As a child, I remember people telling me, “Wait until you have your own home someday, then you’ll understand.” When I was growing up that taunt infuriated me. I remember thinking so many times, “Well I won’t do it your way!” And I guess, in a sense, that is true. I definitely do things “my way.” But it’s taken a long time for this thick skull of mine to understand that “my way” kinda sucks sometimes. And the good old standby methods that women and homemakers (men too!) have employed for so long really are the better way.
This whole “being domestic” thing doesn’t come naturally to me. At all. Perhaps it’s a generational thing? As I’m reading my friends here describing similar scenarios for their lives I’m beginning to wonder if our generation wasn’t made to learn some of the basic life skills that generations past took as a given. Perhaps our parents allowed us too much freedom with endless after school and summer activities and not enough responsibilities at home?
When I think back to high school when I had the choice of elective: would I choose home ec or sign language? I chose sign language of course. Learning a “language” was a million times more intriguing to me than learning to sew or plan a fake wedding or whatever other domestic tasks they were off learning in that other classroom. And that is very in keeping with my personality today. Instead of honing domestic skills which I certainly need to be doing, I would much rather fill my time playing or singing music, painting my daughters’ toenails, braiding hair or pretty much ANYTHING else. But again, my way is not the most effective way. This I’ve learned time and again when my husband calls and says he bumped into so and so and invited them over. And I respond with a, “What?!” Now?! and shove things in closets or dryers (ha!) or anywhere I can shut a door and try to create a presentable home in under 15 minutes. Yes. My way is not the most effective way. And it’s been a hard lesson.
But it’s an important one. There have been many times I’ve found myself quite envious of a fellow Mom whose home shines with the peaceful glow of disciplined orderliness. Those home ec skills I so easily spurned in high school would be pretty darn useful today. Not that I don’t love my unused skill of being able to converse confidently with the deaf, and if I had the choice to make over again I might certainly choose the same path. But for today, I’m choosing a new path. And I’m thrilled these exercises in domestication otherwise known as “The Button Club” will be my teacher, even if it does feel a little late in the game.