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.


Unknown said...

I would love to know 50 ways to use marshmallows. Good luck on your journey into the 1950's. I don't know about doing housework in heels. I would rather do it bare foot. :D


Mary Cartledgehayes said...

Housework with aching toes. Wow, sounds like big fun, doesn't it? I read through the marshmallow pamphlet again six months or so ago and was surprised at how many of those ideas were in the common parlance. I do seem to recall marshmallows floating in tomato soup. Does that seem possible??

Beckey said...

Back in April I left my work of 13 years behind and returned to the lifestyle of being a housewife. It's not a bad gig if you can get it. But I absolutely refuse to vacuum in heels and an apron. Well... maybe... if he asked me reeeeally nicely. ; )

Mary Cartledgehayes said...

Beckey, that's really funny. I'm trying to figure out what exactly those 50s housewives did when they weren't vacuuming. And I think it's time for me to start making Christmas presents if I'm going to do this right. I mentioned aprons to my best friend, and she said, "Oh, I would love an apron." So there we have it!

Ann said...

Really? Awesome!!! I run screaming from dishes, laundry, and shopping.

I will be back to find out how to turn it all around! I think I have an apron somewhere in the back of the broom closet...

Mary Cartledgehayes said...

Yeeeeeaaaah. I think I have an apron . . . nowhere. And I feel exactly the way you do about dishes, laundry, etc. I'm curious about how all of this will unfold myself. I'm in dress rehearsal for committing to doing it for a whole entire year. Can you believe that?? I should take bets on how long I'll last.