Posted by: Cat of Sunshine and Siestas | December 15, 2008

To all those domestically challenged

I have made it abundantly clear to myself and to everyone that I am unable to cook, sew and likely raise a kid who isn’t completely screwed up. I have no womanly instincts. I love getting dirty, sleeping in late and watching the dishes pile up in the sink. Kike even pokes fun at it, telling me that he’d make a better housewife than me (to which I don’t argue or even wrinkle my nose because I know it’s true).

To my credit, I bought a Spanish cookbook and have been watching him cook. I’ve experimented a bit more at home, too, remembering chicken breast needs to be set out overnight to defrost. has been wonderfully helpful with easy recipes and I’ve successfully made a macaroni casserole.

But to what degree to I tell him to shove it? Or do I stop buying chilled gazpacho from the supermarket and suck it up by going to the fruteria and buying the ingredients myself?

I read an opinion today in the Daily Iowan by a reporter who started about the same time as me there (she’s the editor-in-chief and I’m an English language assistant. She clearly wins!). This said, she expresses her stick-in-the-mud attitude about marriage and domesticity and says it much more eloquently than I ever could. Text below:

SWF Christmas cards? Thank God and happy holidays

Emileigh Barnes – The Daily Iowan

function goPage(newindex) { currentLocation = getThisPage(); cleanedLocation = ”; // If this is an SHTML request. if (currentLocation.indexOf(“.shtml”) > -1) { // Detect if this is a request that already has a page specification. if (currentLocation.indexOf(“-page”) > -1) { cleanedLocation = currentLocation.substring(0, currentLocation.indexOf(“-page”)) + ‘.shtml’; } else { cleanedLocation = currentLocation; } // Only add the “-pageX” suffix when the page index is higher than 1. if (newindex != 1) { cleanedLocation = cleanedLocation.substring(0, cleanedLocation.indexOf(“.shtml”)) + ‘-page’ + newindex + ‘.shtml’; } } else { // Only add the “-pageX” suffix when the page index is higher than 1. if (newindex != 1) { cleanedLocation = currentLocation + ‘&page=’ + newindex; } else { cleanedLocation = currentLocation; } } document.location = cleanedLocation; } function getThisPage() { currentURL = ” + window.document.location; thispageresult = ”; if (currentURL.indexOf(“?page=”) > -1) { currentURL = currentURL.substring(0, currentURL.indexOf(‘?page=’)); thispageresult = currentURL; } else if (currentURL.indexOf(“&page=”) > -1) { currentURL = currentURL.substring(0, currentURL.indexOf(‘&page=’)); thispageresult = currentURL; } else { thispageresult = currentURL; } // Make sure the URL generated by this fuctnion is compatible with mirror image. thispageresult = thispageresult.substring(7, thispageresult.length); thispageresult = thispageresult.substring(thispageresult.indexOf(‘/’)+1, thispageresult.length); thispageresult = basehref + thispageresult; if (thispageresult.indexOf(‘sourcedomain’) > -1) { thispageresult = thispageresult.substring(0, thispageresult.indexOf(‘?’)); } return thispageresult; } I have a confession: I don’t have any reason to be grumpy this week. I have no finals. Zero.

All I have to do is rewrite a paper and drag myself out of bed in time for my afternoon meetings and nights at the DI. I’ve been celebrating by doing just that, barely getting out of bed.

So, in the 20 hours I spend in bed this weekend – oh yes, 20 wonderful hours – I had the pleasure of watching most of “House” season three, Wimbledon, and parts of Mona Lisa Smile. I love Mona Lisa Smile (picture this: me making a big scene when finding it in a $5 DVD bin), because I – like a large portion of 22-year-olds – like to fancy myself kinda like Julia Roberts, carefree, traveling, not shackled to no man, not now, not ever.

This manless sentiment rings particularly well with me this time of year, when I’m getting Christmas cards from some married friends while a bunch of others are giving each other big ol’ rocks for the holidays. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s wonderful, and I’m so happy for them all.

It just terrifies me.

I’ve worked hard to cultivate my own anti-nubile image, reveling in every indication that I may not be the marriageable type. I accidentally started a little drama once in high school when I indicated that I had no intention to be married, but I wouldn’t really mind having kids at some point. Of course, in high school, I also made a list of features I would demand in a potential husband. These included but were not limited to him: having a distinguished nose, smelling only of clean laundry, and wearing suit jackets on weekends.

But that list was only for fun, 22-year-old Emileigh might protest in 17-year-old Emileigh’s defense. I have no real interest in finding a husband.

Case in point. What qualities would you want in a good, traditional wife? Good cooking? Temperance? Ability to bear many children?

I may have wideset hips ideal for a brood à la Angelina Jolie, but that’s all I’ll give you.

My little sister once had a baby-sitter who asked my mom how to scramble an egg. That’s the sort of playing field I’m on, cooking-wise. I asked my mom yesterday how to sauté a mushroom. Nevermind the fact that my dinners at work usually consist of chips and salsa or (if I’m really feeling motivated) chicken and broccoli that I went through all the trouble of buying at China Star.

Temperance? I work at a newspaper, people. Forget temperance or even patience. Everyone in the newsroom took personality tests last fall, and I was the proud recipient of a “Wild Rose” diagnosis – also known as the “random brutal love dreamer.”

“Prone to bouts of cynicism, sarcasm, and thorns, you excite a certain kind of man. Hoping to gather you up, he flirts and winks and asks you out, ultimately professing his love. Then you make him bleed. Why? Because you’re the rare, independent, self-sufficient kind of woman who does want love, but not from a weakling.”

Thank you very much

The truth is, I really like being responsible only for myself. I like to work 40 hours a week while going to school, doing my laundry only my laundry only when I feel like doing my laundry and spending my weekends lounging around in bed with mircrowaveable personal pizzas hollering, “You go, girl,” at Miz Roberts when she tells it like it is to the boyfriend who expects her to marry him because he’s ready. Same when she hollers “What does that mean?” at the ad about a girdle to set a woman free.

Of course, there is something to be said about getting that particular kind of feminist inspiration from a chick flick. Nevermind that, though. I’m welcome to feel inspired wherever I want, just like I’m welcome to wear a push-up bra and still not care if some bro from Chicago notices I have breasts – which I do, by the way, and they’re quite nice.

So I’m just going to go ahead and eat my chips and salsa and work unreasonable hours at my newspaper and feel fine (ecstatic) about sending my Christmas cards sans man at my side, unless, of course, that man is Gregory House.

Just for the record, I can scramble eggs.



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