My complete failure as a housewife is never so evident as when I lay in bed watching my husband iron his work shirt each morning. Standing there in his boxers in the pitch dark, he blindly glides the iron back and forth, back and forth, stopping every fourth or fifth stroke to re-adjust. He works quietly and quickly, as if an intruder in his own home.
It’s 6am, a half-hour before the first of our three children will awaken. He’s managed to drag the ironing board out of the closet and set it up at the foot of our bed with barely a squeak. His back is toward me, his head lowered. Focused on the task at hand.
And I lay silently under the comfort of the puffy duvet, wondering what he thinks of his life. Does he curse me with each stroke, wishing I’d get control of the laundry? The house? The children? Does he envy his co-workers who have wives that do these mundane chores for them? Would he be happier if he had married that girl Becky from college?
He swipes the shirt off the ironing board and puts it on. I notice he hasn’t used any steam or starch.
But who am I to judge?