Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Keeping a Proper House

I have limited blog time tonight, as I'm preparing to leave town yet again this weekend. My list of things to accomplish before I leave is mind-boggling. In between my bitching and moaning about them, I'll barely have time to finish them all.

Cleaning my trashed house, really, is toward the bottom of my to-do list.

I'd have been such a loser in the last century.

Sure, I have a respectable amount of intelligence. I'm told I display a dash of wit from time to time. I've managed a successful career for many years.

But these qualities in, say, 1909? They'd have garnered me little respect once anyone set foot in my house. Back then, a woman's worth was measured by the proper house she kept. And my house? Well, my house is not kept. Unkempt, sadly, is a more appropriate term.

The truth be known (and it is known, truly, by anyone who's entered these dustbunnied-halls) is that I'm less than an impeccable housecleaner.

My excuse over the years has been that, with raising two sons and working full-time, who has time to clean a house? Strong justification, I've reasoned, for hiring a cleaning service twice a month.

Even so, for at least two weeks a month, my house is well below par for 1909 standards. Or 1919. Or 1929. Or, well, you get the idea.

And my justification falls even shorter when I imagine all the daily tasks I endure (with much of the aforementioned bitching and moaning, thank you) that the women of yesteryear had even tougher. Washing dishes by hand, washing clothes through a wringer, cooking over a wood stove, strangling and plucking the chickens for dinner... Their list of daily chores is unfathomable.

And to top it off, they had no cable TV, no music CDs, and no computer through which they could find some relaxation and refuge at the end of the day.

But still. Even in 2009, somehow there aren't enough hours in the day to handle everything we need to without becoming stressed.

I'm so very thankful for my dishwasher, my microwave, my indoor plumbing. Aren't you? But in 2039, when the technology gods have made my life even easier, I'm sure I'll still find a way to bitch and moan about everything I have to do.

What invention are you most thankful for? What chore are you still wishing for the technology gods to obliterate?

Feel free to chime in. It will make me feel better, as I sit here tonight at my computer, ignoring the piles of dirty dishes and unwashed clothes surrounding me...

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