When your spouse goes out of town, they’re off working hard selling more widgets, or giving speeches at important conferences, or at the very least arranging for your brother-in-law to be released on bail. Nevertheless, you can’t help being a little resentful that they get to go on an adventure, and you get stuck cleaning the cat box and taking the kids to have their braces adjusted. You want to do something special, too. Maybe even something a little naughty that you never get to do when your spouse is keeping tabs on you.
I asked a few people what they liked to do when their spouses were away. Here are their responses. The names have been removed to protect the guilty.
- As soon as his car is headed to the airport I turn on the air-conditioning. The only time he’ll turn it on is if it gets to be 100 degrees, and the cockroaches are starting to die. He claims it’s bad for the environment, and it’s melting the glaciers, and blah, blah, blah. The truth is he’s just a cheapskate. But I do appreciate it when he makes up some story about how if I really want to be cool, I should take off all my clothes, because I know how much he loves to see me naked. But that ain’t the same as sitting in front of Mr. Frigidaire while he’s blowing full blast.
- I just allow my natural slob to take over. It’s not a lot different from when I was in high school and my parents went out of town. Poker party, beer pong, Nerf gun wars. I leave my clothes on the floor, don’t do the dishes, cook food in the frying pan and then just leave it until I’m hungry again and then throw in some more. But then the day before she’s due home, I hire a cleaning service to come in and totally scope the place. They do such a good job that when they leave I have to mess things up a little so she doesn’t get too suspicious. She’d kill me if she knew I have these ladies going through all her stuff when she’s away, especially since I never let her hire cleaners when she’s home. So far I haven’t gotten caught, although one time I almost broke one of my friends’ ribs, I poked him so hard, when he asked me for the cleaners’ phone number while my wife was in the same room talking to his wife.
- I think up ways of punishing him for being away from me. Like, I’ll take the batteries out of all the remote controls. He comes home and the first thing he does is try to turn on the TV or the stereo and I love to watch when he starts to go crazy trying to figure out why none of the remote controls work. Or I’ll sneak into the bathroom while he’s taking a shower and take all the towels. Then I’ll hide and watch while he’s wandering around the house naked and dripping, trying to find a towel.
- The first night she’s out of town, I immediately head for the karaoke bar. I took her one time when we were still dating, and she hated it so much we walked out, so I never mentioned it again. She doesn’t even like me singing around the house or in the car, because, let’s face it, I’ve got a terrible voice. But I love getting on stage in front of a bunch of other Karaoke Kamikazes and making an ass of myself. I go for the really slow, schmaltzy stuff: “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis, “My Way” by Sinatra. I don’t even need to get drunk to enjoy it. There’s a certain point where a song is so bad that it gets good again. I believe I know how to get to that point. Either that or my audience is as tone-deaf as I am.
- I walk the dog. Normally, I admire her from afar. She is a hunter and belongs exclusively to the master of the house. But, when the boss is gone, I actually take her for walks in our neighborhood and pick up the offerings she leaves behind on the neighbors’ lawns. Our bonding is a strange thing, I suppose. But, we both miss him so much when he is away. And I’m pretty sure nobody loves him quite the way we do.
- My husband has this beautiful organic garden that he takes super-good care of. Uses all the right bio-dynamic fertilizers, and heirloom seeds, and companion planting. He even pulls up all the weeds by hand. But when he’s out of town, I sneak out and poison the weeds. I mean, I stay away from his garden, but there are some weeds in the rest of the yard that you just can’t get rid of with corn gluten meal, or whatever crap he wants me to use. One of his natural herbicide recipes calls for lavender oil, lemon, and vinegar. I don’t think salad dressing is going to get rid of bindweed or thistle. I could just see those weeds laughing at me when I tried this. But I had some really nice- smelling thistle. It was ready to go out on a date with the crabgrass. Yeah, so now when he’s gone, I’m out there executing weeds with Round Up. I’m like Dr. Death with a handy spray bottle. All he notices when he comes home is that the lawn looks greener.