Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The grand "domestic goddess" experiment

This was a post meant for JF. But now with that on a break (sounds like a couple is on a break :) I putting it up here with suitable modifications of course.

A few years ago a friend of mine got married to this sweet girl and we met up a few weeks after their marriage. General conversation was happening, which was a little difficult considering the girl was full 8 years younger than me and came from a small town. No, she wasn't low on confidence or anything but we simply didn't have anything in common. So I adopted my usual tactics, turned the conversation towards movies and domestic matters. Movies are never a problem since we all have the pretty much the same grouses or happy moments with them. But the conversation on domestic issues was very hard for me. I am bad at it. I didn't want to bring up the MIL aspect considering the girl was married only a few weeks but more importantly because she had a darling for a MIL (yes that rare species isn't extinct just endangered :) So we talked about cooking and cleaning and maids. She said she didn't want to use a maid and did all the work herself since there were only two of them in a not so big house. She also said she didn't have any time left after the chores for anything else. Now this stumped me. Just how much work could be there? Anyways at that point of time I was too busy shuttling between Madurai and every where else so I forgot all about it.

A few months ago I was reminded of this conversation and I decided to do an experiment. For about 6 weeks I decided to do all the chores around the house by myself (excluding cleaning vessels and the mopping) So for 6 weeks I cleaned up every inch of the house every day. I folded clothes and put them in wardrobes. I cleaned the kitchen 3 times a day. I cooked 3 times a day. I dusted every inch of the house. I rearranged things in wardrobe and attics. I bought groceries. I basically did everything. All this work took me FIVE hours everyday. FIVE hours! And what did I feel at the end of it? Well nothing much really. Yes, the house sparkled 7 days a week instead of about 4. Yes, V had no work to do at all. I don't know how he felt about it I didn't ask. But he did notice all the scrubbing and cleaning and asked if I was alright (!) Yes, things went a lot smoother since I did all the work and didn't go after V to do it. (He's a very nice guy and helps me out all the time. But then he's a guy and he needs to be told some times that's all :) And after all this I was still left with about 5 hours of time...I guess this why women did a lot of sewing, embroidery and made HappaLa and pickles! Since my skills in these areas are worse than a 3-year-old's I had to think of other ways to keep myself occupied.

So what was the result of this grand experiment? I think it just proved that the phenomenon "Domestic Goddess" was created to keep a woman busy when she had nothing else to do and of course it works very much in a man's favour.

Needless to say the experiment was abandoned. Now I have to do a quick clean up when some guests announce they are coming. My fridge isn't well stocked (I don't think I can ever claim that it is, after I saw what Nigella Lawson stocks up!!!) We sometimes had to order in or have bread for breakfast. V, has to fold up his own clothes and make his own coffee and my maid has to ensure she doesn't miss too many corners while cleaning. But what the heck I have at least 8 hours to do things that I want to do and feel absolutely joyful at the end of the day.


whizkid said...

6 weeks! why did you even bother? :D

Abhipraya said...

Whizkid, just to remind me later that I DID try :)