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Househusbandby Ad Hudler
Synopses & Reviews
This is a good day. Though it began as gray and sluggish as simmering oatmeal, it has steadily grown into an energizing, high-speed puree, ever since noon, when I got the phone call from Jo.
Can you handle a dinner for five?
“My boss and his entourage.
Let me get my calendar.”
“I mean tonight,” she said.
“Tonight You mean five hours from now?
I'm sorry. Can you do it?”
“Of course I can do it.”
“Are you sure?
Of course I'm sure.”
“I really can take them out, Lincoln, but it’s Jerry and his group, and they always prefer a home-cooked meal. And they like your cooking.
I can do it,” I said.
On the drive to the grocery store, with Violet listening to a tape of Sesame Street songs in her car seat, I decided on an Indian chicken masala, which, after being thrown together, could simmer for hours with an occasional stirring while I cleaned the house. I'd serve it with basmati rice and some kind of cool, astringent salad that would cut the curry.
Jo had said the house was already clean, that it wouldn't take much to get it ready for guests, but she doesn’t understand these things. It wasn't dinner-party clean, it wasn’t clean like a fresh hotel room, everything aligned and pulled tight and poofed up, all the collapsed fibers standing upright once again.
So, with my masala simmering on low, I launched into tornado mode, like the Tasmanian Devil on the Bugs Bunny videos. I've learned that housework, done well, is impossible with a single-task mind-set. It's best to dart about like a hummingbird, tangential but still focused, conquering as you go, racking up little victories that accumulate and form something larger and significant. I be- gan zipping from room to room, multitasking, occasionally peeking into Violet's bedroom where she played with paper dolls.
As the Lysol steeped in the toilet bowls, I watered all the plants on the main floor, stopping midway to make the bed in the master bedroom and pick up from the floor two pens and Jo's calculator, which I stowed in the pocket of my cargo shorts until I passed through Jo’s office on my way to transfer the red load from washer to dryer.
Which reminded me: Heat of a dryer.
Which reminded me: Dry heat.
Which reminded me: Dry heaves.
Buy Mylanta for Jo.
Play date. Violet needs more friends.
As I dusted an end table, I glanced at my watch. Would there be enough time for the wine to sufficiently chill? I pushed three bottles of chardonnay into the ice bin of the freezer then set the oven timer for forty minutes. Before leaving the kitchen, I washed the floor in the main cooking area on my hands and knees, because damp mops simply redistribute the dirt into fuzzy lines.
I shook the foyer rug outside and draped it over my shoulder, then pulled out my pocket knife and snipped enough daisies and snapdragons and rosemary sprigs for a dining-room-table centerpiece.
Passing through the kitchen, I stirred the masala and called to ask the electrician to return on Friday to correct that flickering fluorescent bulb that made the laundry room look like an old black-and-white movie. The electrician reminded me of the li
When his wife is offered her dream job, Linc Menner leaves his thriving landscape business in Los Angeles to move to Rochester, New York, and to take charge of the household, but he soon finds himself frustrated and bored, missing his wife who is working all hours and never has time for him anymore. A first novel. Reprint.
Ad Hudler is a stay-at-home dad and author of the novel Southern Living. He lives in Florida and can be reached through his Web site at www.adhudler.com.
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