Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who am I?

OK, stop me if you’ve heard this one. What do you call a Househusband that gets a full time, work from home job? No, no ideas? Nope, me neither. But whatever the answer is, that’s what I’ve become and now I’m suffering from an identity crisis. I’ve spent the best part of three years convincing people that a Stay at home Dad was a real thing, a real occupation, and now I’ve gone and blown it all by getting a ‘proper’ job.

Since this strange turn of events I’ve found that all the people from my old life, my running a pub doing a job type job, have found me a lot easier to deal with. They now seem able to talk to me about things other than my kids, like the kids were the only thing that defined me. They genuinely seem happier, almost safer, when they ask me how my day has been, safe in the knowledge I will be able to give them an answer they can relate to.

Instead of moaning about screaming kids decorating my carpet with permanent markers, I’ve found myself moaning about clients daring to have an opinion, stationery requirements and email etiquette. And while we’re on the subject of email etiquette, what’s with those people that add a P.S. to the end of an email? Are you really too lazy to move the mouse up a bit and insert the inane drivel you had momentarily forgot about, into the main text? Isn’t P.S. only relevant to the written word where you are unable to magically insert text?

Even worse than that, are all the bloody emoticons littering my inbox. I could barely cope with them on twitter or facebook, but aren’t we meant to be professionals here? Has the workplace changed so much during my brief sojourn into insanity? Imagine my shock when one of my male colleagues sent me an email that contained this sentence:

“I would <3 a beer right now.”

You want to stick your testicles in a pint of beer? Seriously? What kind of company had I started working for when not only do their employees manipulate their reproductive organs into inappropriate storage devices, but they openly boast about it as well? Then I started wondering how my female colleagues would appropriately respond. Would Rhonda from Customer Procurement reply thus?

“Me too, I’m going to % that bottle of beer as soon as I can.”

What’s scaring me the most is that I’m actually turning into one of them. I actually got excited about stationary today. I opened a new box of biros with the same excitement and anticipation that I used to reserve for a new pristine packet of wet wipes.

So now I feel like a bit of a fraud and it could not have come at a worse time. I have just been made the Class Rep at school, a fact that has shocked all that know me, no more so than ‘er-not-indoors. The head of the PTA collared me in the playground a month ago and asked me if I would like to take on this ‘pleasant responsibility’. The shock of one of the yummy mummies, sorry I mean THE yummy mummy actually approaching me, put me on the back foot, and my natural instinct to lie my arse off disappeared. The conversation went like this:

Yummy Mummy – How would you like to be the class rep?

Shocked Me – I really don’t think I’m the type of person you want for that kind of job.

Yummy Mummy – Of course you are, I see you chatting to people, you’re quite friendly, you’ll be fine. (Not perfect you’ll note, just fine.)

Scared Me – You may well have seen me chatting to people, but I’ll bet you haven’t seen many chatting back, they tend to avert their eyes like I’m selling The Big Issue.

Yummy Mummy – Don’t be silly, I’m sure lots of them buy The Big Issue.

Stumped Me - {gives a look of women’s logic incredulity}

Yummy Mummy – So I will put your name down then. (Also note the lack of question mark here)

Scrambling Me – Names, that’s it. I don’t know anybody’s names, I’m useless at them.

Yummy Mummy – You’re being silly again, of course you do.

Sardonic Me – Listen hon, I’ve known your for two years and whenever I refer to you I call you the tall blonde one. (She’s 7 foot 3 inches in Uggs)

Yummy Mummy – Well my name is Ann and you’ll be fine.

Surrendered Me – OK

So my rather long winded point being, is that now I have to speak to a load of Mums that I haven’t really had any dialogue with, and as sure as eggs are eggs they always ask me what I do for a living. I would normally answer with “I’m a househusband/Housebitch” and give them a ‘what of it stare’. That now feels like a lie though, and for reasons I cannot fathom makes me uneasy.

Am I, by saying that I’m able to do a full time job as well as my househusband duties, admitting that being a stay at home parent is really only half a job? Or am I telling the world that I am indeed Superman, and there isn’t anything I cannot achieve? Neither sit well with me to be honest because neither are true, as any real housewife or anyone that know my numerous failings (which is actually everyone that knows me) will testify.

Until I manage to figure this out I think I shall remain nameless. ‘The life and times of a Househusband’ may become ‘The life and times of a confused work from home, but what is work really when it comes to it, husband’. You can refer to me as that bloke that used to be funny but now thinks too much.

I have to go now, I have a wash to put on and a stationery request to file. Fluorescent Sharpies anyone?

P.S. My first responsibility as Class Rep was to organise and run the Bar at the Winter Fayre, hic, what a result.