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Home Alone: A Male Survival Guide

Contrary to today's illustration, relying on martinis is probably not the best way to survive while one's wife is temporarily away on (1) business, (2) having surgery, (3) visiting relatives or (4) just getting out of town to be away from your carping, whiny presence. But I don't know that there is a best way.

I am here today to tell you guys how I'm getting along while my own wife, the ebullient Cinelli, is in rehab following hip replacement surgery. She has been out of the house for two weeks and is likely to be away for two more. I am therefore at a critical stage of my survival mode, not unlike Dian Fossey when she faced her first gorilla in the mountains of Rwanda, pondering fight or flight.

The best way to stay sane while the wife is away is to have someone stay with you to, well, baby-sit. If it were not for the fact that my granddaughter Nicole and her husband Adam were here, I would probably move into a motel room and abandon the house to the jungle, watching it disappear under tangled vines and thick greenery.

That they are here is my survival. They do not ask me how to turn on the dishwasher or the clothes washer because they know I don't know. I'm a husband. Wives do not share that kind of information with us. I also don't know which checkbook she uses to pay bills, where she hides her clean pajamas, how the microwave works or how to operate the television remote.

I can hear the disbelief in Nicole's voice when she says, "You pretty much don't know anything about living here, do you?" She tries to laugh about it, but it's more amazing than funny that I would be able to conduct a career as a writer with some degree of success and yet not know how to feed the dog. I'm not sure we even have a dog.

So I guess the best way to survive while your woman is away is to either convince a relative to husband-sit you or hire someone to take care of things while you're alone, feeding you properly and making certain that you change underwear every day. A sister would be good but do not go to an "outcall service," despite their promise to make a man out of you. Wifey would not like that at all.

If worse comes to worst, just choose flight over fight and run screaming into the street. Someone is bound to notice another husband gone berserko and take you in until the boss comes home.

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