The undomestic goddess

Ed’s note:  I have no idea why, but the formatting on this post is not working.  The paragraphs are not separating for some blinking reason.  I may have to learn HTML.


Is undomestic a word?  It must be.  It doesn’t have a red squiggly line under it as I type the word, so it must be in the dictionary.  I look it up.  According to

  • Adj. 1. undomestic - not domestic or related to homeundomestic –not domestic or related to home; “had established herself in her career at the price of being so undomestic she didn’t even know how to light the oven”

I have to laugh at the example given.  If only that were me – establishing myself in a career at the price of not being able to light the oven (who lights the oven these days anyway!).  Alas, my undomestication (not a word, apparently), is genetic.  I don’t suppose I can really claim it is genetic because my mother was a domestic goddess, but my grandmother on my father’s side was not.  Ill health, we were told, was the reason for this, so I’m claiming genetics through her.
After my furore with JC this morning, I make my way to visit Jay.  We have decided to return to our original arrangement of seeing each other on a Tuesday and Friday, giving me five whole days to get my “house in order”.  When I arrive at her flat (for want of a better word), I see that it is as messy as mine.  I want to offer to help clean it, but after my spat with JC, I need to be out, free from drudgery, in the mall.
We go for coffee and I have a muffin, which fills me with guilt as I think of the preseason tasks I am meant to be fulfilling on the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation.  I think to myself, just who am I kidding?  There is no body transformation going on here.  See the insanity?
We wonder around the mall.  I happily let Jay chat away about how much older she feels, about the new kitten she has acquired (some 8 weeks before the due date of her baby) and how excited she is about the imminent arrival of her best friend from the UK.   I just wonder around, listening, murmuring in the right spots, quietly absorbed in my own thoughts.  I find myself thinking how a shopping mall is like one big ant’s nest – we all congregate in this one massive place, to purchase stuff, yes, but also just to be near each other.  I wonder who would considered to be the queen ant – Westfield, perhaps?
I must inform you that I am actually quite mad.  My thought processes sometimes take me in strange and weird directions.  Dee finds them amusing, marvelling at how I manage to string absurdly random things together.  I laugh at my own expense, quietly curious as to how he can’t see what I see.  This is one of those times.  As the mall fills up, I watch people as they walk with such purpose from one shop to another, darting here and there and I cannot help myself thinking of what must go on beneath that mound of dirt that we call an ant hill.  Do ants have shops, do they trade?  Probably not.
I digress.  At around 12, Jay announces she is tired and her feet are sore.  Hardly a wonder considering the size of her very round belly.  Hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago we were panicking about the early arrival of baby C, and here we are now, wondering around the massive K-mart as if nothing had happened.  On the way back to her flat, she chats about how she has so much to do before her friends arrive.  So much housework.
I am reminded of my own housework.  Inside my head, I groan.  It is a horrible task and I am so awfully bad at it.  There is a continuous list the length of my arm of things that need to be done – washing, ironing, sweeping, washing the floors (oh, why oh why, did we buy a house with so many tiles), not to mention the cupboards that need spring cleaning, the dusting, the windows that need washing.  Is it just me, or is it just crap?  It is a relentless, never ending job.  No sooner have you got the wretched place the way you like it, when someone breezes in and puts a coffee mug on the table, or you walk into the bathroom to find a pile of clothes dumped on the floor.  I’m a stay at home mum – I even have our my acronym apparently; SAHM – I’m meant to relish this, am I not?
Over the years, I have turned away from my hoarding ways.  I have minimalised and minimalised (not a word, by the way) in an attempt to clear the clutter and thus make my domestic job easier.  The problem is the more you minimalise, the more storage space you need, because you need somewhere to put stuff so it isn’t on show, thus maintaining the minimal look.  Then, that storage space needs tidying, cleaning, sorting.  I know, it is a very stressful situation!!
I once thought I would write a book on decluttering your house, and with it your life, since I had put in so much practice, but apparently it has been done before, numerous times, and they now even make TV programs out of the affliction.  At least I know I am not alone, I guess.
My mom was a domestic goddess.  She cleaned, cooked, sewed, you name it.  She was one of those who never left a room without taking something with her to put away, never ever left the dishes until the next morning, you know the type.  She ran the only bed and breakfast in her area that offered one night bookings, meaning that some weeks she could be washing and ironing sheets and duvet covers for seven changeovers a week.  Do you have any idea of the domesticity that requires?  All that washing, ironing, making beds and cleaning?  Plus, she didn’t just have a bed and breakfast, she had a four star rated B&B, and then that was awarded a diamond rating.  This woman lived domesticity.
That’s why I say it’s genetic.  It missed a generation.  I am the undomestic goddess of our clan.  It is a sad affliction, but one with which I am coming to terms.  I even offer counselling on the subject.  If you need to, you can join my club.  We can lament the domestic goddesses of the world together.  We’ll say things like, “Damn you Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart and others!”.  I think I’m going to change the title of my book.  I’m going to call it The life and times of the undomestic goddess.  I wonder if Amazon would sell it?

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