01/13/2015 03:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Husband's Split Personality: Dr. Jekyll and Corporate Guy

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My husband works at home most of the time, but commutes to a big tall building about twice a week, attending lots of important meetings and business lunches. For this excursion, he transforms into someone who shaves, carries an access badge and wears a button-down shirt -- freshly pressed by me, of course. Alright, maybe I just put it in the dryer on high, with a wet wash cloth, after having left it damp and wrinkling for three days.

He goes off into the world of adults and does whatever he does to bring home the bacon.

This is great, because I like bacon and I need bacon to fuel my Target and Kohl's binges. Hey, Mossimo and Sonoma tops don't come cheap (or at least they don't when purchased with great frequency, and in concert with crap loads of contact lens solution, gummy vitamins, Us Weekly's and other essentials we go through like animals).

When my husband returns from his bacon-ating, it often takes a while for him to transition from Corporate Guy back into Husband/Dad. You'd think the hour commute home would be enough, but the conversion usually takes longer than that. I've encountered Corporate Guy at the door many a night, only to have to remind him of his whereabouts and of what ISN'T the proper way to speak in my domain. Corporate Guy is very receptive, but often speaks before his transition is fully complete.

Let me illustrate this for you.


On one occasion, he actually spoke these words: "Our trash process is ad hoc. We need a new one." Number one, don't use terms like 'ad hoc' after 5 p.m.. Number two, don't assume I know what ad hoc means, or will change my 'trash process' accordingly. Finally, do not, under any circumstances, use the word 'We' when suggesting that 'I' do something. This is the equivalent of my doctor. telling me 'We're going to need an injection." Oh yeah? You go first.

While pacing in the kitchen after a long day of work, Corporate Guy might recently have said, "Here's a 40-page print out on how to select mattresses. You can read this as research before we buy a new mattress." At the time, I might have been washing dishes, refilling a sippy cup, checking my email and suggesting alternatives to saying 'Hell Yeah!" to my 4-year-old, simultaneously. Corporate Guy might then have suggested I read it on the way to his parents house this weekend instead (replacing the People magazine I have been waiting to luxuriate with). He may then have apologized for suggesting such a thing, and instead suggested that we have a meeting to read through it together after the kids were in bed. I might politely have suggested in return that two twin mattresses might be the direction we should go in, should this conversation continue any farther.

Another Corporate Guy slip that lands him in my stew pot multiple times a week is, "How can we change the process and fix that?" It seems innocent enough, but it sends my head spinning around repeatedly with death rays shooting from my eyes every time. In one recent instance, I complained about the constant interruptions I was dealing with. Cue Corporate Guy: "How can we change the process and fix that?" The only way to fix it is to Ebay you and the children, and I'm pretty sure my seller rating might take a massive hit for that. I'm hearing you assign me a thinking task, and someone will most likely interrupt me before I can complete... what was I saying?

Perhaps the one that ruffles my petticoats the most is when Corporate Guy starts sentences with, "You know what your problem is?" Don't give your husband an empathy slap for me just yet. Corporate Guy's tone when he says it is less "You know what your problem is you stupid idiot?" and more "You are going to be so happy that I figured it out for you!" I expect that this comes from a job where he is rewarded for figuring out the source of problems on a daily basis. The problem is that when he says it to me, the answer is either:

A) Yes, I already know what my problem is, but the first rule of mom's problems is that we don't TALK about mom's problems, OR

B) I don't know what my problem is, therefore it is undetectable to humans, and any further analysis on your part will result in a drastic reduction in mattress sharing privileges.

Maybe someday there will be a decompression chamber he can go through when coming from the office to home. Until then, I'm forming an ad hoc committee to look into the matter.