“Even in 2019, messy men are given a pass and messy women are unforgiven. Three recently published studies confirm what many women instinctively know: Housework is still considered women’s work — especially for women who are living with men.” — New York Times, 6/11/19
Need to make your husband understand just how much of the physical, mental, and emotional labor you do in your marriage? Staging your own death is the key. Here’s a step-by-step guide featuring a totally hypothetical husband named Alex who will no doubt finally step up to the plate when you make your miraculous return from the dead.
1. Deep-Clean Your Home
The detectives will be going through your house with a fine-tooth comb hours after you’re reported missing. If your home isn’t in perfect order, they’ll judge you, not your husband. In fact, they’ll praise Alex for holding down the fort and “babysitting” his own goddamn children during this terrible time.
2. Extract Your Own Blood
If you’re going to make this work, you’ve got to be sure the cops don’t suspect you’ve run off. You’ll need an IV needle, some tubing, and that big mixing bowl that doubles as the kids’ vomit bucket. Siphon off about a pint, then eat a couple of cookies to bring your blood sugar up. While you’ve got your nurse’s cap on, call the pharmacy. Order a refill for Ethan’s inhaler because that sure as SHIT won’t occur to Alex.
3. Go Grocery Shopping
Alex isn’t bad-looking for his age, so divorcees sick of dating apps and unsolicited dick pics will rush over with casseroles. Unfortunately, little Cassidy won’t eat anything but grapes, deli turkey, and fruit roll-ups, so there’s a good chance she’ll waste away before your return. Before you go, you better set up an Amazon Fresh recurring delivery with Cassidy’s favorites and some pre-prepped meals. After all, the oven’s kind of like your clit — Alex doesn’t know how either works. But if he can figure out at least one, the other will be forgiven!
4. Plant a Diary Full of Tragic Entries
Suzanne, the divorcée from down the street, will not only bring over her Instant Pot Engagement Chicken, she will totally put out. She almost deserves Alex and his dirty socks… but you can’t let him get remarried while you’re gone. The answer’s clear: cast a little suspicion on your husband! Write in your diary (don’t forget to switch up pens!) about how lately, Alex has been SO ANGRY AND SCARY. Hide the diary in the bag of cat litter because Alex never changes it. (While you’re at it, order a cat fountain so Princess Snowball survives your absence.) After the cops rip the place apart, they’ll read your diary and stake out your house, so he’ll have to resist Suzanne — even if she wears her sluttiest LL Bean sundress. Yep, the one with the sailboats.
5. Spread Your Blood Across the Kitchen Floor
Pour the blood over the linoleum. Let it sit for a few minutes so it seeps into the cracks, then sloppily wipe it up so there’s still evidence. Channel the time Alex spilled maple syrup on the floor and then swiped at it with a paper towel. Remember how you thought it would bother him that he was sticking to the floor? It never did. Twelve hours later, you cracked and mopped after Cassidy started licking the floor.
6. Take Your Own “Missing” Photo
The town, the county, and the state will eventually be plastered with flyers of your face, so it’s important to get a flattering pic. About the same time Alex realizes that the kids’ fucking lunches don’t fucking pack themselves, you’ll be enjoying a margarita poolside. Toast the fact that you look great on the flyer. Thanks, JCPenney Portraits! Don’t forget to hide every other picture of you in the house—especially the ones where you have a double-chin. If you put them under the pile of permission slips to be signed, Alex will NEVER EVER find them. That reminds you, you should send in the school photo permission slips so that your kids won’t be blank spaces in the yearbook. And, oh shit, that clarinet agreement.
7. Write a ransom note
Take your old copies of Martha Stewart Living and cut them up to write a threatening rANsoM nOTe. Tell Alex that he better send $5K plus video proof that he can perform all the chores around the house if he wants to get you back alive. Then follow up with a short phone call using a voice changer — but don’t forget to get on the phone as yourself for nine seconds. Use the opportunity to remind him that the school play is Thursday night, then scream and get cut off.
8. Road Trip to Mexico
Retrieve the money you saved up by using the “cash back” option at the grocery store and stashed in a detergent container in the laundry room — where Alex has never set foot. Pay for everything on the road trip in cash. After all, those detectives are clever—unlike Alex, who has lived in this house for twelve years and SO HELP ME GOD, still does not know which drawer the Tupperware is in.