From My Post Road Window / Nicholas Troilo
The UEHWWW Club
Published 1:03 am, Friday, July 30, 2010
For some time I had heard about an emerging new club -- The UEHWWW Club. I wondered what it must be like to belong. I never thought I would make it as a member. But then, suddenly, less then two years ago, I was admitted. I had mixed feelings about joining. I wasn't sure I belonged.
I became a member in a circumlocutious way but I'll be direct in telling it: I founded a family business and help manage it for 18 years; I wanted some time to explore the creative arts; my family business partners were eager to take the reins -- "Go, Dad, we got it. Go." And there I was suddenly, unexpectedly UnEmployed -- the first leg of membership.
Meeting the next leg of membership criteria was easy. I am married so I am, de facto, a Husband With a Wife. But to be a full pledged member of the UEHWWW Club the Wife must Work full time. My Wife worked only part time. I didn't qualify.
I was happy being an Unemployed Husband. No more stress. No more long hours. No more demanding staff. No more worries about meeting payroll. No more missed family nights. No more reheated meals. No more angst. I was free to do what I fancied each day.
I was looking forward to Wednesday Broadway matinees and after show drinks and dinner in the city. I was looking forward to picking up my part-time working wife on weekday afternoons and heading out for a drive upstate to visit friends for dinner. I was looking forward to weekends away exploring places that were just right for a Sunday drive.
But then my Wife was asked to Work full time and since it came with a title and the feeling of security that an UnEmployed Husband doesn't provide, she decided to take the job. She came home with the news. And as suddenly as I met the initial criterion, I had met all the criteria. Unceremoniously, without fanfare, without forewarning I was officially inducted in the UnEmployed Husbands With Working Wives Club. I began with a one-year provisional membership.
But then a promotion came for the Wife along with a transfer from a branch office to the headquarters office and within just one year, my once part-time working wife was a career focused businesswoman. Because I qualified so quickly and through none of my own doing, my one year provisional membership was elevated to full-fledged status. I was given senior rank. I qualified for a leadership position.
I quickly had the membership routine down pat -- "Do you want sugar in your coffee this morning?" "Do you want to take lunch today, dear?" "Better hustle or we'll miss the train. I'll get the car." "I put the silver polish out today for Grace to do the silver. I hope you agree it needs to be done." "Is there anything else you want her to do? Anything special?" "I know I got the wrong soap at the grocery store, I'll bring it back today." "What would you like for dinner tonight?" "I'll call you mid-afternoon." "Love you, too." "Bye, dear." And off she goes.
She goes and off I go back home to look for work. I call my agent to see if anything new is coming into the pipeline. I read my e-mail and morning papers. I read briefing notes from various media sources. I develop story ideas and pitch letters. I tweet. I forget to shave. I smoke cigarettes. I read. I write. I look at casting notices. I study background material for an acting course I'm taking in New York. "Oh, crap," I say aloud, "it's 4 o'clock. I wanted to go to the gym and I still need to get to the grocery store and pick up the wife at the station at 5:51 sharp. I hate my life!"
But I'm getting used to it.
I learned to live with only one car. We don't really need two. I know that I must to go to Palmer's to get her chicken salad for her lunch. It's the only chicken salad she will eat. I am very aware that it is best to be out of the house when the cleaning lady is in the house. I'm afraid she'll yell at me if I go pee after she's cleaned my bathroom. I go to pee at Starbucks. It's a UEHWWW hangout.
I get into New York City at least twice each week and I'm having fun auditioning for commercials and studying at the famed HB Studio. I get acting and writing work every once in a while -- enough to make other start up actors and writers envious but not enough to satisfy my ambition. So I still consider my self fully unemployed.
Wives are taking all the jobs and having all the fun. Husbands are staying Unemployed and dealing with all the grunge. That's the part I don't like. And while there are some things interesting about the UEHWWW club (like afternoon naps and taking three hours at the gym) truth is, I want out. And getting out is much harder then getting in.