My title of "Domestic Goddess" is in serious jeopardy.
Truth be told, I'm not sure anyone has ever referred to me as a domestic goddess, but I've always hoped someone would. Frankly, I would have been a wonderful 1950s housewife in so many ways.
I've always wanted to be the perfect combination of Alexandra Stoddard, Martha Stewart, and Bree Hodges. The only problem is that one of them is fictional, one is well-staffed and other is married to a man who made it unnecessary for her to make a living when she got started, and I have none of those things working in my favor.
Despite these obstacles, I have persistent fantasies of welcoming people into my spotlessly clean, well-appointed, completely renovated Victorian home where the fresh citrus scent of my homemade cleaning products lingers in the air. (Of course I'm wearing pearls in this vignette.)
I'll serve freshly baked scones with berries from the garden and my homemade lemon curd. The linen napkins will be pressed crisply, smelling of sunshine and just a hint of the vanilla rinse I put them through. People will ooh and ah, and I will bask in all this appreciation for my domestic prowess. After a lovely gathering during which we'll gather around the piano in the music room for a couple of songs, I will retire to the sitting room off my boudoir with a nice cup of tea. I'll lie down and rest with a good book or do some delicate handwork.
In reality, of course, I'm working all of these hours. And, if you drop by you're likely to find a paint can lying about because my renovation now stretches into years, and nothing in my house is spotless. Not even close. "Sanitary" is the most I hope for. While I love handwork, I find it more expedient to buy pieces at sales than to spend the time making it myself. And my piano is so out of tune I wouldn't even let a child bang on it for fear of ruining their budding musical talent.
Today is an example of the startling difference between my real life and my fantasy life.
I've been working all weekend to eradicate the ants who insist on taking up residence in my kitchen cabinets. No matter what poisons I use, and how much silicone caulk I smear over tiny cracks here and there, they persist. So, the dining room table is covered with the dishes that have already been through the dishwasher, and both sinks and the counters are full of things waiting to be washed. Alas, it is not the scene of someone who has been testing which tomato variety makes the best marinara sauce.
Between running the dishwasher, I've been cleaning in my home office. My home office is such a disaster area that I close the door when company is coming, and yet it's where I spend most of my time. It's a wonder my fingers have not been crushed by an avalanche of things careening onto the keyboard. And the top of the desk is one of the better areas.
Today I sat in the floor and started sorting through the piles. While doing so I found a fuzzy piece of Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal. I don't even recall when I last ate that for a snack, which means this has been there for some undetermined, but lengthy, amount of time. Although one might think you could gauge timing by the amount of dust, much like rings on a tree, I declined. Instead I decided to use the archeology method and take note of what was near it. It was nestled between a green and white speckled breath mint, the remains of a roll of Wintergreen Lifesavers, and a French Franc that is no longer legal tender. None of that was helpful.
I don't think domestic goddess types have grungy cereal underfoot. Cereal they don't even know about. And I cannot blame children or pets, as I have neither. The responsible party would be me. The shame of it all. This is not how practitioners of the domestic arts conduct themselves.
Of course, I have a full time job that pays for the house which is the stage for my domestic goddess-ness. Unfortunately, it takes the time I could spend whipping up chocolate mousse for dessert to top off the gourmet dinner I would throw together in between planting the herbs, polishing the silver, and planning my next dinner party complete with engraved invitations and matching place cards. (I also own no silver - mainly because it requires polishing - which would take time I don't have.)
Don't get me wrong, I can hold my own with the average, every day, domestic goddess wannabe. I can write a thank you note with the best of them, and my handwriting is more than passable. My homemade lemonade is made with freshly squeezed lemons, a simple syrup and some fresh lavender from the garden. I own a considerable amount of china and can set a lovely table for almost any occasion, complete with fresh flowers in a glass flower frog.
But, I believe on the domestic goddess tally sheet that cereal of unknown origins lying about on the floor undiscovered for some extended period of time, negates a nice thank you note. If only I had a scone to fortify me. But who can cook while waging war with ants?
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Monday, May 11, 2009
My title of "Domestic Goddess" is in serious jeopardy.