The Little Lady: A Modest Solution to Global Strife

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She Who Must Be Obeyed

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah
Lost my job, came home mad
Got a hug and a kiss and “that’s too bad”
She said, “I can go to work until you find another job”
I thought “I like the sound of that”
Watch TV and take long naps
Go from a hard working dad to being Mr. Mom

[Chorus]
Well, Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer
Crayons go up one drawer higher
Rewind Barney for the 15th time
Breakfast at six, naps at nine
There’s bubblegum in the baby’s hair
Sweet potatoes in my lazy chair
Been crazy all day long
And it’s only Monday, Mr. Mom

[Verse 2]
Football, soccer, and ballet
Squeeze in scouts and PTA
And there’s that shopping list she left
That’s seven pages long
How much smoke can one stove make?
The kids won’t eat my charcoal cake
It’s more than any man can take, being Mr. Mom

[Chorus]
Well, Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer
Crayons go up one drawer higher
Rewind Barney for the 16th time
Breakfast at six, naps at nine
There’s bubblegum in the baby’s hair
Sweet potatoes in my lazy char
Been crazy all day long
And it’s only Monday, Mr. Mom

[Pre-Chorus]
Before I fall in bed tonight
If the dog didn’t eat the classified
I’m gonna look just one more time

[Chorus]
‘Cause Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer
Crayons go up one drawer higher
Rewind Barney for the 18th time
Breakfast at six, naps at nine
There’s bubblegum in the baby’s hair
Sweet potatoes in my lazy chair
Been crazy all day long
Oh, been crazy all day long
And it’s only Monday, Mr. Mom

Oh, Mr. Mom
Balancing check books, juggling bills
Thought there was nothing to it
Baby, now I know how you feel
What I don’t know is how you do it
Oh, honey, you’re my hero

“Mr. Mom,” recorded by Lonestar, written by Ron Harbin, Richie McDonald, and Don Pfrimmer

It has been a long time since writers used such pompous Victorian phrases as “the Gentle Sex” or “The Fairer Sex,” and almost as long since wannabe John Wayne’s were stupid enough to refer to any female as “a Little Lady,” or to use such cinematic standbys as “you’re awful cute when you’re angry.” And in the unlikely event any off-screen husband ever was moronic enough to say that particular sentence to his wife, his body has never been found.

Readers of this blog know that I am a great believer in the significance of seemingly unrelated events occurring simultaneously, or at least close together, what Jung called “synchronicity.” I recently had a severe bout of it.

For the first: I wrote an article for Sporting Classics about my great old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Max, and the editor asked if I would send photographs they could use. Sporting Classics has a great art department and great visuals—hands down the best of any sporting magazine out there—and I wanted to do right by them and my old friend, but Max is gone now and all I have are a handful of photographs taken on some of the many hunts we shared. I reluctantly packaged a few and sent them off along with threats of murder and mayhem should anything happen to my treasures. I was assured they would be returned promptly.

In due course I received an email with a proof of the article for me to vet. It looked fabulous. I told the editor so and reminded him to return my photographs.

Time went by. I called and left a message to remind him again.

More time went by. I received my copy of that issue (the May/June, 2019 issue, with a photograph of a Boykin Spaniel on the cover, should you wish to read it), but no photographs. I called again and spoke to him personally.

More time went by. Nothing.

I called a third time. Nothing

Finally, in a rage, I told She Who Must Be Obeyed (that can be, variously, either my computer or my wife, but in this case I am referring to my bride) that I was going call the editor again and remind him of my promise to commit murder. And mayhem. Mayhem too. I stomped off toward my office and my wife called after me. “Tell his secretary. If you want something done right, give it to a woman.”

I chose not to dignify that piece of feminist snarkiness, but when the phone was answered, by a lady, down in South Carolina, I decided to give it try. After all, nothing ventured and all that.

“Oh,” the young lady said, “they’re probably on his desk. I’ll send them to you.”

Two days later they were delivered to my door, packaged far better than I had done when I sent them.

For the second: She Who Must Be Obeyed decided to take a week’s vacation to visit her sister and some friends. She left me with a list of instructions on how to care for one dog (she took one with her), two cats, and a handful of plants.

List, pshaw! Piece of cake! All I could think about was all the work I would get done with no responsibilities other than churning out words.

Ha.

I long ago noticed a curious phenomenon about the realities of caring for a house. Not an enormous Beverly Hills mansion where you have to drop breadcrumbs to find your way from one room to another; just an ordinary house, two-thousand-some square feet. The phenomenon is that I can go to the gym and lift between ten- and twenty-thousand pounds (not all at once, of course; in increments) and feel fine afterward, but on cleaning day chez Parker, when all I have to do is move a few chairs and a sofa and push a bed or two out of the way so I can vacuum and mop, the total gross tonnage of which is probably less than eight-hundred pounds, it takes me far more time than the weightlifting and is ten times more exhausting.

Now, with Darleen on vacation, add to vacuuming and mopping endless rounds of: feeding the dog, feeding the cats, walking the dog, cleaning the litter box, doing the laundry, feeding me, which involves following needlessly complicated recipes that invariably call for ingredients I don’t have, which involves another trip to the grocery store, cleaning the dishes, changing the sheets, doing some more laundry, watering the plants, dusting the blinds, which makes you notice a cobweb on the light fixture over the dining table, which leads to dusting every damned light fixture in the house, which leads to cleaning the blades of the ceiling fans—and how many lights and fans do we really need anyway?—which leads to cleaning the bathroom mirrors, which leads to cleaning the toilets and the bathtubs and the sinks, which leads to dusting the tops of the cabinets, which makes you notice the top of the refrigerator is filthy, which makes you notice the cobwebs on the whitetail antlers, which makes you notice the dust behind the TV, and how the hell did that get dusty because I know for a fact she dusts there several times every week—where does that stuff come from?—and how the hell do the cats manage to splatter food all the way up there, and how on earth did dog nose-prints get on the…

Oh, never mind.

The result of all this is that I have come to the conclusion that the world should be run by women. Hear me out.

First, they would get it all done in half the time;

Second, it would probably be done better;

Third, there would almost certainly be far less bloodshed because women seem to be able to talk out and about just about anything, including their husbands;

Fourth, if things did come to warfare, it would all be over a lot faster with women at the helm because they are inherently far more vicious and cruel than men; it’s well known that the Cheyenne (I think) used to turn their most hated prisoners over to their women;

Fifth, if you think women can’t be tough you’ve never met my bride or watched Nicki Haley in action at the UN and you don’t remember Margaret Thatcher. In fact, when Nicki Haley throws her hat in the ring to run for president in 2024, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to support her. After I finish vacuuming, of course.

Honey, you’re my hero.

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3 thoughts on “The Little Lady: A Modest Solution to Global Strife”

  1. …oh, wie süß, Herr Parker, ich hätte Sie zu gerne zu Hause in Aktion gesehen, ein Genuss es zu lesen …. viele Bereiche des Lebens sind heutzutage immernoch den Frauen und viele Bereiche des Lebens den Männern zugeteilt, auch , wenn wir in einer modernen gleichberechtigten Gesellschaft leben, manchmal benötigen wir Frauen eben eure männlich Muskeln und ihr Männer unseren “scharfen weiblichen Verstand”, nein Spaß beiseite (oder doch !?). Es ist wichtig, sich im Leben miteinander zu ergänzen ….. In der Politik oder in vielen Firmenvorständen sind Führungspositionen immernoch eine reine “Männerdomäne”. Es gibt wenig Frauen, denen die Möglichkeit geboten wird, sich bei gleichem Gehalt bis ganz nach oben der Hierarchie arbeiten zu können …. Warum ist das so ? Am Verstand kann es nicht liegen ! Vielleicht an den “weiblichen emotionalen Handlungen” ?! Vielleicht hat noch jemand eine Idee ?! ….. Viele Grüße Manuela

  2. Enjoyed teading this in Bergen, Norway. It will be fun to share adventures we have had. SBH

  3. Almost 19-year old: We love JP!!

    Your post reminds me I need to bleach the bathroom ceiling…again. Which will lead to repainting the trim and possibly the walls.

    Thank you so very much for the giggles!

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