Stress Management: Can I Rent A Wife?

My colleague Joann Weiner recently wrote a post on Politics Daily in which she described the blissful, stress-free summer week she just enjoyed in Washington, D.C., while her family was out of town. She exercised . . . she went out to dinner . . . she tried beer ice cream . . . she even — gasp — took time to smell the proverbial flowers.

I’m happy for Jo. Truly I am. It’s just that after I read her post, I took one look at the way I’ve spent the last seven days and thought: What’s wrong with this picture?

You see, I’m having a different sort of week. I call it a “Calgon” week.

Don’t remember Calgon? Among other things, it’s a line of bath and beauty products. When I was a kid, there was this marvelous commercial in which this harried housewife in a pink bathrobe stood in the middle of her kitchen overwhelmed by various demands: the kids . . . the dishes . . . the dinner . . . the telephone. She’d throw up her hands and shriek: “Calgon! Take Me Away!” and, presto! She was magically whisked into a soothing bubble bath.

Pink bathrobe notwithstanding, that shrieking lady in the kitchen pretty much captures how I’ve felt this past week. It’s a week that’s featured, in no particular order: a major schlep to and from son’s camp located in absurdly difficult-to-access section of North London (Remind me, again, why we decided not to get a car?), reduced work time due to said schlep, husband on deadline whose frazzled hair increasingly resembles Albert Einstein’s, acute case of hostess anxiety brought on by not having entertained in four years because we lived in a closet, but somehow managing to schedule two events at my new apartment in one week (Should we do Red? White? Fizzy? And what is a tapanade, anyway?). Oh yeah. And did I mention the pink eye that’s now making its way through the house?

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I’m was also over on Politics Daily this week talking about David Cameron’s revolutionary approach to ending big government in the U.K.

Image: Calgon, take me away! by yourFAVORITEmartian via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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11 Responses to Stress Management: Can I Rent A Wife?

  1. LM says:

    I’ve always said I wanted a nice, traditional 1950s stereotypical wife! To rent one would be great…”money, meet problem!”

    But, I’m writing about your Clagon reference. For many, many years I misheard the catchphrase as “Now God, take me away!” And never could understand why the company would choose to use that as its slogan.

  2. having been a guest at one of your events this week, i can say that you were the perfect hostess. it was wonderful!

  3. Patricia says:

    my mum loved her Calgon moments…nice reminder

  4. I recently saw (in New York) a sign on a truck that said “Rent-A-Son-In-Law”. I thought it was brilliant — hire a man to take care of all those pesky maintenance problems! Just what I need.

    I mentioned it to my mother, who lives in Florida. She says that there are several services there where you can “Rent-A-Daughter-In-Law”. Many Americans retire to Florida, and their families are often far away.

    But “Rent-A-Friend” is new to me. What would you use it for?

    • delialloyd says:

      ha! love it barb! you can apparently use your rented friend for anything you choose-e.g. seeing a movie, going to a party, doing some gardening. weird, huh!?

  5. The way Wendy is behaving at the moment, anyone can rent her for free!

  6. Daryl Boylan says:

    You’re certainly in good company — Lord knows we’ve all been there. Just now, however, I personally would be happy to rent a husband, warts & all.

  7. I think £10 to rent a wife is a palty sum. I’d give my first born to someone who would organise the cellar, file all the bills, declutter my closet and do the shopping. And since she would have my first-born, she’d also be doing the babysitting. Result.

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