I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home that had a full-time “happy homemaker,” and so I grew up in a house where there were regular meals, home baking, clean sheets, vacuumed carpets, washed floors and walls, sparkling windows, folded laundry, a fridge and cupboards bulging with groceries that someone else did the weekly shopping for, and so on. I lived a life of luxury, though didn’t realize it. It was just the way things were in the home my parents provided, and I took these things for granted. I wanted for nothing.
Now I live in a house where there is no happy homemaker. There is just me, who likes a neat and tidy place because that’s the environment she grew up in, but doesn’t want to put in all the time necessary, herself, to make and keep it so. I do the bare minimum required in order to meet my own relatively low standards, which would probably embarrass my mother.
Today, my first day off after three days at work, I have just spent an hour (the first of the weekend) doing the housework required for me to spend the next few days in an environment that is pleasant and comfortable. I have no choice; it’s that or live in a sty. Someone has to change the sheets and throw my clothes and towels into the washer. Someone has to wash, dry and put away the dishes. Someone has to pick things up and set the roomba going and clean its brushes afterward. Someone has to. My domestic servant is me.
So, one hour down and I’m taking a wee breather before tackling the next sinkful of dirty dishes. It’s not terrible drudgery when I’m not rushing through it. When I listen to favourite music or turn on CBC Radio and don’t hurry, hurry, hurry to get the chores over with, it’s actually not too terrible. If I don’t think about things I’d rather be doing, I can cope without impatience. If I try, I can take a lame, relieved pride in a job well done. Okay: done. Okay: half done. Whatever.
Might as well get back at it. Once the kitchen is clean, I can mess it up again.
|From the back step.|