Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Explaining the Work-from-Home Spouse



Most weekday mornings when I leave for work, my husband is in the family room, having his breakfast, watching some business channel on TV. Our routines are not quite the same; his runs later than mine.


“Well, I’m going to work now,” I say. “See you later,” he replies. And then I walk into my office and shut the door. I’m a freelancer who works from home.


My husband meets a lot of new people because, unlike me, he actually leaves our condo. Puts on clothes acceptable to the public and gets in his car and drives away. And sometimes, though rarely, people ask him what his wife “does.” (Every woman does something, people!) 

He tells them I am a writer and editor, and then I imagine the conversation goes like this:


Them: “Really! Writes and edits what?”

Him: “Whatever they ask her to do.”



Them: “They?”

Him: “Yeah, the ones who write the checks. We like the checks.”



Them (choosing another tact, embarrassed at the mercenary answer): “What time does she have to be at work every day?”

Him: “It varies. Sometime it depends on how she feels or what else is going on, though the people who write the checks do seem to expect her to be, you know, 'available.'”


Them (wondering if he’s delusional): “Does she have a very long commute?”

Him: “Whew, yeah. Maybe a whole minute if she stops somewhere along the way to grab another cup of coffee or look at the birds or something. She's kind of flighty that way.”


Them (now sure he’s delusional): “Uh, well, hmm. Office attire seems to be pretty casual these days. Is that true for her or does she have a dress code?”

Him: “I’d say her code is that pajamas with fluffy pink bathrobe and white socks with no shoes look. Then after a shower, she changes to one of a couple of shades of casual black sweatpants. But I'm pretty sure she wears one of her best T-shirts. And in the summer she usually goes barefoot.”



Them: “Can we back up a minute? Where does she work?”

Him: “At Bloom in Words Editorial Services.”



Them: “Oh, so she has her own building.”

Him: “Well, yeah. But I hang out there pretty often, too—though I’m not really allowed to go into her office when she's working; she says it breaks her concentration. She also makes me answer the phone when I’m there.”



Them (afraid to follow up; this woman sounds demanding): “So when does she get out of work?”

Him: “She’s kind of in and out, you know? Day, night, whatever. But she usually appears for dinner. I’m the cook. Sometimes she makes chili, though. It's her second calling.”



Them (not sure where to go next): “Great, great. That’s great. Just great. Uh, does she get any perks with her job?”

Him: “Her business manager has to purchase a lot of coffee for her. A lot of coffee. A lot. Sometimes she begs for chocolate.”



Them: “Oh? Who is her business manager?”

Him: “Me. She needed someone good with numbers, taxes . . . so I do all that.”



Them: “So you work together then.”

Him: “No.”



Maybe it would be better if he let people assume I don’t do anything. Not a thing.

photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=151817&picture=wedding-cake

1 comment:

  1. I love this explanation! I work from home, even though I have to travel out of state and across the country sometimes. What drives my wife nuts is that I am "always there" at the house when she leaves for work, comes home from lunch, and comes home in the evening! I am part of the house!

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