Mary O’Brien sits on her porch in Xenia, Ohio, exhausted from a full day of work, taking care of her three children, and doing chores around the house. A typical day for her consists of waking up early to prepare meals for her children and husband before preparing herself for a 12-hour work day. After work, she pays the nanny, makes dinner for the kids before putting them to bed and attending to the rest of the chores around the house.
When it comes to helping out around the house, where’s her husband? Nowhere to be found.
“He just sits around and whines anymore. I’m ready to upgrade to a newer model,” O’Brien says. “When we were first married, everything ran so smoothly. Now, he’s more of a burden than a luxury, always needing to go to the doctor for repairs that cost a lot more money than they originally quote us. It’s ridiculous.”
With the new “Cash for Clunkers” program implemented, O’Brien would like to see it taken to the next level. She suggests being allowed to trade in her old, tired, worn-out husband for a newer, younger, savvy model that can get more miles before needing a check up. “I guess part of me will miss the old guy and all the memories we’ve had together, but the other part of me knows that when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. He’s just a husband after all.”
Institutions of higher education are continuously pumping out huge numbers of graduates, despite the market’s lack of demand for them. For O’Brien, the solution is simple. Put the graduates to work as husbands rather than living them sitting there unused in some lonely lot. With just a small government-backed incentive, she could easily afford the emotional trade.
O’Brien is not alone in her desire to upgrade. “All the women my age who I talk to are sick to death of their old, beaten down husbands. We just want something new that we can actually work with, you know, rather than pouring our money down the drain like we currently are.”
Government officials refused to respond to her letters, emails and Facebook message inquiries about the possible creation of a “Cash for Clunkers” style program that accepts husbands. But O’Brien says she’s determined and that she won’t give up hope.