In one of those rare moments, where a previous life flashes before your eyes, I recently realized why my current life looks the way it does.
Here’s the overview of the clip:
Mid 1950’s America – I, (born male this go-around) wearily enter my home after a 16 hour work-day, full of stress at making money for the good life. My loving wife meets me at the door, looking nice in her dress, heels and pearls. Hands me my whiskey and water. I flop down in my easy chair and open the newspaper. I don’t even stop reading when she quietly removes my shoes, puts on my slippers and hands me my pipe, all ready to be lit. I relax awhile, then amble into the dining room for supper. I fill my plate and eat heartily. I frown slightly which means the kids, all washed and scrubbed, with shining faces, quit making so much racket at the dinner table. I finish my dessert to a coffee and brandy, leave the table and go to my den. I have a few more drinks, unwinding enough to sleep. I grunt “No. G’Night” when my wife asks me if I need anything else. I’m successful and provide for my family. I return to an oasis where I am king and my every wish is fulfilled, every night. I go fishing and golfing with my buddies every weekend.
I never say Thank You.
I’m not sure how my last life ended – I suspect I either had a massive heart-attack, died from cirrhosis of the liver or perhaps my wife, after years of indentured slavery, killed me in my sleep one night with her marble rolling pin…
But not to worry. I’m paying for my sins now…
I’m a reincarnated Male Chauvenist Pig in a female’s body…
I will confess that being Betty Homemaker was never in my life’s plan. And I did pretty good at working 12 – 16 hour days for years, in order to avoid having to do housework. My family and I ate take-out or those box/bagged dinners that you can just pour in a dish and heat.
The laundry room was never empty unless it’s contents were scattered about various bed and bathroom floors, with the exception of holidays, at which time we shoved everything into closets and closed the doors, so company would not know the true extent of my failures.
“From scratch” cooking meant I poured broth from a can, added frozen chicken breasts and poured in a package of dried egg noodles. I did make dinner rolls (if I was on vacation or between jobs….)
I dreamed of a maid, a cook, a laundress….in vain.
In my mid-30’s, I could no longer ignore my health problems. Acupuncture helped. But then I stumbled across the Traditional Diet. And I went gangbusters. Made my own lard, deep bone broths and sprouted my grains before grinding into flour. Organic/Local everything and raw milk to boot. 22 quart size batches of soups, so I could sometimes just warm up a ‘frozen dinner’ for supper.
Liked to wore me out. But I did see improvements in both health and well-being. I decided the end results were worth the work.
Then life got busy again. Illnesses and deaths, accidents and work. For three years I tried to stick to the foods I knew were good for us but so often said, “I don’t feel like cooking. Let’s get a pizza”.
And while I hadn’t backslid to my previous totality of bad habits, I wasn’t really doing that great, either.
So once again, I determined to feed my family well and get the house in order.
Hubby likes protein bars. After two weeks of viewing a multitude of homemade protein bar recipes, reading up on nutritional analysis of various ingredients, I’m ready to try making them. When I inform him of this, he says, “No need. I’ll just buy them.”
Not deterred, I go ahead and make them anyways. And I think they taste good.
He says, “They’re fine.”
In an instant, I realize I must be reaping the benefits of past sins. I mean, c’mon, I put soooo much effort into making good tasting and good for us snack bars.
“Fine” is all he can say?
I must be having my mid-life – – with tears welling up in my eyes, I stammer out how hard I try to do things that I’m not naturally good at – cleaning, cooking, laundry….Things I don’t even particularly enjoy.
“Can you please just give me some credit for trying to do well at things I hate?”
I have a good Hubby. He works hard for our family and he’s pretty considerate once the water works start. Seeing as how I hate “bawlin’ women” he knows if the tears start, it’s BIG! (See how many of my previous life prejudices I’ve carried over into this one?)
I do take satisfaction in a clean, neat home and food that feeds both body and soul. I like learning new crafts, growing plants and trying to make home made beer.
It’s just not my natural talents and gifts. So I figure I have to work harder to even come close to those blessed beings that are good wives and mommies.
Perhaps next life I’ll get to be a princess…..
They don’t have to cook or clean, right?