Baseballs and bathrobes

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There is a brand new dynamic underway in my home. Since the glorious day when we made the decision to personally re-populate the planet (oh, 26 years ago) my lovely wife has been a homemaker. This is what she puts down on things like the Mexican tourist card when we fly south….occupation: homemaker. I suppose a construction worker could write the same thing..although, as we all know, a house is not necessarily a home.

For the next month, The Homemaker, is working as a volunteer at the Winter Olympics. She gets up every morning, puts on the official Olympic volunteer uniform (very turquoise, very spiffy), festoons herself with official identification and leaves for the day. I make her coffee and toast in the morning and there is dinner waiting for her when she returns every night. I do this without complaint because I love her and she deserves this.

But you can see what has happened here. The television work I am doing right now has me anchored at home quite a bit. So I’m home and she’s out and about. Our roles have essentially been reversed. This does not really bother me on a purely domestic level because I have always enjoyed residential puttering. I have always cooked. I will clean..although yesterday while vacuuming under the bed I encountered a dust bunny the size of a fog bank.

When the kids call home to access the information that only their uber-organized, well-informed mother can provide, they now get the old man. And the old man, as a source of problem-solving, daily living  research, is proving to be pretty much useless. The old man cannot summon up laundry tips. The old man knows nothing about banking. If you have a question about the movie Lawrence of Arabia the old man is the go-to guy because, chances are, he just spent four hours watching it on the couch that very afternoon.

Years ago I played one of the lead roles in a Vancouver stage production of Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue. For thirty performances or so I got to play the role of  a middle-aged New Yorker named Mel Edison who suddenly finds himself out of work while his wife goes out to get a job. Mel spends a lot of time walking around in his bathrobe, throwing a baseball into a glove, while his mind slowly unravels. (You may have seen the 1975 film version of this with Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft.) I enjoyed being back on the stage again but the production, though rewarding, was ultimately exhausting.

I basically had to act out a mental breakdown every night.

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And now..for at least some parts of the day..I am that guy walking around in the bathrobe smacking a ball into a glove. I am Mel.

True, we don’t live in New York and I still have work…but the parallels are frequently frightening.

Angie comes home bright-eyed and breathless with complex tales of Olympic logistics and a city absolutely buzzing with celebratory anticipation. And then, just like the Anne Bancroft character in the play, she asks me about my day.  And I say something like, ” Did you know we’re all out of margarine? “

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4 Responses to “Baseballs and bathrobes”

  1. Carla Maria Lucchetta Says:

    fantastic post Dave! thank you!

  2. Whats for dinner tonight Dave?????

    • Well, last night was a stuffed pork tenderloin..so I’m going a little bit easier this evening with chicken wings we’ve already got frozen in marinade.
      Hell, it can’t be rack of lamb every night!

  3. Great blog, enjoyed that one very much. It gave me a couple of chuckles. I look forward to reading your blogs, sometimes I don’t always have time to comment.

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