I was reading through my blog archives recently (how sad can a person get?) when I suddenly realised something. Apart from my obvious penchant for bad language (sorry about that) and habit of making an arse of myself, my posts do appear to reveal something else which made me wonder if I’m giving the right impression here.
First of all, I don’t actually spend all my time shopping, going out for meals and getting disgracefully drunk at parties and ROCK concerts. Oh no. It just looks that way. I also go to work (full time), do the laundry, shop for food and clean the house. I have been known to do a bit of gardening, although I absolutely draw the line at cleaning the car. That’s men’s work. And of course the ironing – who could forget that? It lies tutting and brooding in an ever increasingly crammed basket (in fact, I’ve got two baskets, which frankly is a big, big mistake) until we run out of clothes or husband is off on a business trip and begs for “work shirts”. I usually tackle it all on a Sunday afternoon (unless we’re out for lunch, of course) dashing away with the smoothing iron whilst watching an entire Eastenders’ Omnibus, a crappy old movie and, if I’ve really let it pile up, the Antiques Road Show too. And then we go out for dinner.
I wasn’t always like this, honestly. When the children were at home everyone regularly took the proverbial pee out of me for my diligence in all things housewifely. I would never go out until everything was clean and tidy, washing on the line, casserole in the oven and cake in the tin. I used to clean my skirting boards weekly. Frankly, it makes me tired now to think about it. And to be honest, a little bit bored. I definitely needed to get out more.
I suppose it’s inevitable that after several decades of caring and nurturing, my selfish gene has finally surfaced. The trouble is, it’s brought with it another one called guilt, so now instead of being driven by the need to scrub, cook endless meals and tidy up after everyone, I really can’t be bothered but I still worry about it. Husband constantly reminds me that the house still looks OK, we don’t ever starve and occasionally we get to wear crease-free clothes, so what more can anyone ask? Tell me, how can I stick to the straight and narrow with a partner in crime like that? It’s impossible, thankfully.
But to be honest, I actually like this new and liberated attitude to life which I have so recently discovered. I don’t quite know where it came from but I suspect the seeds were sewn when I stayed in my son’s student house for a week earlier this year. It was a tip. My fingers itched to clean it, and I did, just a bit. But then this sort-of attitude change hit me. Why clean the kitchen floor when you could be writing a blog or reading a book? Or sitting in the sun talking to your mates? Or watching Masterchef on TV? Now, I’m not saying that I can happily live in squalor but it did suddenly occur to me that there’s more to life than worrying about housework.
Like shopping, going out for meals, getting disgracefully drunk at parties and ROCK concerts.
OK, you got me there.