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Chores and a Brief Essay on Housework
Last night John and I defrosted the big freezer and
inventoried the contents. We are going to try using up as
much of the meat remaining in it before the half-beef is
delievered. It is hanging until at least Friday and then it
will need to be cut and wrapped. I took all the tomatoes
and skinned and seeded them and I'm boiling them down into
sauce this morning.
I did laundry, made the bed, mopped the kitchen and dining
room and watered all the vegetables and flowers.
Housework is like the Borg. "Resistance is futile". I try
to resist anyway.
I have a cousin who loves doing housework. Her idea of fun
is cleaning the bathroom. One of us must be adopted.
Every summer I try to reform. This is the summer, I tell
myself, I'll clean out the closets, keep track of what I
have in the freezer, and organize my life. It never
happens. Life gets in the way.
I still forget appointments because the new stuff on my
bulletin board covers up the appointment reminders. When the
stick pins can't go through the thick layers of paper
anymore I take everything down. That's when I
find the four month old reminder to bring the cats in for
their shots, the scrap of paper with the telephone number
I'd searched for everywhere last week, and a couple of long
expired cents off coupons for breakfast cereal. I also find
the treasures. An old snapshot of the four boys when they
were little. A cartoon showing a woman in her living room
looking out the picture window at a crowd of angry people
carrying signs saying to her husband, *Did I mention the
comment I made at last night's school board meeting?*.
There's a book written by a couple of women who claim that
anyone can organize their lives if they follow their system.
The system is to write down every chore, no matter how
small, on individual index cards and file them under daily,
weekly, monthly, and yearly categories. I reserved this book
at the library but by the time I went to pick it up
the reserve had expired. It figures. I suspect this
wouldn't work for me anyway. I'd spend hours painstakingly
writing down every little thing I needed to do on hundreds
of index cards and within days they would be scattered all
over my desk mixed in with the piles of books, clippings,
lists, recipes, and pieces of various projects.
I'll have to admit that there are a few household chores I
enjoy. I like vacuuming. Vacuuming is one of those
mindless chores which cuts me off from the world for at
least twenty minutes. I missed the telephone call from the
Still, I can claim that I'm a little better organized than I
was, say, fifteen years ago. There was the time I fed the
cat the last can of tuna because I'd forgotten to buy cat
food and the pitiful meowing of that poor hungry animal. who
hadn't eaten anything at all in six hours, was too much for
me. There was the time I became *super efficient* and
put a meat loaf, a half dozen baking potatoes, and a cherry
pie in the oven all at the same time and it caught on fire.
Hey! I'm improving! There's hope for me yet!
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