Tag Archives: traditional womanhood seen from my perspective

An easy life

‘You are living an easy life, aren’t you? You ain’t doing nothing!’

the old man said. I pass his house every day when I walk or run* with my dogs. When he and his dog are out in his front yard, I stop and talk, so my dogs get this beautiful rare chance to hang out with another dog that, albeit a bit cranky, doesn’t behave like an erratic maniac like many other dogs around here.

 
Most of what the old man says is difficult to hear, because his voice is like a soft, mumbling creek of linked words strayed with Aussie idioms, and garden noises in the surroundings zap out some of them too. However, I usually manage to pick up enough key words here and there to estimate what we’re talking about, and make friendly expressions and statements (one syllable is sufficient) every now and again to prove my participation in the conversation.

I like him, and I like listening to him.  He is a bit like my grand mother (R.I.P), and I enjoy seeing his joy about having someone to talk to, while my dogs have a great time relaxing in the grass and pestering their ‘friend’.

The above quote is one of the sentences that I did hear in full, and I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. Slightly insulted, I told him that I work as a research interviewer with variable hours, I ain’t ‘ain’t doing nothing’. ‘OK’, he said, and maybe something along the lines of ‘that sounds like a great job’.
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Merry Christmas! [slow claps]

– What day would suit you for the second interview? I said, and opened my work calendar.

– Monday would be best.

– OK.

I wrote the time she gave me under ‘Monday 24 December’. Something clicked in my head, but I didn’t know what it was until I came home again. Then it came to me:

 

Christmas cartoon with text 24 December, a reindeer head seen from the back

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Housework and womanhood: a marriage made in heaven!*

I have written before about the lack of stable, effective routines for keeping domestic chores under control, so I won’t repeat all that and all the good old advice about why it matters to keep one’s home (and workspace) uncluttered.

But I can’t help but puzzle over the discrepancy between my reality and old sayings such as ‘This House Needs a Woman’s Touch!’ (hopefully not my touch, because that will mainly leave dirty finger prints!)

The battle is still on, and I am determined to win it. Today I rigourously washed several zones inside the house that have never been cleaned since we moved in: fridge, freezer, kitchen floors, bathroom floors… (I did more than that, that’s just a sample)

Now it is well across midnight and I need to wake up early, but sleeplessly hang on to the edge of the day because it largely vanished in Ajax, nitty-gritty dust removal operations and floor wash. I’m stretching the last remains of the day beyond its hours to accommodate my Internet addiction. That is how my husband labels my strong cravings for solo time on my computer to put words together and patrol the usual websites and social media platforms and stuff.

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