Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hardly a Housewife

"So, do you, like, feel like a housewife now?" my friend and former co-worker asked curiously over taco salads, about a month after I delivered my baby. My hemorrhoids had barely healed and I was delirious from dirty diapers and sleep deprivation. I was much more concerned with sitting than sweeping.

"Not even a little," I laughed, through a bite of lettuce and guacamole. "Not even a tad."

I may be on "eternity leave," but I am hardly a housewife. At least not a very good one.

To be a good housewife, I think, I must go to the supermarket more frequently than once every 5 weeks. And I must buy ingredients that can be used to create an actual entree for dinner, perhaps with assistance from a real recipe. What good are Sourpatch Kids, Puffed Kashi, and Cool Ranch Doritos in my pantry when I have long outgrown the munchies?

To be a good housewife, I know that I must clean often and often means not just the half hour before my housekeepers arrive, in a sheer panic. Sure, in my broken Spanish and over-the-top hand gestures, I can offer my housekeepers anything that I don't feel like cleaning, like my cluttered desk and chair, (which they took, happily), but if I keep that up, eventually, I'll be left without my walk-in closet, refrigerator, and toilet.

To be a good housewife, I'm pretty sure it's my job to keep all bugs, rodents, and other small animals out of my home. There is no excuse for a bird flying around in my living room, shrieking and flapping its wings, banging into the sliding glass door. And there is certainly no excuse for me to be hiding in my bedroom, door slammed shut, while my hungry baby watches me, eyes like saucers, as I scream into the phone, "Send Maintenance now...and send someone with a key! We're trapped in my bedroom and there's no way in hell I'm coming out to answer the door!"

To be a good housewife, I really should entertain. And I think "entertaining" means more than singing lullabies off-key and doing primitive African tribal dances for my husband with the musical accompaniment of Paul Simon singing Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.

To be a good housewife, I obviously need to cook. A history of starting fires while baking cookies and getting banned from my mom's kitchen for the next year does not help. Neither did the squishy sounds and pops of chicken bones breaking in my 9th grade foods class as my teacher demonstrated how to make chicken soup. Even though I now possess my mother-in-law's famous meatball recipe, the only thing that I can make is a watery bolognese sauce which my husband is kind enough to eat. And although I'm growing basil in my kitchen, I have a long way to go in the culinary arts. Sure, I can chiffinade now thanks to a Williams Sonoma class, but I still can't stand to touch raw meat. When my cousin and I made our first brisket together last winter, we wore surgical gloves and I even considered putting on scrubs. Nevertheless, I am cooking. Recently, I created some concoctions reminiscent of when my sister and I used to mix orange juice and Pepsi back in the early '80s and dare one another to drink it. Last week I made ground sirloin nachos for dinner, inspired by Qudoba. Pathetic.

To be a good housewife, I must do loads of laundry every day. Finally, jackpot! I do, in fact, do laundry from the moment I wake up until the moment I pass out at night and I even do it in the middle of the night, in between making bottles. The problem is, I only do the baby's laundry and I allow mine to pile up like Mount Everest. His laundry comes first because he changes clothes about 8 times a day due to his tendency to spit up as regularly as Old Faithful. I confess, I don't help the situation much. Moments after I feed him a bottle, I dance him around and get him all riled up just because I love to see him smile and hear his angelic laugh. Now I'm changing clothes 8 times a day too. But, so what if the left shoulder of every shirt I own has a spit-up stain on it. Maybe that is the sign of a good housewife. However, I doubt a good housewife would have a mountain of those shirts sitting on her bathroom floor while she's laying in bed blogging.

So, due to my unexpected eternity leave, am I saying, "Adios attorney....hello....housewife?" I don't think so. Not today anyway.


  1. Hah! I love this one. I am constantly telling Val that I don't make a good housewife. I just finished cleaning the bathroom while trying to distract Sam from eating the cleaning products. She seemed happy to play with the glass candle and can of air freshener instead. Good times.

  2. hahahaha....but u r good at bloggin! I luv it.