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Posts Tagged ‘domestic godlessness’

When I was in the Honours year of my English degree, I paid a visit to my supervisor in a flood of tears.

“For every one thing I read, I realise there’s another fifty things I haven’t read and need to read,” I sobbed. “It’s overwhelming. All that… knowledge… that I don’t know…

My supervisor was very sympathetic.

“That’s a sign of a good student,” she said. “It’s the mediocre ones who think they know everything.

She was right. I was a very good student – if by “good student” you mean one who bailed out of academia at the first opportunity and to this day remains unsure of the meaning of the word ‘discourse’ and describes Post-Modernism” as “something that sort of happened some time after Modernism”.

So yes, I pretty much took the “I’ll never know it all, so why even bother?” approach. It has served me well throughout my life and has made me the person I am today –  as opposed to some other, much more successful person.

In any case, anyone who has ever visited “The House That Ate Paris” will know this is definitely my approach to housekeeping. For one thing, I find cleaning this house much like peeling an onion, one brown layer at a time: by the time I get to the white bit, I’m weeping openly, only to then have it turn brown almost immediately (which – to stretch the metaphor somewhat – onion certainly does when you fry it. Not that I fry my house, mind. That be arson.).

My father, in stark contrast, has always had an amazing thirst for knowledge and is completely undaunted by mess – as I rediscovered during his recent interstate visit to lend a helping hand in my husband’s [absence].

The first three days, he dutifully did all the dishes and hung out (and then brought back in) all the laundry. By the last day of his visit, he was so on top of the situation, he was virtually washing the dishes before I used them.

That’s when the moment I had been dreading happened.

“Where’s your broom?” he asked, casually. “I thought I might do some sweeping.”

Oh, shit. I thought. Anyone who’s ever spent any time perusing the Gallery of Domestic Godlessness, would know that an activity such as sweeping was likely to uncover something like this:

So next thing I knew, I was desperately trying to clean up things before he started cleaning them – yes, I caught a glimpse of what it must be like to have a cleaner.

Two hours later, I found myself down on my hands and knees in the kitchen, scrubbing the bottom of the aging kitchen cupboards with methylated spirits. This was not a place I had ever thought I’d find myself, and what’s more, now that I found myself there, I wasn’t too sure that I liked myself any more.

My father walked in having just vacuumed under the loungeroom rug.

“Let’s make a pact,” I pleaded. “If you stop, I’ll stop… Please stop.

My father agreed and I immediately downed tools and took to my bed with a copy of Who Weekly to recover. My father, meanwhile, relaxed and unwound by sharpening every single pencil that the children owned. (“Mummy, why is this pencil so pointy?” The Pixie asked me later, which reminded me of the time she’d pointed at the iron and said, somewhat accusingly, “What’s that?”)

And later that afternoon, the kids and I sadly took my father to the airport and drove back through the falling darkness to our sparkling clean house. It felt good to be home.

Twenty-four hours later, of course, it was almost like his visit had never happened…

__________________________________

Thanks for all your help, Dad.

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I love my husband. I truly do. All this time I thought he didn’t do much about the house but now that he’s gone away on his [blah blah sex tour… blah blah blah], I’ve realised he does do quite a lot.

For one thing, he generates a lot of laundry and dishes.

Also, he can DE-declutter a freshly-decluttered surface in seconds flat simply by emptying his pockets. It’s like magic but really really annoying.

He also is very good at staying up just a little later than me and waiting until I’ve just gone to sleep before coming to bed, taking care to knock a teetering pile of CD cases onto the floor and bang his knee on the bed-end to ensure I’ve been completely woken up.

But seriously, I have missed him and his contribution to the household – and not just the piles of glittering gold coins he leaves in his wake that save me from ever having to use an ATM and keep me in coffee and cake.

The fact is I’ve been doing *everything* in his absence. Every dish, every item of clothing, every tooth in each child’s head is only clean thanks to my hard efforts and mine alone. And I’ve helped my mood considerably by muttering “Do I have to do EVERYTHING around here??” as I’ve done it. God knows how single parents cope. They must be saints or on valium. Or both.

Anyway, in the spirit of doing EVERYTHING, I’ve done some other things.

Firstly, I’ve posted a poëm that I wrote especially for my other blog site Poëgatory while completely drunk (see my post “Poëgatory” for an account of how-the-hell this site came into being and “O Geisha Moon” for the poëm itself). Yes, it’s come to that. I mean, what is wrong with you people? Don’t you want to relive the agony and humiliation of adolescence by sending in your highschool poetry for me to publish on the internet? Honestly.

Secondly, I’ve had to post photos of my own domestic squalor in a Special Autumn Edition of the Gallery of Godlessness because the only person who has responded to my repeated calls for contributions (by “repeated” here I mean “two”) was the mysterious NotYourMother. And even then she sent me a photo of a mess that she herself had no part in creating. Sheesh.

Finally, I drew my own goddamn Box Ted cartoon and published it on my so-called husband’s so-called blog. I mean, I’ve been railing at him for months about updating the thing because abandoned blogs make me feel really sad and lonely (in the same way DVD menus make my husband feel sad and lonely). I’m sure I’ve crossed some boundaries there by publishing my own content on another person’s blog, but really: Whoopy Fucking Shit.

So there you go. I’ve done it all. ALL OF IT. Oh, except leave comments on this post. Surely I don’t need to do that too… or do I?

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Two bloggers. Two different hemispheres. One vision (largely impaired by too much clutter, dirt and booze). Exposed for all the world to see as Housekeepers Of Ill-Repute, Proprietresses of Dubious Maternal Instinct and Woefully Neglectful Wives.

Here they are, flashing their dirty bits yet again in the third (and final) of three simultaneous postings. Click here to read the sister post.

_________________________________________

On a recent visit to my aunt and uncle’s home, I slept like a Queen in a bed that was a little something like this:

palatialbedroom

Your boudoir awaits, m'lady.

Well, it wasn’t quite like that but let’s just say it may as well have been, considering my husband slept on the floor like this:

dogbed

Luxury!

Yes. Yes, it’s true. I made my husband sleep in with the kids. On the floor. Like a dog.

And for the record, he said he slept okay, except for the three times Tiddles McGee woke up him and when Mr Justice dropped a bionicle on his head some time around the dawn. (An aside: have you ever stepped on a piece of Bionicle weaponry? And how many stitches did you require? Is it no surprise that Lego is behind all this Bionicles madness? Watch out, Lego. That class action of mine is a steam-train a’coming… see “Unwrapped” for more details).

Now, let’s consider the clothes storage arrangements in our household:

feast

For the Imelda Marcos of Jackets

VS.

famine

Knock yourself out, hubby!

And hang on on dog garn moment, Mr Important City Gent: what’s going on with those socks? 

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other...

Could it have something to do with this impressive assortment of odd-socks that I had AFTER I’d done the bi-annual Big Sort?  

The Joy of Odd Socks

The Joy of Odd Socks

And as for this common household appliance that I literally have not used in over three years:

Sorry. Have we met?

Sorry. Have we met?

Are you getting the picture here? In case I have to spell it out for you: my husband is a second class citizen in his own home. And that home is a sock-eating slum, run by a slovenly witch who merrily exposes her décolletage in country pubs but wears neck-to-knee nightgowns to bed at night. Who not only blogs instead of reuniting his odd socks or ironing his shirts, but blogs about about his Ultimate Sacrifice (that pissy little day-surgery procedure also known as the vasectomy) and every single time he enters his own Private Hangover Hell, and then posts photos of her Gross Domestic Neglect for all the world to see. And all with the full knowledge that People From His Work will read it (even if he, himself, will not). 

Yes, my husband has himself a wife who got Decidedly Grumpy with him when he a) slipped a disc in his lower spine instead of resettling the baby; and b) tried to get out of reading books to his firstborn by lying on the ground with a dislocated arm. A wife who will only kick the cat when he’s not around to Take The Brunt of it All. Who will not let him slurp his tea within a 100m radius of the house. A wife who, time and time again, puts him at the very bottom of her list of priorities because he is the least likely to throw a tantrum or shit his pants. Who gets set off by the smallest thing and raves and rants because That’s How She Really Feels and then the next day is sheepishly “raising the Japanese Flag” and reaching for the tampons. Who stands between him and his Other Woman, the motorbike, by rolling her eyes and stamping her pudgy little foot. Who tells him she loves him but yawns mid-sentence. Who. Can. Not. Make. Yorkshire. Puddings. Like. His. Nana. Used. To. Make. 

And yes, I am that slovenly witch, that bitch of a wife, that woman he has vowed to have and to hold (no easy task in itself considering my rapidly increasing girth) for the term of his natural life. And yet, somehow he still loves me. Or so he claims. And actually, now that I think about it, it’s a good thing he will never read this blog because I’ve just put together a far more convincing Dossier of Evidence than George Double-Ya and Mr Blair ever could. So if you ever happen to meet him on the street, don’t mention this post, okay? Just pat him on the back and tell him he’s one hellavu lucky son of a gun. Because he is, right?

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