Monday, October 17, 2005

The Case for the Good Housekeeper

Last night I ran out of detergent - or did I lose my gallon again? - and I had to run to the store and get something. Unfortunately, the store ran out of my usual (All with color-safe bleach - I usually go for the foofy scents in the colored bottles) so I grabbed the next best thing: whatever's on sale.

Sounds banal, right? That's not even covering the part where I realized that I'd probably never find the brand I REALLY wanted to wash my clothes with: Method Triple Concentrated Detergent. I mean, look at it! The bottle's not clunky! The scents are not corny! Why, oh why, won't I ever get my butt down to Costco so I could reactivate my membership and see if they already have Method in stock? Why didn't I buy this on my last trip to the Mainland, where I spent most of my holiday season shopping at Target? Why doesn't Safeway have this in stock? WHYYYYY?

And this, my friends, is the kind of moment that drives the point of the Domesticity blog home.

(WARNING: Lots of personal touchy-feely whingeing in the next few paragraphs. I 'd break and fix myself a drink right now before continuing, if I were you.)

The first time I had an online journal, all I wanted to talk about was my life in college and the boys I was dating and how life was so unfair, blah blah blah. Like I've mentioned so many times earlier, I was young and I didn't know any better. But after a while, even I had to admit that it was getting really boring. Yeah, I wrote about a lot of outrageous things that were personal and profound to me, but so was everyone else, and there was only so much dilly-dallying that I could take.

Meanwhile, the dirty dishes were piling up in the kitchen sink, the laundry was going unwashed, and I was still wearing the same grungy hair and baggy clothes day in and day out. And sometimes without underwear, because I was too busy to take out the laundry.

Yeah, I get it, I told myself back then: I don't live with my parents any more, so I don't have as much time to devote to being cute and fabulous like I used to when I was younger. I still don't have the time, to be honest with you. But that doesn't give anybody an excuse to not take care of themselves - or, worse, to compromise on beauty.

All the shopping in the world can't make up for the laundry that's languishing in the hamper. All the makeup in the world can't cover up a life without priority. And while I did seem a lot more glamorous back when I was younger, my life was still a mess.

So if sex, drugs, politics and rock'n'roll gets boring after a while, then what's the opposite of that? Housework. Proper grooming. Good manners. A world where I could be proud to have a home - and stay there, if I want to.

I remember a tidbit from film class where the come-uppance of the femme fatale in early film noir often came as death or domesticity: if she didn't die by the time the movie ended, the next best thing was to subject her to a life where she would not have to live her life on the edge. If she didn't go to prison, she would have to renounce her evil ways and accept a proposal of marriage, where it's implied that she would have to trade in her allure for the white picket fence and the 2.5 kids. In real life, it doesn't always have to end this way; not all housewives turn out to be so desperate, after all. The older I get, the more I find the Zen in the mundane - and yet I don't feel like I've lost my edge.

Domesticity. It's the opposite of drama.

In the meantime: You know what I'll be using once I'm finished with the detergent I got last night? All Small and Mighty! Wheeeee!

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