Thursday, August 12, 2010

Honestly, I Liked ‘Mr. Mom’

Every other Tuesday I franticly work on the newspaper column I’ve avoided writing for the past two weeks, a process made even more difficult by the lovely Polish women who fumigate our house with every known chemical cleansing agent not classified as a WMD for the first four hours of my waking day.

On the bright side, at least the blood spurting from my forehead gets mopped up.

This week I took a momentary breather from not producing anything by flipping on the Today show, a habit I developed well before Katie Couric left and felt obligated to counter her natural spunk and babeness by broadcasting the nightly news dressed like an undertaker’s wife.

Unexpectedly, as it usually is, inspiration hit in the form of … Al Roker? He  teased to a segment on stay-at-home dads.

Off to Twitter, I go.

home and uncool twitter mr. mom

Nineteen minutes later …

al roker twitter response

Oh, snap.

home and uncool twitter al roker

Presently, Matt Lauer introduces the piece. I’m aware he is the “go to” host of all at-home-dad segments, but he’s not on Twitter so Al was an easy target.

The spot featured a discussion about an article Marie Claire magazine did on stay-at-home husbands (especially dads) as the “ultimate status symbol” for a successful career woman -- you know, like My Love. The article covers the usual gender role reversal stuff and makes fellow estrogen-challenged bloggers Joe Schatz of Dad Blogs and PJ Mullen of Real Men Drive Minivans seem like the well-adjusted, good guys they are (especially PJ, who I want to start making my lunches). It adds a sensational headline and then wedges the status symbol junk in the middle to sex it up and get suckers, like me, to write about it and drive their traffic and ad sales. Not one real-life example of this so-called status symbolness making guys like me the Rolls Royce of marital partners.

I shall steal a quote from Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka: Marie Claire, shut your whore mouth.

(See my complete reaction to being a status symbol on DadCentric: “I am Househusband: Here Me Roar.”)

The Today piece isn’t that bad. Not one “Mr. Mom” clip (but one verbal and one written reference) and Matt, who I’d love hoist beers with some time to discuss how he regularly avoids acid reflux whenever Kathie Lee Gifford speaks, does a decent job of talking about at-home men not being arm candy, but being a symbol of an enlightened relationship:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I went into this at-home gig, jeez, six years ago – first as a full-time telecommuter and, since 2007, as a full-time homer – not kicking and screaming but embracing it. No commutes, office politics and the rest of the rat race that beats down so many good people. I love managing my home, being a genuine part of The Things’ life every day at school and play, and having a wife who supports my vague attempts at writing professionally. I’ve never been made to feel (too) uncomfortable in a gaggle of moms or been slighted to my face as a “babysitter” or what not, so obviously I hang with the right crowd.

Most of all, I’m a lucky guy to be married to My Love. She’s the enlightened one who draws me away from the Dark Side with her big heart and open mind.

She smells real puuurty, too.

* * *

Watch next week for a giveaway from one of the generous sponsors who, I honestly don’t know why but I’m not complaining, pays money to appear on this site.

And, please, continue to vote and spread the word about Cure JM’s attempt to get a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant. My thanks to all of you who have blogged and tweeted and Facebooked for us in the past month.

22 comments:

  1. Why is Al Roker tweeting during his show? Doesn't he have anything better to do?

    Scratch that question...I've seen the show before. Nevermind.

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  2. I watch The Today show - when I'm up that early (which actually hasn't happened yet this summer, but still). It's like, some news stuffed with fluff (plus Matt Lauer is hot) - what's not to love?!
    Anyway
    You should've been featured. Totally.
    Now I am off to vote...

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  3. I saw your tweet but didn't see Al's response. Damn. I miss all the good stuff. Already voted 17 gazillion times today so I'm off to DadCentric to hear more of your sorry moaning.

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  4. I read the DadCentric post. Good one. (But don't tell my mortal enemy, Jason, that I went to the site.)

    The Marie Claire article is not horrible, and Lauer actually seems as upset as any normal person would be about the "status symbol" part. It's a shame, because without that part it could have been a positive article. Now it's become the center of their little thesis. Well, magazines need to be controversial and offensive to get on TV, I suppose.

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  5. Yes: I've been waiting for a time and place to use that Aunt Becky quote. Thanks, Marie Claire.

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  6. Way to let Al have it. I don't watch any of that garbage, but I did read the article. I like Joe and PJ and obviously they are more than just status symbols for their wives.

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  7. My own husband would have made a great SAHD. He has much more patience for the kids than I ever have. Unfortunately, he's the one with the Juris Doctor.

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  8. My wife smell puurty too and really, that makes all the difference most days.

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  9. Hey, when it comes to raising kids "220...221..Whatever it takes."

    It's all good.

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  10. Yankee's greatest fantasy is my writing a best seller so he can be my stay-at-home-trophy-husband.

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  11. I totally missed that segment. Probably because I don't ever watch the show -- hmmm, explains a lot. I also didn't read the Marie Claire article. Damn, I suck. Gotta get working.

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  12. That Al Roker tweet is almost as awesome as the time Neil Diamond tweeted back at me to tell me he didn't know me well enough to say he loved me. What do you mean "not know me well enough"? I am lovable upon impact!

    So are stay-at-home dads. Fist bumps, Super Dad. Fist bumps.

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  13. Damn you, dbs!

    I was going to use the "220...221" gag. I know as a SAHD I'm supposed to have a sneer in my voice when I say "Mr. Mom," but I sure loved that movie the last time I saw it. Which was when it was out in theaters near you. I guess I should watch it again before defending it publicly.

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  14. I can totally understand how you must have fought not to write that article for two weeks. With blogging, I found that I could never force myself. If it was a newspaper column, I would totally lose sleep lol! But watching the Today Show is a good habit! Very entertaining, I must say!

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  15. "You call the vacuum cleaner Jaws?"

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  16. Beta Dad, the movie is fun (or at least mostly harmless) until the end, when everyone returns to their natural roles (mom goes back home, because career involves sexual harassment, and dad goes to work).

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  17. I'm telling you, that phrase comes in handy ALL the time.

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  18. When you're ready for your lunches to be shipped to you, just place an order. I can be reached at orders@armcandycafe.com

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  19. WTHeck? Why he heck does some write stuff like that? oh right, publicity.

    On another note... Al Roker tweeted you? You are awesome... will you sign t-shirt when I meet you in Real Life?

    I actually like Kathie Lee Gifford... can we still be friends?

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  20. So like, are you and All Roker buddies now?

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  21. I, too, was featured in the story. Did you happen to notice that they failed to even mention that all of us (albeit I've put my blog on hold indefinitely) featured in the story actually do cool stuff like write blogs? In any case, the double standard is right there for everyone to see but rather than feel offended most people (and by most people I mean only women) that I've discussed this with just laugh. They think it's hilarious! Look, I HATE PC nonsense and could care less what people call me but if the mag is going to go out of its way to ensure its PC compliance by encouraging one of the dads interviewed not to use the word "pansy" as, according to the mag's gay editor, it constitutes a gay slur, then they should apply the same Litmus test to all demographics, including straight dads. (Interestingly enough, when I share this fact with friends, they can clearly see how calling someone a "flower" is so obviously offensive but somehow referring to fathers who dearly love their children as mere "status symbols" is a source of tremendous humor.) I appreciate the mag presenting both sides of the story as I'm confident it would be equally judicious if the story was about SAHMs, right?

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