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Domesticated, Not Demasculinized

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My apologies to Michael Keaton…Or, my first professional event without a profession

Posted by doatmon on August 3, 2009

Good lord, I procrastinate even better when I DON’T work than I did when I DID work.  We are heading to my favorite place on the planet, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in a matter of days and I can barely function.  Between reading fishing message boards, checking menus of restaurants I’ve already been to 20 times and trying to find houses within a three-hour drive of the OBX in the off-chance someone knocks on my door offering a job down there, I barely have time to write run-on sentences like this one.

But, my one job at the moment is to write in this blog (oh and raise two intelligent, strong-willed daughters and convince them that pre-marital sex only happens in commercials and Daddy’s special magazines).  I suppose I should post an entry.

Friday was an odd night for me.  It was my first professional event as a non-professional.  The funny thing is that it never even struck me until I went to get dressed.  Let me back up.

An agricultural-advocacy organization here in Ohio foolishly sponsored me to be a part of their inaugural leadership class.  Something tells me I got yanked right out of that brochure.  “We make stay-at-home dads…”

Their second class of suckers leaders started their education last week and as part of the first session, they set-up a meet and greet for former participants.  I agreed to go to impart my witty banter upon some more entirely unimpressed individuals.  I’m gracious like that.

But as I stood in my closet reaching for the net shorts and t-shirts that have become my wardrobe these past few weeks, I realized I might actually have to plug in an iron.  Oh, the horror.

It was at that moment, long-buried memories of networking, professional chit-chats and Gin and Tonics watered down with ice melted by boredom.  I hadn’t been to one of these in at least, well, two weeks.  Thankfully, one thing upon which I can always rely is the laid-back nature of agricultural events.  I pulled on some jeans and a Dry-Fit polo shirt (the lazy-man’s Tuxedo) and hopped in the car.

On the way over, I tried to reconcile my recent decision.  It is best for my mental state, for our daughters and our family.  I’m not taking myself off the grid entirely.   I am writing.  Getting my real estate license.  And I USED to have a role in this world of agricultural advocacy.  I can’t have become completely irrelevant in a fortnight, could I?  Certainly not while still being able to summon words like fortnight.

Alas, I arrived and my pep-talk dissipated as quickly as oxygen at a lobbyist conference.  I was talking to several very nice people involved in aquaculture and goat-processing respectively.  They handed me business cards.  I fished in my pocket and handed them a used wet-wipe.  Wait, must be the other pocket.  Empty Goldfish wrapper.  DAMNIT.  I don’t have a card any more.  And I certainly wasn’t going to give them my “Break for MILP emergencies” cards.  Please.

So now mortified, card-less and pissed the goldfish wrapper was EMPTY, I sat down to listen to the “program.”  First up was introduction of invited guests.  Oh, crap.  This was worse than the lack of business cards for two individuals.  This was an acknowledgement before the entire assembled group that I no longer had a title.  Or a job.  Or really a reason to be there.  It was a Cash Bar, after all.

I’d like to say that my fears were not justified, but the only thing worse than introducing me as a free-loading “kept husband” is the inevitable dubbing of Brock as “Mr. Mom.”  The sad thing is, I really don’t even mind the moniker.  But can’t we do better than a Michael Keaton movie that debuted on Beta?  I’m so irrelevant I don’t even deserve a reference from the 21st century.

Oh well, I suppose it could be worse.

I stood, doffed my implied cap and sat back down to cheers and jeers.

“That poor schmuck.”

“Well, somebody has to do it.  You poor schmuck.”

“The poor wife of that poor schmuck.”

Okay, maybe I made those up.  But I swear, I heard…

“Just like Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Daddy Day Camp.”

My apologies to Michael Keaton.  It turns out, it can be worse.

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One Response to “My apologies to Michael Keaton…Or, my first professional event without a profession”

  1. tjvankeuren said

    You know what I find horribly uncomfortable? Being asked what I am up to now by former business associates….. I mean they are just being polite and don’t really care anyway but trying to drag a screaming toddler out of a crowded restaurant is slightly more bearable.
    I like the blogs, though. 🙂

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