Mr. Project Man on a stay-cation |

Mr. Project Man on a stay-cation

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“Wake me up when it’s time for brunch!” Husband-Head yelled from under the covers of the bed on a recent Monday morning as I got up early to feed the pets.

I grimaced at the fact that he was lying in bed and my happy butt had to get up at 5:30 in the morning.

“Yes,” I said through clenched teeth. “I’ll be sure and let you know when your grilled knuckle sandwich is ready.”

Husband-Head was on a stay-at-home vacation, which meant he was going to bug me all week while I worked.

When he finally decided to get up, Husband-Head – seeing that there were no eggs Benedict or mimosas in sight – decided to have some leftover spinach manicotti and a Coke instead.

“You’re allowed to eat and drink whatever you want, whenever you want when you’re on vacation,” he said smugly, as he took his plate and headed out to his playhouse.

The playhouse has become, shall we say, its own entity – its own animal. The playhouse has heating, air conditioning, a bar, two TVs, a large table and chairs, a couch, an easy chair, a stereo system, a refrigerator stocked with pizza and drinks, a kegerator with a keg of beer and a 30-plus year beer can collection adorning the shelves on the walls. It is the ultimate “man-cave.”

“So, what’s on your agenda for the day, vacation man?” I asked curiously.

“Oh, I have lots of projects planned,” Husband-Head assured me. “But don’t worry, I’ll stay out of your hair.”

Which was a good thing, because I wasn’t on vacation – and I work at home.

Husband-Head disappeared into the playhouse, which is several hundred feet from the back of our home and I didn’t hear a peep from him for hours.

Until a little after noon.

“Hey! What’s for lunch?” he demanded to know as he burst into the kitchen. “I’m starving!”

Now it seemed I had two jobs – a writer and a waitress.

“Here’s the menu,” I said, handing him a piece of paper with the word “sandwich” written on it.

I looked at Husband-Head a little closer and saw that he was covered with paint and dirt.

“Good Lord, go wash your hands! You’re filthy!” I exclaimed. “What in the world are you doing out there?”

“I’m painting the outside of the playhouse and the shed,” he smiled proudly. “But I need to go to Fred’s to get some wood and some more tools.”

Fred’s is a local hardware store and Husband-Head must be one of their best customers as he goes there every day on the weekends. Throughout his week-long vacation, Husband-Head continued to work on a number of projects both in and outside of the house. Along with painting the outside of his playhouse and the shed, he drained and refilled the ponds, put in the air conditioner in our bedroom, mowed the lawn, watered the front and back lawns, tended to the garden, picked up the dog poo and walked the dogs.

“I’m going to Fred’s!” he exclaimed once again while installing the swamp cooler.

This was probably his sixth or seventh trip to Fred’s in three days.

While I was happy that he was doing all these projects, I was beginning to be suspicious about “Fred’s.”

“Who the hell is Fred anyway?” I wanted to know. “And don’t they think you’re weird because you’re there all the time?”

“Not any more than the people at the grocery store think you’re odd because you’re there every other day,” he countered. “You could be, like, the poster girl on the shopping cart.”

Only because you and the pets eat so much. …

One of the tricks I learned during his vacation, is that if you have a specific project you want done, do not demand that your husband do it.

The incorrect way: “When are you going to vacuum the damn pool? It looks like a science experiment in there!”

The correct way: “No, I’m not going to work on my bikini tan lines, the pool looks dirty and it scares me. …” (said in a whimpering little girl voice).

Ta-dah! Your pool will be instantly cleaned!

Toward the end of the week, Mr. Project-Man had completed most of his goals.

“I think I’m going to sleep in today,” he announced the other morning. “By the way … did you know that ‘brunch’ means ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’?”

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. To purchase her book collection of columns, visit her website at or go to or Copies are also available at the Post Independent office in Glenwood Springs.

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