The Furious Guide to Being a Stay-At-Home Girlfriend

A week ago, the internet was all aflutter when this “How To Survive as a SAHG” piece was posted on Brokelyn.  As a stay-at-home girlfriend myself (read: unemployed and my boyfriend totally didn’t sign on for this when we moved in together) it was relevant to my interests.  I sent the link to my boyfriend asking if I lived up to the guidelines.  “Sure,” he replied, “sometimes you do some of those things … I guess.”  He was obviously trying to avoid a fight. Cover of The Housewife Magazine from May 1912.  Young woman in red and white maid's outfit with a white maid's cap, smiling and holding a feather duster.“Well whatever,” I said. “Those guidelines are stupid anyway.  ‘Be ready to have sex whenever he wants, even if I don’t really want to?’ What are we, Quiverfulls?”  So I made my own guidelines which are both more realistic and less similar to my grandmother’s style of housewifery.

1. Get up when your boyfriend gets up to go to work. I don’t always do this.  I DO always tell him I love him and to have a good day when he leaves.  I mean, how lazy am I that I would just sleep through his goodbye kiss?  Sometimes I even open my eyes. Because it’s all about showing your man you care.

2. Go back to sleep after he leaves. I do always do this.

3. Wake back up at noon. Yup. Sometimes it’s 11, if I’m feeling motivated.

4. Look at jobs online.  See that there are none. Get depressed. This is actually only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – my Job Applying Days.  I’m not going to ruin perfectly good Tuesdays and Thursdays with a futile exercise.

5. Play video games, watch Buffy, look at tumblr and P-Mag. This can be done in any combination.

6. Sleep and comfort eat as necessary. What else are you supposed to do, really?

7. Wait for boyfriend to IM you to say he’s on his way home. It’s very important to be on the computer around 5 so you know how much time you have for step 8.

8. Make bed, put dishes in dishwasher, sweep floors, shower, put on real clothes. By “real clothes” I mean sweatpants. I’m not talking about a three-piece suit here.  You can brush your hair if you feel like it. But … eh.

9. Tell boyfriend when he gets home that you should probably just order in for dinner. Sure you had time to go to the grocery store. But it’s 23 degrees out and you have to walk five blocks to get there! Just because I’m a SAHG doesn’t mean I don’t have standards!

10. Fall asleep watching X-Files. Also: Quantum Leap.


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12 replies on “The Furious Guide to Being a Stay-At-Home Girlfriend”

This is very similar to my day as an unemployed daughter (those living at home and are past the age of 30 can I get a Amen?!). Except I do make sure to get up before noon, as I have a chance of getting jobs through the automated system I use then. Lately I’m trying to get up before 6am (!!) to try to get morning jobs.

So glad to see this posted. The Brokelyn article was all kinds of bullshit. For me, a Highly Productive Day as an unemployed lady goes as follows:

8:30am Drag ass out of bed and to yoga class. This serves a duel purpose. First, it requires that I leave the house. Second, the physical exertion provides motivation to actually shower.

11:00am Browse jobs/blogs/lurk on Facebook.

1:48pm Take dog for a walk

3:00pm Start eyeing that cheap bottle of Chardonnay on the kitchen counter.

3:15pm Devise great plans to plant a garden/repaint the walls/start Etsy store/organize pantry alphabetically/make myself fucking useful. Follow through on none of these plans

4:06pm Surrender myself to the Chardonnay’s siren song.

4:45pm Overcompensation mode. Panic sets in. Frantically do the dishes, get a load of laundry going, and concoct something that will pass for dinner. If feeling especially ambitious, cook dinner for the dog as well. That’s right, you read that correctly. The DOG.

7:21pm Attempt to not hyperventillate when my mother inquires whether I have checked “That website. You know the one. Craig’s List?” for jobs.

11:00pm John Stewart.

Rinse, and repeat.

Before we got married, my husband was a stay-at-home-boyfriend for a little while. I would leave home in the morning and he would be on the couch in his boxers. I would come home in the afternoon to find him on the couch in his boxers.

To all stay-at-home-significant-others, I say please, at least put on pants.

I’m a full-time grad student, and this semester all my classes (four of them) are online. I work very rarely; I’m a substitute teacher and haven’t been getting calls because I’m usually BUSY.

I pay the rent out of my student loans; my partner pays for everything else.

Most days I don’t get dressed beyond sweatpants. I’m usually up when he leaves, but “up” most days means I’m on the couch instead of in bed. We have breakfast together (and by breakfast I mean bleary coffee and cereal or bagels. Sundays we make a good breakfast) and I see him off.

I spend the day doing school stuff, and on evenings that I don’t have live class, we both watch TV together and are generally bums.

The house is clean, but not because I clean it–I do, when it needs it, but mostly we’re just relatively tidy people and there’s not a whole lot of daily cleaning to do. Spending all day every day cleaning would be ridiculous in our house. He usually cooks because he enjoys it, and laundry folding is his job, but for the most part dishes are mine and I do the washer/dryer parts of the clothes cleaning.

It works for us. I’ve done the SAHG shit before and it literally caused me to call off an engagement because I was so fed up. I don’t know why people willingly enter into that kind of arrangement, because it’s silly.

I’m going to apply for grad school, but it doesn’t start until the year after next (I missed the date due to not deciding until now I wanted to go).
So I dunno how that will work if I get a job in my area and move to go to grad school. I guess it will work as suck.

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