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You Knew It Couldn’t Last

October 11th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Well, as you DadWagon loyalists may remember, this was my bachelor weekend. I’m living the life of Don Draper on Waverly Place, except (a) compared with Don, I have minimal disposable income, (b) I don’t have a mistress, and (c) I have no taste for brown liquor.

So, basically, not Don at all, and in fact, the brief thrill of temporary singlehood is gone. I’m two days in, and although I’ve rather enjoyed my weekend of researching and writing, with breaks for snacks and forays into the fine fall weather, I’m getting squirrelly. So I have started doing arcane bits of household maintenance to clear my head: replacing the mildewy caulk around the kitchen sink, calling in the super to deal with a slow drain and a balky lock. (I’ve been meaning to deal with that last one for, oh, two and a half years.) Washed the windows, even.

I vaguely remember that, when I was single and stressed about something, I used to do this–throw myself into chores, attempting to channel that jangly, dislocated energy. Theodore was just saying last week that little projects like this get him down; they have the opposite effect on me, because they are containable, accomplishable, definable. The stories I write and edit often feel as though they’re falling a little short of where I (and my bosses) want them to be, because you can always read them over, catch that last inconsistency, burnish and polish a little further. Whereas, if the tub needs regrouting, and you regrout it, well, it’s done, for a decade, during which you can peer down at it every morning as you shower and say “fixed.” I suppose I could be irritated if said grouting turns out sloppy, because I’d have to look at that every morning, too, but my DIY skills are fairly good, and I can usually do a job that satisfies my own standards

When you’re pondering the philosophy of grout, it’s probably time for your family to come back. Though I will say it’s nice to knock off a chunk of the to-do list.


  1. karen says:

    October 12th, 2010at 1:29 pm(#)

    My house is never ever really clean unless I had a paper (in the school days) to write or an article to complete (or start).

    I should really start working again, to hell with this homemaker position, and then maybe something would get done.

    Happy Thanksgiving, oh by the way.

  2. John Porcaro says:

    October 12th, 2010at 2:16 pm(#)

    I do EXACTLY the same thing. There’s something “final” about doing a project where you can stand back and look at it and say “well, that’s done…” Not always like that at work.


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