Now, don’t be throwing stuff at me…I didn’t say all women should like this whole domestic thing or even that this whole domestic thing is what women are born to do. I’m just saying I like this whole domestic thing.
Granted, this is easy to say when you’ve got a brand new house to play in. And I had lost all sense of domesticity in The House of Squalor. Having to wait for low tide to do the laundry will do that to a person over time.
I’ve already written about how thrilled I am by the whole laundry situation/ice thing – and these continue to tickle me whenever I hear my washer play it’s little finish tune or I hear ice fall into the freezer.
But then there is my work room, miles and miles away from everyone. They have to think before committing to making the journey to my office and usually it’s easier to deal with whatever it was without me. So now that I’m not constantly on call, I get my work done a whole lot faster leaving me with time for the whole domestic thing.
You see: I’m such a girl.
I just am. I can’t help it. I like to sew and knit and cook. I like stuff to smell good. I think lace is pretty (though infestation is always a problem, so lace should be thinned regularly to prevent froth). I really do like to cook and get a certain satisfaction out of a state of cleanliness (although “too clean” is suspect. This is never a threat when you have dogs.).
I guess I come by this honestly. My mother liked the whole domestic thing. In her yearbook all her girlfriends put for their ambitions stuff like “nurse,” “teacher,” or “secretary” (what we now call “administrative assistant”). My mother put “homemaker.”
She was not among those women I keep hearing about who had to make it through the day on antidepressants. She really enjoyed her home, not only the chores of creating it, but also experiencing the fruits of all that work. It was very comforting to come home from school and walk in the door to a worn, but clean, house, smell dinner cooking and my mother on the couch, listening to an opera. That is security.
Then there is my Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie is a homemaker with style. She never flinches at throwing a dinner party. My best memory of Aunt Marie is of her, at 10 o’clock at night, still bustling around the kitchen laying out the last of a major feast and saying, “See? No trouble at all!” Everyone else is beached at the table, stuffed and sleepy.
Now there is me, with my domestic-loving guilt. I know, I know, there are women who fought long and hard to release me from being chained to the very thing I love. And I know there are women who will accuse me of “loving my abuser.” And there are even those who will bitterly point out that I just lucked up into an advantageous marriage that affords me the ability to work at home and let my focus be on domesticity.
I think the intent, though, was always there and led me right to where I wanted to be anyway. Even when it wasn’t foremost in my mind I must have subconsciously aimed myself toward where I’ve ended up.
When Heir 1 returned to public school after being homeschooled, his friends used to call him “The Beav” because his leaving for school looked eerily like the beginning credits to the show Leave It to Beaver. So I was required to stop packing his lunch and had to hide behind furniture until the bus went by so no one could see that I was up and seeing him off to school.
I don’t know if that story is funny or sad. Fortunately the bus stop is now down and hill and around a corner, so I don’t have to resort to guerilla parenting anymore.
And, in my defense, I don’t wear pearls around the house.