!” from the backyard and head upstairs for an long, uninterrupted, steaming-hot shower.

After my pampering, I will appear downstairs, expecting all to be well, or—yell loudly until it is. Still full from snacks at the bar, I’ll sip my chilled Ketel One martini, pick at my gourmet meal and leave the plate where the dog is sure to find it.

Time for television. My remote. My recliner.

“Kids? Could you go somewhere— Hon, isn’t it their bath time?”

Ah. Peace, quiet, and sports.

“Psst. The dog needs to go out. Yeah, I heard him barking.”

And finally, after my unbelievably long, challenging day, I’m alone with my spouse. I’ll listen half-heartedly to the events of the day—something about a water heater and the mailman’s leg. I’ll nod, offering the occasional sympathetic grunt as I surf through 800 channels thinking, Man! That was nothing compared to my day. They just don’t understand what it takes to be out there, do they?

Then I’ll scratch myself and wink at him. “Come over here and give me some lovin’, Sugar. What do you mean you’re tired and want to go to bed?”

originally published Gwinnett Daily Post humor column, Lifestyle section, October 25, 2003

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