She Might Be Right

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

John Wayne Didn't Do Laundry

And you thought they searched long and hard for Richard Kimball. Consider that an overpublicized game of hide-and-seek.

Looking for an adequate role model ... now there's a real manhunt.

Tell me whose example is to be followed when you're working the night shift and trying to fill your daytime hours? There just aren't many male role models for the part.

John Wayne? I can't picture the Duke separating his whites from his colored laundry with Oprah on as background noise. And I don't think Errol Flynn ever spent a Tuesday afternoon edging the lawn.

So I figure that I've been left to my own devices as far as being home during the daytime. In other words, I'm in sad shape.

The quietest place in which I have ever been was my house on the first day that I started my job.

Mind you, the opportunity to write for a newspaper offered many perks: Placing my future in a medium that had no future; being able to tell people that I worked at The Daily Planet ... honest; carpal tunnel syndrome; and working nights.

How could I refuse?

I had no idea, however, that being at home during the daytime could be so quiet. With the neighborhood kids at school, there are no in-line skaters nor any bouncing balls to fill in as background sound.

In fact, I swear that the clocks kept time without ticking. The fridge operated without making that mechnaical shiver that apparently happens only during sleep time.

None of this was covered in the job interview.

For that matter, none of this was covered in my frame of reference. School was always a daytime thing, no matter how hard I tried to convince my parents that it didn't start until noon.

And men always had a job to occupy themselves during the day. Every dad in the neighborhood went off to work in the morning. When they came home, it was dinner time.

Even the real role models had day jobs. Mike Brady was tied to his office chair from 9-to-5. Archie Bunker wouldn't be caught dead hanging around his Queens' duplex in the afternoon. Even Al Bundy knew that nighttime was the right time for being at home.

I soon realized that the only people that I had actually witnessed at home during the daytime were women. June Cleaver spent her days doing everything from scrubbing toilets to sandblasting the bricks. All while wearing pearls.

Donna Reed juggled vacuuming and dusting along with solving everyone's problems by the time the final credits rolled.

And Carol Brady spent every day at the Brady homestead despite having a maid who did everything around the house. In hindsight, the woman wasn't all that bright.

Since I wasn't about to grout tile while wearing pearls, I did some grocery shopping only to find other male night-shift workers who were also lacking role models.

They wandered through the aisles with grocery lists on Post-It notes stuck to their foreheads. They sorted through coupons looking for bargains on Stroh's and macadamia nuts.

We bonded.

The silence, however, was waiting for me when I returned home. So, I turned on MTV and turned up the volume. I danced like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. I slurped up some soup, making more noise than a vacuum cleaner.

Just like June Cleaver used to do during the commercial breaks.


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