Friday, January 30, 2009

Dawn-til-Dusk

Tomorrow, for the first time since the holidays, Husband and I will each have a day off from work at the same time. To make this even more exciting, neither of us have the obligation to go visit anyone. We get to spend the day together.

And I have no idea how we'll spend it. We talked about going to the movies, but that's only going to take up two hour or so. Maybe we'll just stay home an revel in each others' presence.

I'm so excited!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wisdome of our Elders

My grandmother, whom I call Mockie, is the poster child for "Better Homes and Gardens," or any other housekeeping tome. Her humble single-story home in Georgia is always immaculate. The garden bursts with perennial flowers every spring; tantalizing scents drift out of her kitchen; and the woman literally vacuums the floors every day. (Am I the only person who thinks that's nuts? I had a roommate once who insisted on vacuuming every day, and I'd be like "um...you vacuumed yesterday...")



Mockie is also the matriarch of a very large extended family with four generations living today. She and my grandfather (may he rest in peace) raised four boys who grew up to be the kind of men you would be happy for your daughter to marry (just ask their mothers-in-law!)



I recently asked her (along with a few other women who have influenced the woman that I have become) how she thinks a homemaker can relate to the Feminist movement. "When I was younger I probably was not ,or did not think of myself as a feminist, there was no such thing at that time," she told me.



She married my Grandad in 1948, a time when America was still rejoicing over the end of the hardships caused by World War II. Women who had joined the workforce while their husbands and sons were fighting in Europe and the Pacific were now returning to their traditional roles as homemakers. "I loved your grandfather, always thinking that if he made the living it was my duty to do my household responsibilities: washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, and rearing four sons."



I've just finished reading the first chapter of Betty Friedan's iconic manifesto, "The Feminine Mystique," where the author describes how women of this era did not feel fulfilled by homemaking alone but were unable to voice their trouble, thinking that their feelings were unjustified. It is possible that my grandmother felt this way too. She said that she sometimes felt resentful when my grandfather spent his weekends away from the house playing golf, leaving her to look after the boys for a sixth and maybe seventh day that week. "But as the boys grew . . . we began to join him, swimming and picnicking."



"Now I realize that I probably evolved as a feminist," Mockie said, "When our son's married I made it plain to them that as long as their wives worked, and contributed to the income, it was their responsibility to do their part in the household duties and the rearing of the children. "



Husband and I do work together to maintain our home. In fact, recently as I've been making more than my usual effort to keep our apartment tidy, he has been more eager to help out.



Husband and I have only been married for a few months, but we are already learning what Mockie told me about marriage: "It is not easy. It is not always perfect, there will be good times sometimes not so good, but the good outweigh the bad. It takes a lot of working together to make it work."



She finished by telling me that she is "no authority on marriage," but I think the almost 60 years that she and my Grandad spent together speak for themselves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

He deserves a medal.

Today is Tuesday, normally Husband's day off. He had to work on his last day off which was last Wednesday, because of heavy traffic from the inauguration. Today, he was called in to work to fill in for a coworker unable to get to work in the snow. That means that today will be Husband's seventh day at work without a day off. If he continues to work as scheduled, he won't have another day off until Saturday.

That's ten straight days of work!

If Husband's supervisors do not reward him for his unfailing work ethic and dedication, I will personally punch them in their respective faces.*





* = empty threat

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How I Spent My Saturday Afternoon

This is what my bathroom usually looks like:





This is what it looks like today:


I bought this little cabinet at Target:
I stored my cleaning supplies in it for easy access, because I plan to maintain the current status of my bathroom.

Pay no attention to the man--er--mess behind the curtain!

I'm saving the shower and tub for tomorrow. . .








Friday, January 16, 2009

Sleeping Beauty?

Last night, I fixed myself a quick dinner and put on a movie that came in the mail from Netflix. After I finished eating, I curled up on the couch to continue watching the movie.


Next thing I knew I was being rudely roused from sleep by a pair of very cold hands! The movie's DVD main menu was running and Husband was telling me to go to bed. Looking back on last night, I remember being extraordinarily cranky with him. But then, if you want somebody to be nice to you, you shouldn't put your freezing cold hands on her bare skin.


I promise I'll get that first posting about feminism and housewifery this weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wisdom of our Elders

We have a lot to learn from those that have come before us.

That sounds like common sense, but it is amazing how we humans are always arrogant enough to believe that we can improve or out-do our ancestors. Trying to knock some of that human arrogance out of my own brain, I decided to consult some of the influential women in my life about their approaches to marriage, and homemaking. I also flavored my inquiry by asking how the 20th century feminist movement has influenced their approaches.

I had hoped to use the results of my query to write a series of mini essays on the topic. Unfortunately, I only got one or two useful responses. (If you'd like to contribute your opinion, you are absolutely welcome, nay, encouraged to!)

Anyway, look for my thouts on the most intriguing response I received, which was from my last living Grandmother, in the next day or two.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's the big deal about folded pants?

This morning when I arrived at my office, I had an e-mail from Husband:


Honey! You folded my pants! I love you!


He couldn't have said anything to make me happier (except maybe, "Have you lost weight?"). Nothing feels better than having all my hard work noticed and appreciated!


I love you too, Husband. I love you so much that I am happy to iron, fold, and put away your pants. (I also love the way you look when your clothes aren't wrinkled!)


I was a little put-off when some of the members on the FLYlady forums were referencing Fascinating Womanhood, and the incredible difference it made in their marriages. I had never heard of Fascinating Womanhood, so I Googled it and came up with this: http://users.rcn.com/bendesky/about/cbta/50swoman.html


Now, I have no problem taking care of the home and taking care of my Husband; but these tips make it seem like everything a wife does revolves around pleasing her husband. It makes it seem to me that a wife should be almost like a servant to her husband. I don't want that in my life at all.


Perhaps I would feel differently if I were a full-time homemaker, but even then, I would be keeping up my home for us, not for him.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nothing says "I love you," like sleep deprivation.

This morning, around 4:00 AM, Husband woke up barfing.

I'm pretty sure he all-out ran to the toilet because within one second, I felt the bed covers thrown back, heard the bathroom door slam, and then a giant puking sound. You know that sound. It's the sound that makes your own stomach lurch in sympathy and disgust. Just from hearing that sound, your nose is filled with the acidic stench of HCL mingled with half-digested food. When I heard that sound this morning, my maternal instinct jumped into hyper-drive.


I was immediately wide awake and jumped out of bed. I dashed to the kitchen to pour a glass of water and scour the cabinet for any medicine that might help (I couldn't find anything, although I'm pretty sure that once your dinner's in the toilet, there's not much to be done.).


I attached a vomit bag to the bedside. This is something Momma did when I was a little girl. It is at the same time so stupidly simple, and completely genius. All you do is take a plastic grocery bag and tuck one of the handles between the mattress and box spring. A little fluffing will allow the bag to sit open, then when your patient feels it coming on again, all he has to do is lean over the side of the bed.


Anyway, this is how I started my day today and now I'm worn out. I'm also driving myself crazy with worry, because when your six-foot-tall husband weighs less than 130 lbs, the last thing you need is for him to be unable to keep any food in his stomach.