Friday, 13 May 2011

It was ten years ago today...*

It’s Friday!!  (the 13th no less) Welcome to ‘The Chronicles of a Reluctant Housewife’ where I document my love/hate relationship with my current occupation.

There is a lot to talk about today, some of which I really don’t want to talk about (mostly because I’m pretty sure my parents and in-laws read this) but I would like to think that you come here to read about the exploits of someone that is definitely (it always auto-corrects to ‘defiantly’ and today maybe that would work) imperfect and is able to laugh at herself.  So here it goes. I’m trying to laugh about my relatively-privileged navel-gazing angst.  (I have to say I blame my hippy-parents for this endless soul-searching. Pete is blissfully un-bothered existentially and just gets down to it, a product of his straight-forward ‘take care of your family’ upbringing instead of my ‘follow your bliss’ upbringing.  To each their own.  I’m hoping we don’t screw up our kids too much.)
It was 10 years ago (almost to the day) that I graduated from University.  My friends and I thought we were bad-ass and would take over the world.  Fast forward and some of them have come damn close.  I have not.  I have become someone I used to feel sorry for, a kept woman with nothing of her own.  Yesterday was a very bad day.  I wasn’t aware of the anniversary, at least not consciously, but somewhere a switch flipped and I was inconsolably sad.  I wanted to run away from my life and realized that I couldn’t because I have no friends to run to and no money of my own to run with.  I tried to see the positive side, my husband is doing great and has demanded that I take this time to figure out what I want.  But, to me it feels like when your mom demanded that you go to the bathroom before you leave and even though you were bursting, you can’t squeeze out a drop on command. 
So I have been playing with maybe being a writer.  I go through phases where I am reading a book and I think, ‘WOW, I can write better than this.’ And then I read something else and think, ‘I am not as smart as this person and could never reference Nietzsche and Cosby in the same paragraph.’ And then I think, ‘I’m not that old, I have barely experienced life, and what I have experienced is fairly privileged, all things considered (I mean I am by no means rich, but I have never been hungry and always relatively healthy), and no-one wants to read about a thirty-something navel-gazing.’ But I always come back to, ‘There are some pretty crap books and journalists out there.’ I mean one ride on the Tube during rush-hour and a quick survey gives you at least five horrific daily newspapers, the journalists of which can barely string a sentence together that doesn’t include some embarrassing pun, numerous copies of three different chick-lit covers from some ‘best-selling’ author that specializes in shopping and cheating husband story-lines, throw in the obligatory ‘Twilight’ covers and whatever book has just been made into a movie, this week its ‘Water for Elephants (which I highly recommend, the book, not so much the movie (although the clothes and art are gorgeous, if not as gritty as they should be),’ and there is always one person slaving over a Russian classic.  I wonder about this person.  I mean those are no small books and toting around an extra five pounds in your bag all day for a few minutes of uncomfortable reading (because this person never gets a seat for some reason) isn’t really the way to go about reading these classics.  I would recommend wrapping yourself in numerous layers and a duvet and sitting in your garden shed in the dead of winter reading by the light of a flickering candle, to really get the feel of the thing, but that’s just me.
What was I talking about?
Oh right, what to do with all this free time?  Just as I can’t pee on demand, I can’t write on demand.  It’s like the thesis, I always feel like I should have done more research, I should take some more time to think, I need to experience more, I need to practice more.  (Remember that dictionary entry about procrastination with my name pencilled in?)
But I’m not.  I’m playing dress-up or chef or dressed up chef.  I’m getting worked up over the neighbour kid dumping his recycling in our bin instead of his own and how fast the limescale is building up in the shower.  I mean, the US government (or at least the more devilish-side, and not in a good way, of it) is systematically stripping women of their rights and persecuting any organization that actually cares about humankind, which is something that the me from 10 years ago (or even five) would be taking to the streets over, and I’m worried about the best way to rid myself of limescale and plotting revenge on my noisy and inconsiderate neighbours.
I need to get out more.  Or maybe I’m just PMS-ing.  Which, based on the ‘personalized’ coupons generated by our grocery till that feels it’s time for me to stock up on feminine products, may very well be the case.
So there it is.  10 years later and I have become a desperate housewife, without the collagen or fake tan.  I think I will be skipping the reunion.

*Editor's note: It was brought to my attention that this post comes across as though my husband is standing over me demanding I find a vocation or else, or that I have been forcibly stripped of my independence.  Let me be clear, this post was written following a particularly bad day.  Those of you who know me in real life know that I am usually deliriously happy with my life and my decisions and that my hubby is the most caring, supportive and encouraging man in the world.  However, I do suffer from depression, and while I have had it under control mostly, one day this week, I didn't.  When you're overly happy for too long sometimes the pressure just has to be released and the demons come out to play and remind you that they are still there.  Thursday was a demon day for me.  Please do not think ill of my husband or feel too saddened by my ramblings.  To mis-quote Carrie Bradshaw, "Don't worry, I have a very lovely life."


  1. Oh Ariel. I really really wish we weren't an ocean away. Himself and I recently had a "discussion" about how I don't have any friends. (Well, that was one of the main gists of it.) And while I have a job, and I shouldn't complain, I hate it. I feel bad for complaining, but I complain because I'm unhappy. And I feel stuck. So I definitely get it. Oh, and let's not forget about immigration, the bane of my existence. Ugh. Anyway. I hear you.

  2. For those of us that chose an international life, it may be virtual friends for us. It's not quite the same, but it provides a little comfort. Thanks for the love.