A Husband’s Guide to Manly Yet Indoor Responsibilities in the Age of Electricity (now with rooster fact)

It feels like yesterday when I awoke to a crowing rooster and was expected to find that rooster and give it some rooster treats just to say thanks. Now that I pause and look back on it, that was many thousands of years ago.

Gone are the lumberjack gloves, long halls for mass gatherings, and 3-string guitars carved from ancient canoes. With electricity on the rise, you just don’t see many roosters these days.

(Speak of the devil you guys, there’s one now. On the right.)

As a modern man, you want to prove your manly chops inside of your home and not just outside, where you’ve already mastered such things as the wood pile and the sprinkler but still have a ways to go when it comes to compost.

Inside of the home, the husband’s role is changing. And with that in mind I offer 4 elements of my daily indoor routine that are indisputably and irrefutably 100% grade-A man-grade.

Take them or leave them, but if you do one thing, I sure hope it’s “take them.”

1) Loading the dishwasher

Don’t just do the dishes. Unflinchingly collect the muckity-muck when you’re finished and deposit it into the garbage can with a swift thwack.

Manly tip: don’t use gloves to avoid the heat. When the water gets so hot you can’t stand it, take a sip to build your tolerance. If you must start out with gloves, maybe you can just do one glove.

2) Monitoring the trash situation

Maintain a constant awareness of how full the kitchen trash bag is at any given time. Once it’s full, wait a day or two to see what will happen. When the lid no longer closes or your wife is in the same room (whichever comes first), pull on those drawstrings like Johnny Cash must’ve pulled on his trash bags once the strings were invented.

From there you’ll want to leave the tied bag in a strategic and out-of-the-way location, typically right in front of the trash can, and wait a day or two to see what will happen.

Manly tip: inhale deeply when you pull on the drawstrings.

3) Waking up first

A key to maintaining your wife’s respect is to pop out of bed whenever an alarm goes off. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fire alarm or the little helicopter alarm you treated yourself to after that disappointing Christmas. As soon as you hear a buzz or a bell or a beep, you want to be as upright as Johnny Cash likely was when his alarm sounded.

Manly tip: where alarms are concerned, it’s important not to lose face in front of your wife. If you mistake a 4 a.m. text message for an alarm and yell “I’ll take the dog out!”, grab a flashlight and take the dog out. If your wife says “I think that was just a text,” well, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s tricky and kind of depends on your dynamic.

4) Feeding the dog

Every day, twice a day, you should feed a dog. Preferably your own dog, but if the neighbor has one you can feed it just the same.

Don’t just grab a cupful of dog food and feed it to a happy mutt piece by piece. No, no. Train him. Say “sit,” “down,” and “stay” while you carefully balance the dog food, trying hard not to spill any.

Here’s the key: you only let the dog eat after he either follows your commands OR ignores them. If he doesn’t do those things, I recommend you still go ahead and feed the dog.

Manly tip: if you like the taste of dog food, hey, you’re not alone. Dogs like it too. Be yourself and have fun with things.

Fun fact: roosters “crow” and crows probably “roost.”

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