Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"This is not my husband," says wife, "but I'll keep him." 

As I sit here writing this very strange but true story, I feel as though I’m writing out my own death warrant. Why? Because when my friends, or perfect strangers for that matter, get wind of what is going on in my house, I fear my days are numbered.

My husband has decided to become our housekeeper, or my husband has been abducted by aliens and replaced by a guy who looks exactly like him except he’s a cleaning demon, and a neat-nick.

When my husband Crouse decided to retire from his 40-year profession of graphic design and become a school bus driver, I had my doubts, but he was just so excited about it. What could I say, but “That’s wonderful honey, but I’m in the middle of a grant deadline, so can we talk about this later.” Two things about being a school bus driver, 1) You don’t get paid a lot, but the benefits are wonderful (which was the primary goal since he has medical issues), and 2) You have lots of free time. These two worked together to create a perfect storm of domestic wackiness.

“I think I’m going to start cleaning the house,” he announced one morning with a curiously cheerful look on his face. “It will save us $85 a week and I think I can do a better job,” he said. Unable to even wrap my head around the concept, I replied, “That's wonderful honey, but I’m in the middle of a grant deadline, so can we talk about this later.” Yes, I say that a lot.

Of course I didn’t take him seriously! This is a man who never saw the need to put anything where it belonged, considered the toilet bowl his personal canvas (apologies), and didn’t see the need to do dishes until there were none left that were clean. But he pulled out an arsenal of cleaning products and the vacuum, and went at it. I just avoided eye-contract, fearful of breaking the spell.

I could go on for hours about this (except I have grant deadlines), so I’ll just abridge the story with a few anecdotes to illustrate just how bazaar this whole situation is:
  1. He told me he likes the “orange” cleaning stuff better than the 409.
  2. He thanked me for putting up my stuff after I returned from a week-long stay in New Mexico.
  3. He put a napkin down on the bathroom cabinet, which had been stained by years of his coffee-cup dribbles.
  4. He asked me if I was going to clean up after myself one day when I was piddling in the kitchen.
  5. He has suddenly invested in crates of Fabreze, although I have complained for years about our doggie-smelling house.
  6. He asked me if I had any “whites” that needed washing.
I honestly don’t think our house has been cleaner. Oh, and he repaired the dishwasher yesterday. Please don’t hate me because I’m the luckiest woman in the world.



  1. Okay seriously, come clean...what did you put in his coffee? I need it. ;)

  2. I don't know, but this is scary, but just in a OK scary way.

  3. OMG that is so funny - all by itself but even funnier because the same thing happened to me recently - my husband quite his job a few months back - and took it on as a personal mission to clean the oven - !! - I have never seen anything cleaner - for 5 days everyday when I came home from work he asked me if I saw the great job he had done on oven !! - he actually said to me last night "do you think I couild get a job cleaning I am really good at it " - I really dont think this is going to last - but I am going to enjoy it while it does :-)

  4. I'm laughing my ass off Randi! Life is so funny! Yes?

  5. Go - Crouse - Go!! You are indeed one lucky woman, SueAnn. LOL.

  6. What a hilarious story ... and I must say that Crouse is even more handsome than ever. You are, indeed, a lucky woman, Sueann. xoxo Annie