Sunday, September 24

sunday scribblings ~ instructions

clothes hanging across downtown Angels Camp, canon digital rebel xt

I never really considered myself the domestic type. I didn't really have anyone to practice on. I was on my own well into my early thirties until I got married at 32. Even when I lived with a boyfriend in my late twenties for a good year, we both worked in the city until late at night, so didn't have time to even think about whipping up a gourmet meal for two. We lived on salads with chicken on top, nearly every night and it suited us fine. We both did our own laundry and cleaned our own rooms.

I didn't have the culinary gene that my sisters were blessed with. They were both married by 20 and mothers shortly thereafter, so they didn't really have a choice but to learn quickly. It was so natural for them, so I expected to have that gene as well...but every time I tried, it ended up in the garbage burnt to a crisp or tasting dreadful.

I hated cleaning and doing laundry, was frightened of the kitchen and was a seriously liberated woman. How on earth would I make a man happy in a marriage? He would have to be equally as liberal and have no expectations of me being what society viewed as the "perfect wife". My head was everywhere else but on duties of the home.

It turns out that I was blessed with a man that had been on his own for so long that he knew how to take care of himself. He loved to cook and he constantly said he had no expectations of me. So, we both went our separate ways during the day at work and sometimes at school and I would come home to him whipping up a bit of dinner for two.

Since I quit the corporate world and am now working on my creative business at home, something has been stirring within. I am nesting. I have found myself taking serious pride in my home and how we express ourselves inside of it. I have had urges to learn how to cook and am actually enjoying the creative process in the kitchen. I have figured out the timing in putting a load of laundry in while getting work done until it is finished. When I try a new recipe, I intently watch my husbands expression as he takes his first bite. What is happening to me?!?!?!? Why am I not out on the town having martinis with my girlfriends? Oh, that's right...I am married and I am totally being a domestic goddess and oh my God...enjoying it.

I'll even find myself singing and dancing in the kitchen and saying out loud..."I am so gourmet!".


The most beautiful thing through this process is that my husband still does not expect it from me. Because, the minute he did, I would fight it tooth and nail! Funny how that works.

I am doing these things because I want to, not because I have to...and not because I am following an "instruction manual" on how to be a wife.

I am so glad that there isn't one and that I can just go with the flow...and just be me. I am so grateful that I have a husband that also goes with the flow and appreciates all that I do with sweet surprise and never once takes it for granted.

So, perhaps I do have that gene that makes you want to fiercely protect the man you love and the children that come after. Perhaps it is something primal and surfaces when all feels aligned in a relationship.

I am still trying, as a liberal woman, to figure how to balance it all without the assistance of an instruction booklet, "How to be a wife, a mother and a liberated woman".

I do know I am having fun learning and my husband has a huge smile on his face watching.

For more Sunday Scribblings on "instructions"...go here.

edited to add: an update on my father's surgery is in a comment by me in my previous post.


Blogger Darlene said...

I feel the pride that a big sister is supposed to feel after reading something, so wonderfully written, as this.

You are, and always will be, an amazing goddess woman.

I'm blessed to share the same genes with you :)

love you a ton!

September 24, 2006 at 12:49:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I relate so muc to what you wrote here. Neither my husband or I are "domestic". In the past we've chosen fun over housework, movies over dishes...we were always eating out in restaurants. Not too long ago though, we just sort of fell into grocery shopping more frequently and cleaning more often. We have great times in the kitchen cooking our meals together...but he does the dishes. :)

September 24, 2006 at 2:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

JOY, joy, joy, down in my heart, down in my heart to stay! That's what this post is all about! JOY! XO ps. going for a walk with my lil hubby in a few, and this is simple JOY too! ***sigh***

September 24, 2006 at 2:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

so when i come over to stay with you guys, you'll be cooking me gourmet meals then, yeah? ;-) can't wait! x

ps. how is papa smurf doing???

September 24, 2006 at 2:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Andrew McAllister said...

I always like to see comments like Keely's (about her husband doing the dishes) and anyone who is a regular reader at my site can attest :o)

And if you ever find one of those instruction manuals (or for a husband or for a parent) now *that* would be a best seller!!

To Love, Honor and Dismay

September 24, 2006 at 4:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Viking Womyn said...

Yah Bay.baay!..Hold on to that man!...lol My hubs is the same way - and it made me want to keep cooking for him and the kids when it wasnt a preasure thing to love up to...

I do think that creative people are drawn to it....and it's just like anything else you work at, ....you get good at the art of cooking, .... cuz you get to know what flavors work best together and what method makes a meat tender, flavorful and juicy....or what totaly would be 'Narly'......Like peas mixed with mashed potaoes...and gr . beef on the bottom of those 2!..YUCK!...LOLOL!

Cooking is a form of love we give to our family....and it really does become....what they all remember...and look forward to......


September 24, 2006 at 4:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Viking Womyn said...

dont have time to correct spelling errors.....Oops!

September 24, 2006 at 4:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristine said...

Sounds like a great partnership!
I too, see myself as an independent woman and not fitting the Beaver Cleaver role and yet I love to cook and can be a domestic goddess as well. I see it as a secret weapon of sorts. Being married and domestic has surprised many of my friends because they could not see at first how a woman could be both independent and yet also take care of her man, whip up wonderful meals, decorate a house, create a great grocery list and all of the stuff that goes with it. I don't see the contradictions; I see a woman in all of her glory! :)

September 24, 2006 at 4:35:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great writing! You are perfect just as you are. It's cool you are nesting, you will be sewing next, yes? I am totally opposite, I am the "leave it to beaver" mom--so if you ever need a recipe let me know! :)


September 24, 2006 at 5:05:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always joke that I'm missing the girl gene that makes for a good cook and fix hair. Luckily I married a man that doesn't expect me to cook and because of no pressure, it does make for an easier time in the kitchen but man, I've had some doozies end up in the trash as well.....a mushroom pie thing comes to mind. (=

September 24, 2006 at 5:17:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey... there is a LOT to be said about the Domestic Goddess!
A happy home.
What an achievement.
And it does involve a bit of housework (blah *grin*) and cooking.
SO NOT my forte... the cooking thing. But I do love doing so for my family (except when I burn it)!!
Yah for you Deni.
kiss kiss hug hug.

September 24, 2006 at 6:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Embrace your domestic goddess! I have always seen cooking as sensual and artful. There is something very therapeutic and satisfying about creating something using fresh ingredients that nourishes both body and soul.

Like you, I would never want to do it because I felt I *had* to either. For me it's more about the pleasure it brings when I can bring joy to others through food and nesting is a natural progression on the journey as well. Singing and dancing in the kitchen is a beautiful thing!

Not to mention, cooking together with your love can be amazing foreplay... ; )

September 24, 2006 at 7:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Oh so lovely darling-this process-this goddess you are.

Loving you

September 24, 2006 at 8:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amber said...

It IS hard to figure out that line between being "liberated" and all the things that happen when you become a wife and mother! My friends and I have talked this to DEATH! LOL!

Good SS. ;)


September 24, 2006 at 10:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Claudia said...

Lovely post! I hope you go on enjoying your domestic bliss.

September 24, 2006 at 11:12:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have an idea for another component of your home business. get writing that manual woman, so I can buy it.

September 25, 2006 at 3:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i liked the direction
you took with this prompt...

my husband and i have been
married for eight years,
have been together for 12...
i have never been "that"
wife either not because there
is anything wrong with it,
but because my mom wasn't like
that...both my parents worked,
and they both handled
stuff at home too...
it was a good message to send
and made for a very
relationship with my husband.

great writing!

September 25, 2006 at 4:56:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you DO have an instruction manual...it is in your own head being created and rewritten all the time by your most wisest of teachers - you :) i love the creative process of cooking too (when i have the time). i find myself talking through the entire process, like i'm a star on my own cooking show...it's very strange, but i catch myself doing it every time!

September 25, 2006 at 5:16:00 AM PDT  
Blogger bronxbt said...

first of all, i posted yer pic on fuzziechads last week for you. you are my highlighted FAN~ANIMALZ in case you missed it.

anyhoo.. regarding yer awesome post:
what's the coohest about all of yer stuff yer experiencing is you've not given UP anything. that's the key. both you and yer hubbers have found yer respective happy places, and what you've done together is GROWN together.

tha's a win win, and i'm so happy to hear that about you both.

soooo, except this bunners-o-goodness and may it being many more cooked (not burnt) meals around the dinner table!

(\ /)
(O o)
(> <)o <-- 'dat's it's bun-butt

September 25, 2006 at 10:58:00 AM PDT  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

heehee...i got pretty lucky in that department too. thank god...i know he gets tired of picking up after me...and keeping me fed...

September 25, 2006 at 11:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I've always loved the whole process of nesting and was lost during the years I had no one to do it with or for. Still, I have to admit to being surprised at the little victory dance I did when my jars of homemade applesauce cooled and sealed on the kitchen counter. They're sooo pretty.
I think coming into the domestic/nesting dance a little later adds to the joy and surprise - especially if it's with someone who appreciates your efforts and shares the kitchen well. Lucky you. ;)

September 25, 2006 at 2:32:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How nice. I only like cooking now that it's not expected of me, like it was growing up. That's strangely liberating if it's you choice. But my home has always been something I've taken pride in and enjoyed as a reflection of me. I love home. :)

September 26, 2006 at 7:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger claireylove said...

"How to be a wife, a mother and a liberated woman"


when you find that book, can you give me a call? then we can burn it together and get on with doing it all our own ways ;-)

September 27, 2006 at 1:32:00 PM PDT  
Blogger EmergingCrone said...

Perhaps Hestia feels she is welcome in your home and in your life...

Can Demeter be far behind?

When I left my job at the university - I told people I was going to stay home and be a domestic goddess.

Four years - and she has served me well - my house isn't always tidy - but meals are a time of sharing, feasting, connecting, and being nurtured on all levels.

Let me know when you are ready for some Sourdough starter and I will come over and teach you how to make bread.

I enjoyed my visit here.
Julie in Virginia

September 29, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Anil P said...

I suppose this is 'you coming home to yourself'.

Very well written, indeed.

September 30, 2006 at 4:30:00 AM PDT  

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