July 16, 2012
50 Ways to Use Marshmallows
In a burst of caffeine this morning, I decided to devote the next year to being a -- oh, Lord, can I manage to spit the word out of my mouth? -- home maker.
That's one step short of housewife, for which I'm not qualified, what with not being a wife and all. I do have a house, though, and a compadre who thinks eating three meals a day is reasonable and two dogs that shed unmercifully.
I've juggled the work/home bombs for decades, setting off numerous explosions along the way when I dropped one or the other.
Today, finally, I had enough. "Screw it," I thought. "I give up. Somebody hand me a freaking apron, quick."
I'm changing my ways, dedicating myself to the house first and the things that make life worth living -- art, fresh air, stepping stones, photography -- a gloomy second. I'm going to recreate that magical mythical time -- roughly the 1950s -- during which white women with affluent husbands wore pearls and heels to vacuum, smiling vacuously all the while.
I'm not really prepared for vacuous, what with having a master's degree from Duke and another master's degree from Goucher, and also a brain; but I'm giving it a shot. Maybe I've been wrong my whole life. Maybe this domestic crap is worth doing. No time like the present to find out.
We live in a comfortable three-bedroom house in a slightly suspect neighborhood that's had a rash of car and garage break-ins recently. It's an ideal location for turning the clock back to the 1950s, for taking the opportunity, now that my adult children have children who are nearly adults, to figure out the homemaking swamp, complete with cleaning, cooking, finances, organizing, Saran wrap,and fake smiles.
I'm going to upend my world and aim for what society has wanted from its women all along: tidy house, tidy pets, tidy life, tidy relationships, and a lovely meal at the dining room table every evening, often by candlelight, not to mention throwing money at every new fashion that comes down the pike in order to keep the economy strong.
I've been preparing for this task for years without even knowing it. For instance, I have my very own copy of a pamphlet called "50 Ways to Use Marshmallows." With that pamphlet in my hand, how can I go wrong? I've already had one breakthrough, which I hint at with the photo at the top of this post. Stay tuned to find out about my first extraordinary find.