Guest Column

'Mancession' opportunity

It sounds good to me. I speak of an opportunity made possible by the "mancession."

You see, the recession that began in December 2007 hit male-dominated industries, such as construction, harder than female-dominated industries.

The male unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in November 2010, whereas the female unemployment rate hovered around 8 percent.

This "mancession" has resulted in some interesting domestic changes for some guys, according to a University of Kansas study featured in U.S. News & World Report.

More men have taken on housework and full-time child-rearing as their wives have gone off to work.

The fellows cited in the study aren't happy about staying home. They are depressed about being out of work.

However, they see no shame in caring for their kids and doing the laundry. They are simply doing what they must to survive this nasty recession.

But, as I said, what they are doing suddenly sounds pretty good to me.

I've been working a long time now. During this recession, I have been working harder than ever, and I know I am lucky to have decent revenue coming in.

But I am ready for a change.

Why, if the right woman came along, with the right six-figure job, I just might chuck it all to settle down and stay home with our kids.

I'll gladly watch Dr. Phil and clap enthusiastically the first time junior uses the potty to go "No. 2."

I'll teach our children everything I know. They may never get an 'A' in art class or math, but I assure you they will never lose at beer pong.

I'll keep the house clean and free of dust -- which, apparently, is a mix of fine particles that settle on furniture. I'll hire a maid to do that, and when I get caught, I'll deny it.

I know that in this recession, a woman with a big enough salary has her pick of mates. Why choose a 40-something writer rather than a 25-year-old tennis pro, you say?

Well, it is true that the svelte look I had in my 20s can be better described as "big-boned," but our catastrophic economy is no time for pretty boys.

Today's high-paid woman should be looking for an experienced, refined fellow, whose qualities have improved with time.

Consider: I no longer need to date every pretty woman I meet. I have done that. I am exhausted. I will be more loyal than a Labrador.

Unlike younger men, who know nothing about the art of romance, I will hold the car door open for my high-paid wife. I'll whisper sweet nothings into her ear, even when I don't mean them.

I'll remember important dates, such as anniversaries -- thanks to Google Calendar.

I'll charm the heck out of her, too. Unlike younger men, I have had 20 years to perfect my half-truths.

I'll have a delightful answer to every question, even the granddaddy of them all: "Does this outfit make me look fat?"

Look, ladies, a mancession is on and it doesn't look like it is going to get better anytime soon. Don't let it go to waste.

If you are lucky enough to have a six-figure income, you can help out fellows who have been getting banged up by this economy.

We can both come out winners.

So long as you cover our truck payments, we'll treat you like gold.

- Tom Purcell is a columnist

for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His columns are distributed

by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.



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