Recently my wife and I swapped roles for the week--I was at home with my girls on the school holidays and doing the housework, and she was out each day at an ‘intensive,’ completing her Master’s degree. Unlike most men, I’ve long yearned to get more opportunities to be house-husband. Now here was another chance!
The first few days were great; lots of ‘Autumn-cleaning,’ washing, dishes, cooking etc. I was really starting to excel and exceeding my wife’s expectations was high on my list of goals for the week. To a large extent I succeeded.
Enter the grocery shopping, Thursday morning... I was looking forward to it, and I felt good. It only dawned on me after I arrived, however, it was going to be a pretty joyless activity; how disappointing.
Firstly, even though my shopping list was ordered perfectly (by my wife), I didn’t know the exact locations of most things I was looking for. It’s been long enough since I’d last done this task that it was suddenly foreign to me. I covered more ground than I’d hoped I would.
My ten year old was with me and she was marvellous, helping as much as she could.
Secondly, there were so many slow, unhelpful people in all those aisles!--and they often took the wrong side of the aisle (because I always took the correct side, didn’t I? [Not!])... Or they didn’t smile back when I smiled at them. (These ‘professional shoppers’ were probably saying, ‘Who let this clown loose?’)
It was a lesson in patience, as I had to remind myself several times that there was no rush, and there was no need to mow people down as I went... some things just never change i.e. my tendency toward impatience in crowds, do they?
I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but I seemed (within myself) so quietly out of tune with the rest of the shoppers and staff at the supermarket. And I hardly expected it.
The jury’s still out regarding my fit for grocery shopping, but this part of the house-husband role was not my favourite. I couldn’t wait to get home again, back into my ‘comfort zone.’
It goes to show there’s still no perfect job in this life, and we can be surprised (and disappointed) in the most innocuous ways.
Getting a grip now... it could be worse, much worse...
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.