Get Out of This House!

On Wednesday, my husband went to Manhattan for a second-round interview for a position he's definitely qualified for and would enjoy. I'm proud of him and cautiously optimistic though I don't want to get my hopes up like I did when I read the email from the HR guy he spoke with last week which began with a hearty "Congratulations!" Not "Congratulations, you're hired!" but rather "Congratulations! You've made it through the first of 17 interviews, which will be followed by a four-hour test. We'll then need to determine if you're a match, should one of our VPs need an organ donation and proceed from there. We'll be in touch!"

Still, as happy as I was, he's been home so long and seems so out of practice with things like speaking to adults and wearing anything other than his uniform of cargo shorts and a lime green polo, I couldn't help but fear for him. Seeing him walk out the door alone, showered and dressed up, venturing off to the big city felt as terrifying as sending a kitten to Afghanistan.

And yet, it's time. It's beyond time. Someone needs to go. With the children home from school, this house is no longer big enough for all of us. Someone needs to go. (Did I already say that?) With their constant bickering over who has the best tattoos on Pawn Stars, their flagrant disgust over what they deem to be an inferior selection of lunch choices and their disdain for our community pool, which, though it is only July 4th(!!!), they now find tiresome, I can't take much more.

Word to my fellas: I'm sick of all your spoiled white boy problems: "My grilled cheese isn't the right degree of melty!" "Our pool's slide could be enhanced by an additional revolution." "My trumpet lessons aren't challenging enough." (Cue Shawn Colvin: Get Out, Get Out of This House...)

As temperatures soar here in the Northeast, tempers are flaring and while we've kept it contained to sneers and some under-the-breaths "whatever"s, how much longer until there's full-on front-lawn wrestling happening here? (We'd keep it indoors, but did I mention we're out of room?) Yes, there are camps but they seem to last just 5 minutes longer than it takes to drive home after drop-off and hurry back again for pick-up.

This isn't the first time we've experienced the much-talked-about fight-or-flight reaction to conflict. When our first child was born (Lordy, what a screamer!) my husband and I used to spar over who left the bouncy chair bouncing long after our baby was finally nestled in his crib.

"C'mon!" I'd bark. "That thing is going to be dead when we need it most."

"Don't worry," he'd say. "When the batteries die, I'll run out to CVS and buy more." Then he'd do this little move where he'd turn around and slink off to another room smirking. That's when I realized he was leaving the bouncy chair vibrating on purpose so he'd have a great excuse to get out of this house and enjoy 10 minutes of peace and quiet roaming the fluorescent aisles of our local pharmacy.

I had no choice but to break it to my baby daddy, "The jig is up. If anyone's leaving this house for new batteries, it's gonna be me!" That put an end to that.

We made it through those years and we'll weather this. But it sure would be nice if one of us were able to get out of this house for the sake of our sanity and our solvency.


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