In this age of two-earner families and equal distribution of work, we men are expected to handle any and all tasks related to the house and children. Mowing the lawn and fixing leaking faucets go without saying, but I’m also required to cook meals, wash clothes, and take the kids on outings.
I CAN BLOW MONEY ON SILLY PURCHASES. AS LONG AS I'M JUST BLOWING MY OWN MONEY.
The early 40s can be a time of great upheaval in a man’s life, as he becomes susceptible to emotional turbulence that can seriously impair his judgment. The typical example finds a middle-aged man on the precipice of making an ill-conceived purchase that could resonate for years, plunging his marriage into a dark period that can only be remedied by winning the lottery. And even though he is aware of this outcome, he’ll buy that regulation-size pool table anyway, and take up every inch of the newly finished family room with it.
WHY IS ROMANCE A RARE WINTERTIME TREAT? FOOTED PAJAMAS AND RUNNY NOSES ARE LOUSY APHRODISIACS.
In the dead of winter, today’s couple must deal with a host of challenges in their romantic lives. Let’s say, for example, that your wintertime body temperature is like my wife’s and hovers around 10 degrees below that of a normal human being. Getting that body temperature up where it belongs requires keeping clothes on, which is a natural impediment to romance. It’s true that I’m not helping much by keeping the heat set at 64 degrees when we’re awake, but global warming isn’t yet helping to defray our heating costs. My wife employs several layers of fleece and a blanket around the shoulders just to make the evening tolerable, so it’s not hard to understand why she wishes to disrobe as few times as possible in the winter.
SHOULD WE TRY FOR ANOTHER BABY? IT DEPENDS.
When my wife and I married in 2003, we did so without having settled the question of whether we would have children. It was always out there as a possibility, much in the same way that humans one day inhabiting Mars is a possibility, but we agreed that life without kids was pretty great, so if we decided not to, or simply couldn’t, our lives wouldn’t be ruined. But eventually we came to the conclusion that it was our duty to pass onto future generations the kind of genetic material that yields pale skin and a plump midsection, resulting in our gift to the world: a child who calls my allergy pills “beautiful” and tells my wife she is a “good cloth worker.”
BABY MAKING IS A TOUGH JOB, BUT SOMEBODY'S GOT TO DO IT.
When I was a young man, I imagined what it was going to be like to have sex with the actual intent of making a baby, and I concluded that it was going to be the best sex ever: deeply sincere, free of annoying barriers, and ideally set somewhere other than in the back seat of a car. For years afterward, as sex got better because it moved indoors and I moved out of my parents house, every single encounter was designed specifically to avoid procreation. I had learned a thing or two in health class, and I knew that condoms, spermicide, and the pill were excellent birth control options, particularly if used at the same time.
In 2012 I penned a radio play that (shockingly) didn't win a particular radio playwriting contest. Alas and alack! Now, I find myself weighed down by this script, emotionally-speaking. There it is, staring me in the face when I wake up each and every morning; now it's calling me at work, pestering me about why I haven't yet produced it; now it's mixing drinks in my kitchen and laughing as I try to feed the kids dinner. I explain to the script that I expected to be able to submit it to the BBC, but the BBC has told me (indirectly, via their website) that they will only work with residents of the UK (!!!).
Maybe you've had some experience producing radio plays; or, maybe there is a latent radio play producer inside you. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link below to download the script in PDF format; this, alone, will not give you permission to produce the play; it will, however, enable you to burn about 45 minutes reading it and deciding if you like it. At that point, if you're interested in producing the play, shoot me an e-mail via the contact page.