I secretly want to be a housewife.
I know, I know. Feminism has given us the imperative of “Whatever a man can do, I can do better.” Women in this day and age are succeeding in ways that could not have been imagined 50 years ago. That is all true. I still want to be a housewife.
First question people would ask me would be, “But, Rye, you’re a guy. How can you be a housewife?” I always end up taking a shot of whatever’s in front of me and reply, “Exactly. I’d be a housewife without a vagina.” I take another shot. “Perfect, right? My husband would have all the benefits of a housewife without the drama.”
What, you’d wonder, endears me to be a housewife?
Creative Writing graduate at the most pretigious university in the country and you want to be a housewife?!
Exactly. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a skilled worker. I don’t (or can’t) work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, weekends off, some holiday work, some overtime. I don’t wear uniforms, I don’t wear business casual, or office casual, or casual Friday, or Freaky Friday. I’m a writer. Amawrayter. I drink.
I have this weird sensation in my head now, like one of my more “serious” coursemates trying to mentally connect with me. It’s saying, “You can’t zay that! Writing iz a zeriouz profezzion! You have to be zerious!” The marijuana in my system is getting harder to flush out. Just like all those joints, all those bullshits I’ve already heard in college. Do I agree with them? Yes. Do I give a fuck? No.
What I’m saying is: (1) I graduated with one of the more useless courses, (2) I’m an alcoholic, (3) I want to be a housewife. It’s like the perfect little trifecta.
Now, to be a housewife, I need a guy. I have this thing, this little black book, when I start to know a guy, I write everything in it. Like, seriously. EVERYTHING. Up to how his socks smell. Hey, that’s important. I wouldn’t want to be saddled with a husband with socks who smell weird.
So I cut out these little heads and superimpose them on what suit I believe would look best on them. Then below, “Mr. Juan de la Cruz-Angeles!” And then below that, I try to think up a career based on what they’re doing now. Like there was this one young guy, wanted to be an actor but had a horrible speech impediment. I wrote down, “Dog Walker, Actor on the side.” And then there was this fratman/varsitarian/coke-head. I put down, “Politician.” And, yes, yes, I had sex with this one guy, and apparently he’s an acolytle of their church and I put down…wait, I don’t think I wrote anything down. Like, it would be awkward to put “Prieset” down for obvious reasons.
My ideal husband would be, political correctness aside, a real man. None of these modern, metrosexual, cosmopolitian, sensitive bullshit. REAL man. He wouldn’t want to watch a play, he wouldn’t know the difference between gloss and shimmer, and he can’t spell fuchsia without auto-correct. Actually, he wouldn’t use auto-correct. He doesn’t go to the gym, he drinks beer, not wine, not cocktails, he plays golf during his free time. He watches UFC and we’ll argue about it because I think it’s barbaric. He’s just that guy, you know, that guy in a three-piece suit, who works 9 to 5 every day, weekdays, no nights, no weekends, no holidays.
Oh. And he’s rich. He’s fucking rich.
As for kids, three boys. No girls. Seriously, I’m going to put them up for adoption. We’re going to be a team of five, just like a basketball team. My eldest will be a handsome jock, a little dumb (he got it from his father’s side), a little mean. He’s very popular among his peers. My middle child would be a geek. The type I used to make fun of in high school, but would eventually grow out of his pimples and become a swan. The question is when. My youngest will be my special little weirdo.
Future youngest son: You called me a weirdo?!
Me: It’s taken out of context!
Future youngest son: No wonder I’m so fucked-up.
Me: Go complain to daddy.
The five of us will live in this little house in suburbia. Not too big, not too small, just right. The kids’ll have their own rooms which I’ll be nagging them to clean daily. My husband and I will have the master bedroom, with a four-post bed, and curtains. Just like what a queen should have. Oh, and, of course, the kitchen is meticulous. All the new stuff, all the best stuff, perfectly restocked at all times.
What is crucial, of course, to the housewife persona is the daily routine. I’ll wake up 10 minutes before they have to, pour cereal and milk in a bowl, go yell and bang at everyone’s doors to wake up. No fucking kissing kids to wake up. We all go down to eat breakfast, they eat, my husband reads the newspaper I just brought in, I complain about being underappreciated. They all leave.
I yell out: “Have a good day at school, honey! Have a good day, kids!”
Once they’re gone, the real housewife jobs begin. I’m talking about drinking and gossip. The moment the school bus and my husband’s car swerves around the corner, I get my bottle of rum and go over to my neighbors. Some of them are probably annoyed at me for barging in daily, practically all of them hate for my gorgeous looks. We’ll spend the day gossiping about who’s sleeping with whom and complaining about our lives.
An hour before everyone’s supposed to return, I head back home to prepare supper. I put on my apron then call a Chinese place to deliver. My husband arrives, he’ll call out: “Honey, I’m home!” I run down, looking perfect, and give him a kiss on the lips. My children arrive, all hustle and bustle, we sit down on the table. I try to make them talk about their day, which they don’t want to do. I remind them that I slave day in and day out. We quarrel. I ground the kids to their room, yes, even my little weirdo (-Daddy Riley! -I said talk to your other dad) My husband and I will go to our room. He’ll want to have sex, I say I’m too tired. We go to sleep with resentment.
But as perfect as that ideal may be, what really solidifies why I want to be a housewife? There’s this film, Stepford Wives, great great concept of brainwashing women, I have no idea why it had to be resolved, and there’s this scene where Nicole Kidman herself got brainwashed into becoming “just” a housewife, and that scene was when she was at the grocery store, pushing this shopping cart, and her golden locks were flowing behind her.
That was when I thought, Hey that could be me. I could be Nicole Kidman walking down the grocery store. Instead of a bouquet, I have my shopping cart and my husband’s credit card. I’ll walk in slow motion, in precise steps, my hands folded gracefully. My hair would flow back and everyone in the store would look at me and be jealous of my life.
Sometimes I really wish I could be a housewife. Just fold my hands, wish away my menial shiftwork job, wish away the barrage of men who arrive daily, wish away the sinking loneliness that I’m not achieving my other goals. At least, if I were a housewife, I could go around and say “My children are my outputs.”