And so it began. My city is nothing if not filled with hills and so while the walk is good for the legs and lungs it can be a bit of a pain on the old back. I donned my shades and hit the pavement and took in all that was around me. I examined the state of various lawns and compared them the state of mine, something so profoundly absurd and suburban i got a good giggle out of it. I clandestinely gazed through windows and harbored secret hopes of catching a glimpse of my favorite neighborhood Milfs. I pondered how many other mild-mannered mushroom eating maniacs lived in my quiet little suburb and guessed i most likely could count them on one hand. Really there was exactly two that i knew of and i was one of them and most likely the only one who took them on a regular basis.
I walked and listened. It was the usual stuff from the Breadwinner, mainly talking about work and how her co-worker/best friend was having a rough time, being depressed and blaming it all on the job and etc etc... This is often the Breadwinner's line but she's taken a new track and downloaded some app that is all about lifestyle changes and such and so has tried not to bitch and moan about her job so much. Mind you the Breadwinner is part owner of several successful restaurants, pulls in a decent amount of cheddar, and basically can make her own hours, often times working far less than a 40 hour work week in a country where even a 40 work week has become something of a myth... and so we ambled along her talking about her friend and how she needs to take a look at things and not just blame the job when suddenly things took a left turn. It was at this juncture, about halfway home, that the soliloquy-slash-diatribe started.
It began with the phrase, do you know how lucky you are? At this point i took a fine meditative breath and nodded. It continued with myself being told that i was lucky to be a stay at home parent and how if she could trade places with me she would. How that she would enjoy being home, something i almost laughed out loud at, and then began a list of all the things i didn't do well, basically comparing me to her mother and how her mother kept a much cleaner house and did so many things better than i do. This was followed by the caveat that she wasn't criticizing me but that i should have a schedule and this and that and by this point i had tuned out and began thinking about the lovely sight of home that was just a few twists and turns away. She kept asking me if i knew how lucky i was? as if i needed to suddenly stop and grovel in the middle of the street and thank her for her benevolence of letting me stay in our humble abode seeing that i was obviously lacking in so many basic skills that i was a wonder i could function at all.
It was at this point that i was glad that i've found a bit of discipline when it comes to my mouth. I could have pointed out that while i do get behind on things the simple fact is all the housework/yard work/driving to practice/cooking and such falls on me. I understand i don't have a job but i actually have two seeing as i do all the so-called traditional "male" duties as well as the so-called "female" duties as well (though i loathe to use those terms). Hell i was half tempted to burst into Kate Bush's This Woman's Work but thought better of it. The fact the boyos schedule is in constant flux didn't come into play, the fact she often leaves things lying around for me to pick up wasn't mentioned (on the odd occasion she does go and weed the yard she likes to tell me to go clean up the piles she left as well as being almost incapable of placing anything in the recycling bin preferring instead to leave it on the counter for me) add in the fact that i'm often yanked from actually getting shit done to play tag along while she ambles the aisles of (insert store here) it's often hard to get anything completed in one go and in between other things come up. Then of course the whole issue of my swimming came up, something i was told took up half the morning, in reality it takes me roughly 90 minutes from door to door, and is two-fold as it keeps me in shape and more importantly keeps my fucking back from shitting the bed which in turn would lay me up for any number of days or weeks.
But alas i'm learning something in my old age, there was no reason to argue, i did mention that i'd do whatever i had to do for the boyos and if that meant going to work or whatever needed to be done then i'd do it. That statement was met with a look of derision, cloaked with a good-natured smile, but i knew to let it go and resume my position as whipping boy so that the rest of the night wouldn't be some pissing contest. Besides i've figured it best to entertain whatever comes my way from the Breadwinner cuz if she's happy and satisfied with things then i don't get the harangue treatment as much. So i kept putting on foot in front of the other and soon the lovely view of the house appeared and i thought how wonderful that pull off the pen would be followed by a long drink of cool water. It's the simple things. I walked in and smiled at Stretch and his long legs sprawled out on the couch, had Nick Disaster run around the corner and give me the usual hug and quick "love you dad"... basically it was enjoying the yin after suffering the yang. It's just how it goes. Then i went out front and picked up those piles of weeds.