Reasons I’m not a domestic goddess


Household chores are one of my least favorite tasks to do. The mundane repetitive, never ending tasks of housewifedom far exceed my ingrained capabilities and inclinations in having this facet of the job provide me with reciprocating enjoyment and contentment. I do my best dishes when angry. I clean out of frustration and angst against the mess. I would love to say I am a neat organized person, and I very much can be as my anal retentiveness towards minimalism and precision roar it’s ugly head towards my downright inability to keep things the way I would like. The OCC side usually wins the perpetual battle of stuff that rages on. I know one of the biggest struggles for me is feeling like there just isn’t amply designated storage and places for stuff to go. When everything has a place to go back to, I have far less of a problem getting it all back there. However, such amazingly designed storage and systematic organization takes the initial investment of providing places for the stuff to go. I am a huge fan of built-ins and large storage furniture where you can’t see the stuff. I have the entire office planned out to a T with large cabinets and bookcases and desk space, completely finished in my mind, but several dollar signs short of making it appear in reality. In actuality, even all the temporary and immediate systems we have in place inevitably fall apart into Chaos. And furthermore, extreme attempts to regain order out of Chaos result in Hugely Extreme Measures of Domestic Efforts.


Which was the case yesterday. Matt took Araiya with him in the morning (he is the lead for Children’s Sunday School for one service at our church and Araiya loves preschool) and I was left with the two little girls, both of who were down for naps by 1pm. So I was left by myself, in the still quiet of nap time and decided I should take that rare opportunity to tackle straightening up the residue of two wild toddlers and the aftermath of their never-ending storm of playtime which leaves toys strewn EVERYWHERE. It’s much like my battle against the never-ending mountains of laundry and the never-ending sweeping of the hardwood floors and the never-ending crumbs of food stuck all over the dining room table (and floor beneath). Then somewhere in the depth of my mind, which tends to have this odd Encyclopedic photographic memory, I recall the benefits of vacuuming the back side of wool rugs. So instead of just running the vacuum over the TOP of the area rug in the living room several hundred times like I usually do, I decide to flip the entire 9′ x 6′ mass of sheep sheering OVER.


It was going pretty well until I lifted it back up and noticed the dusting of dirtiness on the floor. So I give the corner of the rug a little shake, and out litters more grains of residue. So I shake more, and more comes out, I shake another part of the rug, and more comes out. Realizing this effort is quickly surpassing a TASK and becoming a SERIOUS LABORED EFFORT, I begin to wrestle with all 200 or so pounds of knotted wool, shaking whatever section I manage to pick up as hard as I can. And the showering of filth out of this rug does not cease. You’d have have thought we had brought this rug to the beach or something. 


So then I recall images likely from a middle school textbook, illustrated in fine black ink (darn photographic memory) of Victorian era maids whacking hanging tapestries and rugs with an elongated tennis racquet-type device. So I roll up our rug and attempt to lift it and drape it over two chairs. At this point I realize I would make about as good a mobster as I am a housewife, as lifting and pulling and tugging on this large mass of dead weight made me think I would also have a hard time with the pragmatic aspects of disposing of a body. But I get the rug hung over the chairs. It’s not pretty, and I am breaking into a serious sweat and getting all pitted out (recalling all the sexy images of 50’s-style housewives with their perfect coifed hair-do’s and perfectly manicured nails and curve-enhancing aprons). Then I beat the rug as hard as I can with the flat side of the broom, sending bits of grey filth flying in every direction. Matt comes home at the tail end of this, after I had swept the grains of dirt into one large pile. What is that? are the first words out of his mouth, as I stare at him, exasperated and out of breath.


I couldn’t just stop at that point. All the filth that had now been deposited out of the rug was vacuumed up (I was glad at that point we had bought a heavy duty Dyson instead of a Roomba, even though the Roomba would have taken less effort on my part), then thought, why stop there? and proceeded to mop the entire living room, kitchen and dining room. Then I re-arranged the furniture in the living room, ensuring our Christmas Tree (which we plan to cut down next weekend) will have an ample (and safe) place. And I sorted through clothes kids have grown out of and got out winter clothes, reorganized kid’s ski clothes and gear and gather a bunch of stuff to get rid of. Whew.


I have learned I like to think of these chores as part of the bigger overarching task of Managing my household, it makes me think I am more than just domestic labor. Only I wish the Managerial part could rely on a bit more outsourcing. At least I have many years of delegating to look forward to as the girls get older. I also considered an equipment upgrade, as our broom is looking rather sorry and I wouldn’t mind one with a wider spread of bristles. In the heat of it, I almost lamented and cursed this rug. We have owned it for almost a year and all in all, really love it. The wool is warm, natural and un-dyed (I hate the smell of dyed wool when it is new). But for a moment there, I was almost kicking myself as to why we didn’t just get some Flor Tiles, because that way each 19″ x 19″ piece would have been a wee bit easier to lift and clean. But now that it is all done, things for the time being have achieved a state of order. I am really looking forward to this next month of decorating for Christmas, maybe getting some new fresh flowers and receiving our new Seattle Ork Posters (which will go above the small stainless medical table). Matt even commented on how he would love to demo the wall to the office (a.k.a Sensory Deprivation Room, the left white wall in above photo) before Christmas. From experience, I think he is looking to bite off more than he can chew.



~ by gdesign on November 24, 2008.

2 Responses to “Reasons I’m not a domestic goddess”

  1. shane and i just received our Seattle Ork poster in the mail – very cool! what color did you get?

  2. did you know that when carpets are removed they usually weigh 2 to 3 times as much as they did when new? vacuums can’t get everything out.

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