You Better Recognize

I refuse… flat out refuse to blame Cathy, my loving wife, for her crude assumption, lack of couth, class and respect toward a dedicated husband who after close to one year has painstakingly acquired all the finite skills necessary to be called a full-time stay at home dad (Domestic Engineer). Instead, I think I’ll blame America. Oh wait, scratch that! Society, I want to blame society. No wait, maybe it’s culture related? Which means it’s probably more an extension of specific family traditions observed on some sort of regular basis and passed down from generation to generation. Blah, that doesn’t seem right either. Well, I’m set on blaming somebody soooo…eeny-meeny-miney I blame Apolo Anton Ohno.

You read it right! I’m blaming Apollo. I blame him for his god-awful charisma, boyish good looks and alien mouth complete with 50 blindingly white, perfectly symmetrical and unusually hypnotic teeth. Damn you Ono, damn you for making us care about speed skating! Look, it makes perfect sense. For 2 weeks he was everywhere, wooing us with his charm. Once the Olympics were over it was a no-brainer that an evil backlash would occur. Those who were drawn deep into those pearly whites must’ve had an unexpected withdrawal. Yup, that’s it, Cathy had some sort of post-traumatic Ono withdrawal, and she took it out on me.

What can I say? I’m a man, with real honest and complex feelings(motives). I spend my days laundering, scrubbing, shopping, mopping, cooking and pushing around Swiffers (Which are rumored to be made from some sort of wizard/alien technology, mass produced by a secret government agency consisting of Vampires and the cast of Saved By The Bell… minus Mario Lopez). I do this so our house maintains a healthy balance of “lived-in” and “Army barracks.” I do this for us, I sweat for us! I sacrifice my dry cracked hands, so that the weekends can be spent as a family (with my buddies at a bar). I’ll be honest, and feel free to ask around, but some might say that a man of this caliber doesn’t exist. I guess I’m sorta like the Holy Grail, or Big Foot. I’m the mother-load of man, who quite frankly, doesn’t think that he’s getting the respect he deserves.

Seriously, I work hard! Would flowers (a 6-pack) be that bad of a gesture? How about a quiet (wild) night out? Dinner at La Creperie (The Chili Hut), followed by a romantic comedy (movie with Matt Damon and guns)? All I’m saying is that after a full day of house work and kids, an acknowledgement of awesomeness is essential. In fact, any combination of nice, gratitude, appreciation, devilish innuendos or beer works. That’s right, all of these things say I love you (some more than others), but all work. Which brings me to last Tuesday and Cathy’s Ohno-less rage.

She didn’t have to say it. I mean, she was probably right to say it; it’s just that she should’ve said something else first, anything, an icebreaker. Something like, “My, the floors look nice,” or “My, your biceps look huge today.” Honestly, I could think of a hundred pleasant ways to say hello. Now don’t take this out of context, I don’t need to be praised every day, but Tuesday was different. Tuesday I was on top of my game. Chores were done, laundry folded, the house was clean and I was feeling pretty good. That is until Cathy walked through door and said, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what is that god awful smell?” Startled, I turn around to find her pointing an indignant finger at me choking out the sentence, “Did you just take a bath in a tub of homeless feet and skunk meat?” I didn’t know what to say, I was at a loss of words really. What was her problem, why was she mad and more importantly, what in the world was she smelling? Looking over at my wife, who had suddenly keeled over and was now beginning to dry-heave and drool all over the dining room floor, it hit me. I wasn’t happy about it, but I understood- – I understood.

Imagine you’re home alone, pushing through a box of wine and watching reruns of The Ghost Whisperer on TBS. You’ve just changed out of your professional clothes and into that disgustingly-comfy, stained and tattered I’m not leaving the house outfit that screams either “I’m homeless,” “I’m crazy,” or “I’m homeless, because my imaginary dog Keith convinced me to sell my sneezes in front of the post office.” Everything’s perfect, ’cause your happy, and you’re happy ’cause you’re relaxed and because you’re relaxed, you fart.

Don’t be ashamed, or act like you’ve never put a stinky in the couch, because you have. And yes, it’s understood that the first one will always be a dynamic toe-curler with the slight undertones of boiled frog and molasses. But after that, you’re pretty much immune and unfazed by any other smell or flatulent that may occur during that particular session. On the other hand, this little theory does not apply to the occasional passerby, unexpected guest or loved one who happens to walk into your O-zone depleting, nose hair singeing, ghost-of-dinners-past cloud of death. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Every bit of pungent vapor you produce actually gets stronger and more obtrusive to every other human on this planet. And rests assure this holds true for ALL smells. For this reason alone, walking into a situation like this can be a real character builder. Honestly, this can be an emotionally haunting experience between friends, or a hysterical chance encounter by strangers. The key is figuring out how to maintain a certain amount of empathy in this potentially delicate situation. It would be rude to so quickly accuse someone of violating the strict EPA regulations in regards to personal /community pollution without all the facts. The assailant could very well have a serious medical condition.

Now, back to Tuesday…

I watched in horror as Cathy alternated between an uncontrollable spastic-gyration, the fetal position and demonic accusations that included, but were not limited to, “Are you burning a wet dog?” and “Did you mop the floors with hot milk and tuna?” I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her, none-the-less I was insulted. She had no right to walk into this house and start condemning me of foul play, she was being rude. All I’ve done today is everything. Sure, I was wearing my soft polyester track suit, and yes I was halfway through my cardboard encased wine, and yes the girls and I were confined alone in a house after an odd broccoli and bean lunch, so what! I was sorry, truly sorry that she had to experience that, but I mopped the floors and folded laundry! I deserve some recognition. I deserve to be validated, but more importantly I deserve to relax.

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