I am not Betty Draper

About once a month my brain goes psychotic and begins punching itself in an effort to make me into what one small, strange, part of my unconscious thinks I should be.

Namely, the housewife in all the ads from the 1950s and 1960s. Or as an even better example, one that makes a lot more sense to me: Franka Potente after her lobotomy in American Horror Story: Asylum.

i look around at my house, I see there is dust, and there are toys, and I have an organizational system based on the same schizophrenic filing system I use to organize my Brain-Stuff. There is no rhyme or reason to the way things hang on the walls. I’ve woven Halloween decorations into everything. The bathroom has no color scheme at all. The kitchen table is covered with gloves, puzzle pieces, magazines and a jar of assorted aquarium marbles, with a few crayons thrown in for good measure.

So here’s the confession:

I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to being a Housewife, Decorator and Housekeeper. I think there must be some sort of system involved, some system where I sort of stand in curlers and chainsmoke until I’ve identified the next step to Domestic Neatness and Shiny Household Bliss.

And here’s the second confession:

Deep in my heart of hearts, I don’t care. There are always clean clothes, and clean dishes, and the play and eating surfaces are sanitary, it’s safe to put your face on the floor, the bedclothes are always clean even if the beds go unmade. I make supper most nights, i pack lunches for my husband and kid. The largest part of me realizes that it’s awesome that I’ve got this stuff covered.

SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BRAIN?? How do I shut off the dumb part that’s kicking me for not having everything all shiny and pretty for…whom?? Would anyone I care about judge me for the Lego house on the floor or the  unmade beds or the lack of…doilies? No. I’m going to write instead of dust on a free afternoon. I’m going to play dominoes with my kid instead of organizing the magazines and mail. I’m going to watch Sherlock instead of painting the bathroom. And if my son asks me to hang a picture up on a certain place on the wall, or to leave his Christmas tree up all year round, I will.

Help me make peace with this! It’s January, winter doldrums anyway, and I’m judging myself pretty harshly for not keeping our household in a more conventional manner. To help me get past this, I’m exposing myself. I’m exposing what things look like, how “unclean” I am. Because seriously, I need to get past this.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. db cox
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 12:29:12

    “Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, good mother, good looking, good tempered, well groomed and unaggressive”
    —Leslie McIntyre


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