The Reluctant Housewife or Dorothy Parker Ate My Puppy

"When I got married, I said to my therapist, 'I want to do something creative.' He said, 'Why don't you have a baby?' I hope he's dead now." Joy Behar

Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Lazy Sunday - or are all my days lazy?

Woke cocooned in my massive feather duvet, a ball of warm, to hear H'band put a cup of coffee on the table near my head. Then the Sunday Times appears and I tear the cellophane open to extract the Style section. Lose myself in glossy pages, squinting in the half light filtering through the curtains, taking an occasional sip of sweet de-caff.

Then something slips in my mind and the minature heaven of the moment is lost. I remember. I'm a lazy beast. Have you ever seen a truly lazy beast? They look like you, talk like you, but have a dirty little secret. We lazy beasts do nothing but moan and eat. Double entendre intended. In the past I would have been called a slattern, or a slut. A woman of no motivation and little purpose. After reading Style, what is there for me to do? Water the plants, hoover, wash up my coffee cup? I already know what I will do. I'll pass the day like every other, in a rhyme of tea, internet browsing and snacking until H'band comes home. Then I'll remonstrate with him for not showing me more affection. He'll sigh and I'll feel the guilt of the reluctant parasite.

I beat myself up about it a lot. My friends make sly jibes about housewives and the levels of cleanliness in my flat. I bite my lip and pretend not to hear. I don't want to be a housewife. I want a career, a job that allows me money to buy the pretty things I see in Style. Somewhere along the line I lost my confidence. I can't trust myself not to fuck it up. So, I sit, and I read, and I stare into space wondering how I of all people became an unemployed bludger.

Guilt is eating away at me, slowly, like an infection. Then I recall the words of e. e. cummings, who wrote:

guilt is the cause of more disorders
than history's most obscure marorders

He's overstating the case, but I see his point.

I need a plan, although I've written countless of those. Perhaps a list is more appropriate.

  1. Write. Write anything. Write all the time. Ignore my self-editor and scribble, scrawl and jot until my fingers hurt.
  2. Throw away the guilt.
  3. Look at the promise the future holds, not the failures of the past.

That should do for now. Where's that notebook?