"threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping"

This morning a little after 8 my husband, daughter, and son rode off in my girlfriend’s minivan. Sophie to school, Nels and Ralph across the state to see about a wallaby.* As soon as I’d had my half cup of coffee I did the following:

Swept / vacuumed all floors
Watered and weeded the garden
Hung laundry
Re-washed stank laundry and threw out offending stank-gear that stanked the laundry up
Washed dishes, cleaned table, cleaned cupboards
Cleaned rat cage and tidied kids’ room
Took a bath and packed my bike for a roadtrip**

All of this done by 10:30 so I could go about the rest of the day.

My friend Shannon calls the work we domesticiles do “the Cinderella Chores”. At about day five in a row of backbreaking housework one can choose to die inside or decide, somehow, this work is worth it. It must be nice for the people who don’t do this sort of work, or don’t do it very often because their spouse does it, or they don’t have children to care for and who have conveniently forgotten they were once infants who had others do this work for them. You could trick yourself into thinking you were smarter or more accomplished or hardworking than, say, people like me and Shannon.

But of course then you’d come over and have dinner with us and think, wow, this is a nice family and Kelly’s a good cook and somehow family life is just easy and falls together. And you’d be a totally wrong asshole to think so.

For this morning: biking with my mom in the sun and against the wind, protecting oneself with sunscreen.

* Mercedes sedan we are interested in purchasing.

** In light of the weather’s caprice I packed gear to change into should it rain; of course today was a record high and so hot I wished I could have spent the day in my back yard, naked and cowering under an awning.

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