Thursday, September 29, 2011

Housewife Redefined..

I got the best email the other day...and it got me thinking. Well first it made me laugh...then it made me mad...then it made me laugh again..and THEN it got me thinking. And I decided that not only did I need to share it with you...I needed to dissect it and discuss length.
We all know that I am doing my very best to convince you him her them myself that I am a stay at home mommy housewife. Most of the time I am pretty good at it....except when it sucks. And let's be sucks alot. Most of the time. But still...I'm good at it. Pretty much. Here is the dilemma...this isn't 1950...and I sure as Hell ain't June Cleaver. Unless ole Junie is a tattooed, foul mouthed, uncrafty, wine drinking type of gal. Don't go getting me wrong...I'd LOVE to be one of those apron toting, pearl wearing, cake baking, PTA chair mommy, mitten knitting, bless your heart cutesy wifeys. But I'm so NOT.
So here is the email...The 1950's Guide To Being A Good Wife. Oh Hell Yes....

1950’s Guide to Being a Good Wife
From Housekeeper Monthly 1955

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed. (Plan and cook dinner you say? Sure thing. Nothing says "I've been thinking about you and am concerned about your needs" like a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.)

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. (Work weary people you say? I've just prepared you a lovely non lethal dinner. But let me take the time to not look sweaty, and tired, and hungover and bored. A ribbon and some make-up? How about a clean shirt and some deodorant?)

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. (One of my duties you say? Because I don't have enough to do. Let me be more interesting for you. How about you just stare at my boobs and we call it a day? And isn't my ribbon gay?)

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the house just before your husband arrives. (Clear away the clutter you say? Well shit...I might as well just clean the house. Oh but look...I have a ribbon in my hair.)

Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables. (Gather and dust you say? So we're back to the cleaning? But..all this cleaning is messing up my pretty ribbon.)

Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. (Light a fire you say? In all my cleaning and ribbon tying I have probably burnt dinner and the fire is coming from the kitchen. Chinese take out provides me with immense personal satisfaction. How does my ribbon look?)

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. (Prepare the children you say? "Hey Heathens...your father is on his way home so shut the fuck up! I'm encouraging it! Please don't make me choke you out with my ribbon.")

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. (Greet him with a smile and a desire to please you say? Eat your fucking dinner and then warmly and sincerely rub one out in the shower. Here..use this ribbon.)

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember his topics of conversation are more important that yours. (Listen to him you say? I'll listen to his immensely important topics of conversation..right up until I slit my wrists with a butcher knife. Shit..did I get blood on my ribbon?)

Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you.  Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax. (Make the evening his you say? I've spent all day cooking and cleaning and beating children and putting on fucking out to the strip club. I hope you get herpes. Stop looking at my ribbon.)

Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. (Peace, order and tranquility you say? WAS..until HE came home. With his herpes. I've got a renewal for you. Bastard. Stupid fucking ribbon.)

Don't greet him with complaints and problems. (Don't greet him with complaints you say? How about divorce papers?)

Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. (Don't complain you say? He stays out all night with his stripper whore...damn straight that was the minor part of his day!)

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. (Make him comfortable you say? Here Darling..I fixed you a lovely Drano Martini. Now lie back and relax until you choke on your own vomit.)

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. (Arrange his pillow you say? How about right over his face?)

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. (Master of the house you say? We will see about that.)

A good wife always knows her place. (Knows her place you say? Yep. Standing over his dead carcass.)

Anybody think I should get a job outside the house? Nope? I didn't think so. I'm so committed to this 1950's housewife gig. I've been picking out ribbons all day!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remember Calm..Reduce Chaos..

Some days are shaped by simple pleasures..others are redeemed by them. Today (especially today as I notice it's raining outside) I think back on such days- beautiful summer days at the beach- days shaped by joy and simplicity. An afternoon in the sand with my family, irresistible reading, wonderful music in my ears, laughing as the waves lap at my ankles and bury my feet further into the cool sand. Then back to my comforting home, a refreshing shower, a cocktail, conversation and cooking, an abundance of delicious food, laughter and loved ones. And then to bed...happy and content.
An Irish proverb tells us "Better one good thing that is, rather than two good things that were, or three good things that might never come to pass." On those days there was no need to glance longingly at the past or project anxiously into the future...because the present was fully lived, abundantly enjoyed, and completely calming. Those days were rich with one good thing after another until the day..and the goodness...literally overflowed.
But, unfortunately, not all my days are beach retreats full of serenity. Sometimes there are battles...both real and imagined, created hurts, mental and physical exhaustion...that send my day careening out of control. My heartbeat is accelerated, my coping strategies confusing, my well laid plans kaput. On these days I realize I have three choices before me, but only one real life solution: scream at the top of my lungs, retreat to the bathroom, or take a deep breath and redeem the day with Plan B.
Since the primary role of Stay At Home Mom is not to do anything that might alarm children or confuse pets, clearly screaming is out. And since it's really neither feasible or sanitary to drown yourself in blue toilet water (not that I would have enough privacy to do so), the bathroom is out as well. So...I pour myself a cup of coffee and recall the Hasidic prayer, 'I know the Lord will help..but help me Lord, until You help.' The reality is that today will only be as hard as I make it. Or as easy. There is nothing I can do about right now but accept it and get it over with. I remind myself that it is always my choice. I don't have to LIKE whatever life throws at me, but I can certainly catch the ball. After all, winning the game of life is not how well we execute Plan's that we employ and cope with Plan B. And that we have one.
So I consider Plan B...redeem the day with familiar comforts, relaxing rituals, and faith and family. I take my coffee to the front porch and sip it while I watch the rain. I play with the puppies. I study cookbooks and decide on something new for dinner. I pick a movie to snuggle up and watch with the family before bed. I decide to bake a cake for dessert. I clean the kitchen. I spend the day focusing on the one good before me that is, rather than the two that were, or the three that obviously will not happen today.
My day stretches before me. Not as I had hoped...but, thank goodness, not beyond redemption. Tomorrow is, after all, another day. And there is always the beach.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Panic At The Disco..

Because I don't want to incite mass hysteria, I thought you should know that I won't be blogging for a few days. There is crazy shit going on here.
Don't be all worry worry about me...but I do ask that you keep my family in your thoughts. And if you are the praying type..a few of those couldn't hurt either! Know that I love you all...and appreciate whatever you got to share!!
Here's what I am praying...."Dear Lord, Please give him strength to face his fears, wisdom to distinguish fact from fiction, foresight to follow his heart, protection from harm and heartbreak, and security to weather stormy seas and rising tides. Please keep watch over my child and my mother. Please guide our path in all things and provide safe travels. Please hold my heart and mend the pieces. Please shower us with comfort, surround us with calm, and provide us with peace. Please grant us healing mercies. Amen."
I leave with heavy heart and burdened soul. But I release the chaos and welcome control. (Holy Crickets..that's all poetic!)
Here's hoping for welcome change.
See you on the flip side!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts For Today...

Today I reflect and remember, as do many of you, the events of the past. I remember rocking my baby to sleep and crying as I prayed for my country. I wept as I tried to imagine the future my sweet child would face. How could I ever explain evil and hatred to her heart? Why would I want to?
So here I sit, 10 years later. Much has happened since that day...I have changed, my country has changed, the world has changed. We have learned the lessons...Peace is never achieved without struggle. Freedom is never attained without sacrifice. Faith is never acknowledged without suffering. I mourn for those lost. I hope for those left behind. And I pray for those that continue the fight.
Our country and our people will never be the same...I will never be the same. We may never forget.
But I hope that we may learn to forgive. For that is what makes us truly great. That is what makes us powerful. That is what keeps us united. And THAT is the only way that we may ever heal. We can continue to look backwards..we can continue to stand still...we can continue to mourn. Or we can look ahead...take a step of faith..and love. Love everyone. Love without fear. Love without conditions.
We stand together and we fall together. Let us choose to stand...taller, stronger, wiser. Better.
Remember. Reflect. Release. Repair. Renew. Recover. Rejoice.

May God bless who we were, who we are, and who we can become.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Psychosis In An Apron..

So here I sit..11 PM on Friday. Tomorrow I am hosting a baby shower for 40..YES 40!..guests. Not including myself and the preggers. WHAT? And not only am I hosting the damn thing...I'm providing all the food. Yes....because evidently I had a moment...evidently I have a weakness...evidently I am all kinds of that crazy.
Now..we all know that crazy people plan the best parties and that I have mad kitchen skills. I am Betty Fucking Crocker. Never mind that when I put the apron on my daughter runs screaming from the house and my boyfriend flat out ignores me and retreats to the upstairs. They have learned. They know that what is about to ensue will be traumatic, messy, dysfunctional, and quite possibly painful. They know that I will become a mad fucking crazy emotional trainwreck of OCD. I will revert to domestic fucking dictator. I will swear. I will break something. I will probably throw said something first. I will over cook, over bake, and over feed. I will stuff our kitchen with edibles..that  no one is allowed to look at...let alone eat.
There is right now...4 double batches of Spinach Pasta Salad, 2 batches of Fruit Dip, 2 batches of Mustard Pretzel Dip, 5 loaves of French Bread, 2 pounds of homemade Garlic Dill Butter, and platter upon heaping platter of fresh fruit. Not to mention the freezer full of Punch. This is..quite literally..enough to feed 2 small armies and a gaggle of children. I don't know what is wrong with me....except that I am utterly exhausted.
Oh and I forgot to mention the entire day that I spent CRAFTING the baby gift. Jesus Crickets...I remember why I DON'T craft. Not only am I not good at ceases to be enjoyable for me after about the first 15 days hours minutes seconds. Quick question for all you Crafty Craftersons out there...Do you still have fingerprints? Because I'm pretty sure I cut, glued, and glittered mine into oblivion.
So..there you have it. I still have to make final preparations of everything tomorrow, print off the word search game thingy, wrap the gift, and decorate. Remind me again why I volunteered for this? And for those of you out there who might be considering having a baby....I will buy you the nicest bestest most amazing shit...if you promise to ask someone else to plan and execute your celebration. For serious.
If you don't hear from me by Sunday..send a search party. Make sure they know it's BYOB.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Loaves and Fishes...

Do you know the story of Jesus feeding the crowd of five thousand believers, seekers, skeptics, and curious onlookers who gathered to hear him speak and teach? At the end of the long day, as the disciples were trying to send everyone home, Jesus stepped in..these people were tired and hungry. "But we only have five loaves of bread and two fishes, barely enough for ourselves," the disciples argued. "How can we feed all these people without going hungry ourselves?" Jesus asked to be given what they had...then he looked up into Heaven, offered thanks, blessed the food, and gave it back to the disciples to distribute. As if by some miracle, after everyone had finished eating as much as they wanted, twelve baskets of leftovers remained.
I love this story because it completely illustrates the power of thankfulness, praise, the root of it...having enough. The gospels of Matthew and Mark report that Jesus performed this miracle not once..but twice. On the second occasion, four thousand people were fed with seven loaves and only a few fishes. By this time, Jesus was stirring things up..and the increasingly threatened high priests were demanding more and more signs of his divinity. Jesus dismissed many of their taunts and walked away..warning his disciples to "beware of the yeast of the Pharisees" (which I think was a biblical way of saying hot air!). But, disciples being mere unbelieving men..took Jesus' warning literally, bought no local bread, and chose to eat when they arrived at the next town.
Many hours later, they found themselves crossing the lake in a boat. Because they had not eaten (due to the 'yeast' being tainted), they began complaining...asking "What will we do? How will we eat?" Jesus, clearly frustrated at their failure to fully grasp His message, began admonishing them "You of little faith..why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, or the seven loaves for the four thousand? And how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread?...Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?"
This is great stuff because the delicious moral of the story is that the apostles just didn't get it. Miracle after miracle kept occurring right in front of them..but they didn't see what was going on. That's because they were ordinary human beings...even if their life lessons were being given by a Master. It still wasn't enough because they needed to personally experience an inner shift in reality.
The same thing happens for me. How often in my life, do I still not get it? The "it" could be any number of things...the power struggle going on in my relationship, my blossoming career undermining my self-esteem, the deterioration of my health and mental well being, the continuing legal and emotional drama that shakes our foundation, or any of the other unconscious forms of self-sabotage that have me bouncing from one self-inflicted crisis to another. The "it" doesn't really matter. Something is always happening in my life..and will continue..again and again and again..until the moment I begin to see the pattern, until the moment I start paying attention.
When I don't get it, it's usually because I can't interpret the outcome. I can't see the bigger picture. What's really happening in my outward life is somehow taking place internally in a language I don't understand. So I assume that the outward is reality (which it often times isn't), or I doom myself to keep repeating the experience until it starts to sink in and make sense. It's kind of like learning a foreign language by moving to another country. The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay put it this way.."It's not true that life is one damn thing after another-it's one damn thing over and over."
Today I would like for all the foreign languages to become native. The language of the heart is longing, the language of the mind is rationalizing, and the language of emotions is feeling. Today I would love to get it finally. To not focus on what I don't have, but to be grateful for what I do. To accept, give thanks, bless, and share. To not hoard or hold back for fear that there won't be enough. There will be. Miracles lack for nothing.
As long as I have a few loaves and fishes, and know what to do with them, all I have is all I need.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To Normal..

Man...I have the best readers (and friends) EVA! So happy to know that not only are all y'all reading me..but you be worrying about me as well! I have gotten more emails asking where the hell I've you never thought you would miss my sass mouth so much?!! So anyways...a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you.
As fate would have it...I've just been really busy lately. WHO KNEW? Let's see...hurricane, family, end of summer, back to school. OH...and another power play of manipulation from Psycho Drama Queen. Reality just gets better and better! Let's hope and pray that this battle round marks the beginning of the end. That would be so nice....normal, quiet, easy, and NICE. Yay for nice!
The return to normalcy (also known as 'Get your ass back to school'!), unfortunately does little to free up my schedule. There is still so much going on...I am hoping to block out a good chunk of evening hours for blogging and reading. Or bitching. Or something. Anything. As long as it's fun. I already have tomorrow nights dinner prepped..I should get bonus points for that! My momma is here for the week...and we have some projects on the brain. Should be a good use of my time tomorrow. You know since I really don't want to clean the house. Or give the puppies a flea bath. Or do anything else remotely productive. So yeah..we will probably project all day.
If my feeble body cooperates, I MIGHT even leave the house! But I wouldn't hold your breath or anything.