Living in a 2 household poly family was always going to be interesting & challenging and as you might imagine I am still constantly surprised by it.
However, what has stood out for me recently is my new found domestic streak. What self-respecting tomboy post-post-feminist wants to wash dishes and clean the house? But here I am wondering about dusting. – Now I grant you, part of this I attribute to New-House-Glee. It is not yet a year since Myself & I bought our very first house next door but one to B and I am relishing the mineness of the whole experience; a sense of pride of place, responsibility and power that comes with the very pile of bricks I am sitting amongst – but this feeling of domesticity is more than a desire to show-off my home.
Firstly it comes from a failure of my own self-respect: As a lowly student I feel incapable of contributing to our collective incomes and feel I must find a different way of doing my part for our households; furthermore based as I am at home much of the week I feel that this puts me in a better position to sort these things and take the pressure on those who have been out-there earning a salary. These things in themselves would be (are) sensible measures for running a family if they weren’t reinforced by a constant sense of guilt and under-achievement based on the standards of the smother and my father’s insistence on self-reliance. By being a house-wife I have a role in family productivity.
Secondly, and inter-linked with the first, the desire to clean and tidy makes me feel part of the family. Thus I am of value to my respective lovers who would not otherwise ‘need’ me to run their homes and also I am able to imprint a sense of me on the buildings. By cleaning I have done something for the house, for the family and I can see that achievement and when I tidy I impose my order on the space – these books belong together, the photos can be arranged just so, these things we don’t need. It offers a connection to space and through that to the people.
And finally Procrastination. Obvious really. Rearranging the wardrobe is a lot easier than rewriting paragraph after paragraph.
Domestic Bliss? Not yet, but maybe soon. And no I won’t be chained to the oven any time soon.