After my wife and I got married two-and-a-half years ago, it quickly became my job to make dinner each night. She had just started her first job as an attorney, while I had more flexible hours as a journalism school graduate student. Plus, I liked cooking much more than she did. Soon, our household roles became even more clearly defined. I kept house and went to school, she worked.
This setup jived for me. I’ll take any excuse to make another trip to Target, and I frequently procrastinated doing my schoolwork by cleaning the bathroom. The dry cleaner doesn’t know my name but she knows my wife’s, because I always bring in her suits to get cleaned. I am now officially a househusband.
But I’ve had housekeeping tendencies for a while. In college, I kept my half of the dorm room spotless. These were the few square feet that were all mine, and in a new and disorderly world, I wanted my textbooks to be stacked in neat piles.
Last summer I started baking bread, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I loved the challenge, and the reward that came with the challenge. I soon thought to myself, “Hey, I actually have a hobby!”
As I was finishing journalism school at USC, I had no idea what to do next. And then I remembered every writer’s first maxim: Write what you know. Well, I know housekeeping. I know cooking. I know cleaning. I know what to buy at Trader Joe’s, and what to buy at Albertson’s. I know the best way to clean hard-water spots off a shower door, and I know the best way to get whole-grain bread to rise properly.
It’s thanks to my wife’s career that I’ve honed my housekeeping skills. She works hard all day, and in return she expects dinner when she gets home, the laundry done, and her dry cleaning picked up. And I think that’s a fair trade. We’re like a flip-flopped couple from the ’50s.
It’s also a trade more and more couples are making, as more women become better educated and earn more than their spouses.
Here’s my main goal with this site: To prove you can be a guy, take care of the household chores, and not be emasculated by it all. One possible slogan? “Real men keep house.” Another? “You don’t have to be a breadwinner to be a bread baker.” We won’t be doing flower-arranging projects, instead we’ll be cooking with beer. (In a future post, however, I will be asking, “Is it possible to make flower arranging manly?”)
There’s so much to talk about, and I have so many tips to share. But I have to go for now; I’ve got errands to run at Target.