I’m not doing much these days. I wake up when Ryan leaves for school, say goodbye, pull out my laptop, and proceed to do “blog research” from bed until about noon. Then I tumble into the shower, spend good twenty-thirty minutes on getting dressed, and stumble into the kitchen, where I make myself an overly elaborate brunch that gets eaten in front of the TV. Around 4pm I wander back into the kitchen to start chopping and prepping stuff for dinner, which is on the table by 7 or 8. I then lay in bed and watch a movie with Ryan, or do crosswords until midnight when he has to go to sleep. This is my life. I have become a housewife.
Now, mind you, I’m not married. I am happily partnered up but I retain some semblance of independence in my life choices…or do I? My partner sure isn’t a housewife, so there’s a difference right there. And I know, given the opportunity, that we’d both be able to very quickly outline exactly how different we are. He likes vanilla, I like chocolate. He likes Boards of Canada, I like Bruce Springsteen. He likes to get ahead, I use the urgency of impending deadlines to force myself to focus (aka I sleep till noon and watch Top Chef Masters marathons all day until I literally have twenty minutes to do all my homework, shower, eat, and drive to my class which is 25 minutes away….oops).
But the real question isn’t whether or not I am a housewife, it’s whether I want to be one. As everyone from the US Army to Popeye to my mother tells me, I should be who I be and be that completely. And quite frankly, of course I want to be a housewife. I can’t think of a more enjoyable, easy life for myself. I love to cook for others, I love cleaning (yep, it’s true), and I love the feeling of satisfaction when I’m thanked and loved in return by the fella I’m serving. But there’s this little voice that keeps popping up too, and it’s the voice that says, “Don’t Settle.”
Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t relax for long. Work hard. You can always work harder. You can always be more. You can always rise above. And somehow being a housewife doesn’t quite satisfy that voice. This life makes me too happy, too relaxed. It’s too easy. There’s always been a restless part of me that craves adventure and change and discovery, and changing up the dinner menu every night doesn’t quite seem like enough. I want to serve MANY, not just my partner. I want to spread that satisfaction to the furthest reaches of the globe. So I’m not exactly happy with this life, not yet. It’s like a big bowl of soup, with nothing but broth in the bowl. Satisfying, delicious, healthy–but boring. I need some spice! I need some greens and homemade noodles and chunks of carrots! I need some garlicky bread to sop it up!
So this blog is a way to start. If a few people’s meals are brightened, inspired, or improved by some of the recipes on here, I know I’ll feel more connected. More sure, more sharing. More satisfied with my own life. I’ll love better, live better, eat sweeter. Hopefully.
Right now I gotta go though, Barefoot Contessa is on.
(images courtesy of vintagehousewife and I Love Lucy) (inspired by deargolden)
I love you Carol! You are amazing and anyone you encounter is immediately cheered and inspired!
thank you miss lauren! i miss you and your smile!
Carol, girl, we could TALK about this (this is coming from a lady read & SERIOUSLY marked up several books on radical homemaking w/in the last year)!
Jeremy and I have many go-to favorites that we always come back to form our pal Becky’s (http://bit.ly/yKVOD6) blog.
I am eager to follow along as you think things through, and also to try to replicate/make some things you post, food-wise — Everyone knows you’re one of the best cooks around!
After flirting with various microblogging platforms, I finally had to start a blog for a librarianship class, so if you’re interested in a peek into my own nerdy world, you are welcome there… I’m sure I’ll post it on facebook someday soon when I’m feeling more brave! ❤
Mariah, thank you so much for the link to Becky’s blog! It’s so great and cool and fun and inspiring. I feel so lucky to be connected to so many awesome people (sometimes I’m overwhelmed by how many). You are way up there on that list! Can’t wait to see your blog, and miss you, and thanks for the encouragement! And I owe you an email.
Um… “who read” I can’t type today, please forgive me! 😉
Sweet Carol. About time.
And, man oh man (woman oh woman), as I carry this child of 8.5months somewhere against my bowels and my lungs, i ponder such thoughts constantly and intensely. MC and I could probably swap our radical homemaking diatribes. I am always stumbling in the gray world of “is this what I think?” or “is this what i think i should think?” or “is this what i think i should be unthinking?” As a mid twenty-something, it was, “Can I be a feminist and wear eyeliner?” “Do I sell out if I shave my pits?” As a more secure mid-thirty something, its “Can I be a creative and wear a suit to work?” “Can my partner and I have this child without being absconded into a quasi-suburban abyss?,” “Can I teach yoga and talk like a truck driver and eat 4 candy bars a day?”
So Many Fucking Boxes.
I have chosen to embrace the blindness of gray. I have a friend who opts never to wear her glasses because she prefers the softness of a nondescript world. She’s got it right. Maybe it’s the hopeful girl-dream of an eternal seven-something, but I think we can be everything a once. Here’s to tryin’….
you said it, lady. hopeful girl-dreams all around. i’ve been thinking and unthinking for so long i’m not sure who i’d be if i wasn’t constantly questioning, well, who i be. it does make the world a little softer, maybe that’s why i gravitate towards uncertainty and change so much. anyway, here’s to your adorable comment, which i love, and to you, whom i love. if your child has an eighth of the combined coolth (yep, coolth) of its parents, it will be quite a wonderful child, indeed.
“I have a friend who opts never to wear her glasses because she prefers the softness of a nondescript world.” You mean I’m not the only one?! This is comforting to hear! At least once a month I do this when I’m walking down the street. I think it’s related to something I was thinking the other day about the potential beauty/discovery of mis-hearing or mis-reading.
It’s not that I want to have things less clear all the time. Maybe it’s closer to that comfortability with paradox, a bit of blur, and yes, with grays. They are often much more interesting. I am very thankful to be connected to both of you, and to people who try to be conscious about living while also trying to avoid getting entirely trapped in their heads. I love you ladies. Lots of coolth, fer sure.
I like your thoughts! Looking forward to reading more (and cooking, of course). I’m headed out to a large adventure and I think I’m going to try a bloggity blog to collect my research up to and then travels. We’ll see. It’s hard not to feel self-conscious about it? But I forge ahead anyway.
Sidenote on “is this enough?” Comfort like that is hard-won. I had a friend once who explained to me (he was so old, good lord, 45! ha ha) that getting older for him meant that the high highs and low lows were evening out. From stormy waves to just a nice gentle roll. I was 27 and horrified but now (that I am so old, roll eyes here), I kind of get it. So keep the questions, but savor the delight. We are acquaintances, but I do love your shine.
jen, i echo the shine-loving right back atcha. as for the blogging, i can only say it’s both harder and easier than it looks. don’t feel self-conscious–the folks who love you will love what you put up, and the folks that don’t care won’t read it, and who cares about them anyway? haters gonna hate.
looking forward to reading what you put out there, and thanks for the encouragement! i will try to savor the delight, and keep your shine in mind. 🙂