I humbly call bullsh*t. Granted I am a new housewife, but I still feel after this much time (about 5 weeks, excluding my bust out time in TO), I can still call you out. Yes, you, and your haughty laughter. Your divorce jokes over the ineptitude of folding fitted sheets. Well, mine may not come from the Martha Stewart Collection, but I still looked to you for help. For guidance. Instead, I came away feeling pitiful. Like a fitted sheet folding failure, and thus call bullsh*t on you, and your expert opinion.
Because here’s the thing: I may not have wanted to be a stay-at-home wife at this point in my life, but if this is my path for three years, I’m damn well gonna be the best housewife out there in Volusia County. I can already feel things inside me starting to shift. Instead of reading the classics – Tolstoy, the Brontës – I now fall asleep at night reading cook books (Michael Smith, I call bullsh*t on you, too, if you must know). I wake up in the middle of the night with burning questions like how often should I launder the pillow protectors? And I’m not sure why, but I lined the tops of my cupboards with, well, liner. I dunno. I saw it at Wal-Mart and thought my one piece of good crystal deserved to sit atop protective and cushiony liner, that’s easy to clean and easy to grip. I, with my measuring tape, climbed to the tops of my cupboards one day to dutifully measure and dutifully cut.
My hands constantly smell like dish detergent. I wipe down my countertops more times in a day than I check Facebook. Hard water stains are the bane of my kitchen. I love how my laundry room smells. And for Christmas, instead of asking for a new Kate Spade purse, I’ve already got a pepper grinder on the list.
I’m finding the romance in housewife life. I buy rainbow chard and enchanted rose potatoes at the grocery store because they sound pretty. Speaking of, my grocery lists are scrawled on Disney themed notepads. My vacuum is my daily dance partner, because I still need some obsessive tendency in my life.
I’m changing. I fold all my towels the same way so they stack prettily. (Never thought I’d give a flying f*ck about that in my life, but here we are.) So it shouldn’t be strange that I’d like my linen closet to look as uniform. No blobs allowed. But as I watched your fitted sheet how-to video on repeat while practicing with my own, you made me doubt myself. At first I was giggling, like your idiot guest (without the fandom drool), and I, too, was flipping corners inside-out and right side-in, trying to gather them to form an edge. But then I started to get pissed off. You made me feel like anyone who can’t fold a fitted sheet isn’t worthy of calling themselves a housewife. Or a wife. I felt defeated, and so in my defeat, I took a nap on the floor inside the fitted sheet like a cocoon.
Today, as I charge through a week’s worth of chores and cleaning in one day (because I can’t stand to do them every day), I put my hands in fists on my hips and stared down at my 500-thread count Percale nemesis. Forget you, Martha. You can take your haughtiness elsewhere. Today, I conquered the fitted sheet on my own. Today, I created my own method of folding, and it was fine enough for me. My sets of bedsheets now stack like Jenga. So I call bullsh*t on you. You will not enter my living room again. I can do this, without you. And that’s a good thing.
I’m learning that being a housewife is more than just one hat. It’s many hats, like:
- human alarm clock, when your husband is the only one who needs to be somewhere each morning but yet fails to wake up after his three alarms go off. I wake up, after the first one. Every time. I lie there waiting, through the second and third, counting the minutes to see how long he’ll go. And if I didn’t physically
kick himwake him, he’d never get anywhere on time.
- dietitian & nutritionist, for when your husband announces he’d like to net 2,000 calories a day now that he’s back to working out, so I scramble to figure out what that means, because I am also the:
- personal shopper, for all things food, home, and wardrobe related
- personal chef, and of course,
- personal laundry service
Someone recently asked me how much cleaning can be done in one apartment? Let’s put it this way – I asked my husband the other day when was the last time he dusted. He gazed, pensively, up at the ceiling and guessed it had probably been since he briefly joined the Reserves down in Pleasantville. Folks, this predates our courtship, so before 2011. Needless to say, our apartment hadn’t been dusted. Ever.
I didn’t bother, then, to ask when the last time the floors had been washed. I know better now than to ask. I just clean without question.
There are still things that intimidate me about housewife life. Braising, for one. Checking to see if the white mouse figure is a life-like poisonous rodent repellent or an actual dead rodent behind my bottom oven drawer. (Only saw it once, too afraid to look again.) Figuring out the difference between radishes and radicchio. Overcoming my irrational fear of rappini (what an unfortunate name). Understanding why every cookbook is obsessed with shallots and learning why an onion won’t do the trick. (Always kinda thought they were the same thing.)
I try not to get frustrated, like when after meal planning over the course of four Grey’s Anatomy reruns (thanks, Niamh), I get to the store and there’s no cod. Just flounder. (Nope. This Ariel doesn’t fry her flounder.) So I have change to the plan. Or when I find a great marinade recipe for the beef I saved a bundle on, but then I read down to the bottom and it calls for red wine vinegar. Seriously?! How many kinds of vinegar exist? I already have distilled white for cleaning, apple cider for attempted sunburn remedy, and rice vinegar for my now-weekly cauliflower rice. Frig sakes. There is no room for all of the condiments I need in my fridge door. No one tells you these things before becoming a housewife!
So Martha, I do not need your disapproving tone. I find you to be nothing but a Yankee yuppity bully. I am doing the best I can. There was no major in Housewifery at university. So you can take your perfectly folded fitted sheet and shove it up what I’m sure is your perfectly bleached a**hole.
Housewife-in-Training in Volusia County