Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"A dishwasher, a window seat, and a yard. But mostly a dishwasher."

Do my three wishes label me as hopelessly pragmatic and out of the reach of the finer things in life? Or do they mean I'm a good honest realist, feet firmly on the ground to counterbalance my very active sense of fantasy?

Maybe they just mean I don't like doing the dishes. And like to curl up in a cozy spot with a book, and would adore being able to have a dog again. But mostly they mean I don't like doing the dishes.

Dishes and their ilk--all the chores involved in keeping a house, or even an apartment, in a state that doesn't cause my mother to perform emergency phone nagging (because she knows, she always knows)--were probably my biggest shock when I graduated from college and stepped out into "real life".

You mean there really isn't anyone who's going to pick up my mess? I have to do it... MYSELF? But... but... but I have a college education! I have a job! I don't have time to do this stuff!

Surprise, surprise... when I didn't have time to do "this stuff", "this stuff" didn't get done.

If you're like me, you probably grew up hearing the concept of "woman's work" despised and reviled in all directions. Down with housework! Down with the drudgery of the home! Women are fit for so much more than just a kitchen!

But through my first year on my own, I started to question this. Not the idea that women should be free to choose their own lives--besides having a personal stake in the question, I'd rather not be pilloried by screaming feminists--but the idea that a kitchen and a home are prisons that must be escaped at all costs.

Some of it probably goes back to my preoccupation with parents and families. The idea of home grows naturally out of those two, and with it the thought that it isn't such a bad thing to have one. Everyone needs a place to eat and sleep, along with a place to feel safe and happy. What is that but a home?

To add to that, the same factors which make a home and a kitchen confining also make them controllable. We live in a frightening world, where our actions have consequences beyond our comprehension. Isn't it comforting to know that you can make something better, even if it's just washing a bunch of dishes?

And now, unfortunately, it's time for me to put my money where my mouth is. Or rather, put my fingers... where my fingers were. (Is it just me, or did that make no sense and sound dirty at the same time?)

What I'm trying to say is, time to stop blogging about dishes and go do them. See everybody later this week, when there will be further random musings of Anne's mind and possibly an update on the writing!

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