I Am a Male Hausfrau

Today is laundry day. What’s this thing?  It feels like wool underwear.  Who’d want to wear scratchy underwear? Hmm, no leg holes, so how do you put them on?  And what’s with this tassel?  Aha, this isn’t wool underwear—it’s my stocking cap!

Tomorrow is cleaning day.  My vacuum is the “Animal Hair Turbo” model.  It could suck up a cat.  When I finish cleaning, in my mind all is bright and shiny.  But I know I miss things, and that somewhere, in plain sight for someone sighted, lies whatever the cat brought up.

My wife and I divide domestic duties: she shops for groceries, I clean house and do the laundry.  She is the hunter; I am the gatherer.  Gender roles be damned—the arrangement works for us.

I take my job seriously.  I clean and change my lint filters more often than some people change their socks.  When the rinse water goes down the drain before the spin cycle ends, that makes my day. If I tally an even number of socks in the dryer, I am affirmed; if I end up with an odd number, I question my methodology.

I’ve developed tricks for my trade.  Not seeing the clothes, I sort by texture and shape.  Not seeing my wife, I sense her size when I fold her clothes or when I hold her in my arms.  My color identifier distinguishes five shades of gray and confirms the efficacy of bleach when “very light gray” T shirts come out “white.”  My tactics level the playing field somewhat, but, sighted or blind, it’s pretty much impossible to fold a fitted sheet.

Being useful around the house does not bring drudgery.  I whistle while I work.  I enjoy music and books.  If I clean house in two hours listening to Pink Floyd, I can clean it in 45 minutes listening to the Pointer Sisters.  That gives me time to savor a leisurely lunch of delicacies my wife has found.  Avocados in winter?  Cherries in January?  She brings home the best stuff.  And if I spill, well, I clean it up or wash it out.  I call her Tarzan the hunter; she calls me her hausfrau.  It takes two in our little village.

This entry was posted in Adapting, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Am a Male Hausfrau

  1. tibshaw says:

    Your essays are always interesting. This one was also charming. I wish you two villagers many, many years of happiness together.

  2. bethfinke says:

    Waiting for the movie version. Tarzan + Hausfrau: a Love Story.


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