Friday, July 04, 2008

Home Economics

Nigella Lawson says it wryly in her first cookbook. It's roughly, "You don't want to be a domestic goddess. You want people to think you're a domestic goddess." I actually do want to be a domestic goddess, in some ways. My long-suffering life coach keeps encouraging me to explore why I'm embarrassed about that. (And I keep deflecting the question. I've got mad skills in the deflecting department!)

I mean, really. You guys know I knit. I'm certainly not embarrassed about that. You know I love playing around with my house and trying to make it pretty. You know I like to have parties and cook for my friends. You know I'm more than a little dotty about babies, especially ones I'm related to. I like "girl things," although I quibble with calling them girl things. I like the tasks that have historically been women's work. Is that better? Of course knitting was originally a guy thing -maybe- depends on who you ask. You see the problem.

Anyway... stop dithering, Andrea. Here's the point.

It only takes about 5 minutes of cruising around the blogosphere looking for other people who actually like making a home, before you want to flee, shrieking. Who are these people? "I want to honor my husband's greater needs." That kind of thing. Or the women who completely define themselves through their children; it's the only role they can imagine having ever. Or the horror that is FlyLady's website -someday I'll blog about why I think her stuff is so destructive. Whoever these people are, I certainly don't have much in common with them. There are a few sites where the young, hip women who made knitting trendy again are looking at other crafts, and making a home is part of their concern. But I'm not 20, and insouciance and coolness are no longer available to me. (Andrea whistles innocently.... can I make them believe that coolness was EVER available to me???)

This post was going to be about Mary's new pantry project, which I think is way more inspired than she's giving herself credit for. Stockpiling a pantry isn't just about saving money. It's about eating gracefully and intentionally. It's about being prepared for unexpected company and having a home that's ready to welcome people in. And saving money, too. I am going to play the pantry game. But I discovered -oh, stop the presses- that doing so was connected to other issues I need to think about.

I think I need a mission statement for my home. Even if it's not this house, my home will be somewhere. If I know how I want it to look and feel and "be", then I can craft a plan for getting there. My home won't be -has never been- the primary way that I live out my mission in the world. But it could be part of that, couldn't it?

Welcome and hospitality are justice issues, after all. Fun has to show up in the mission, too. Comfort. Warmth. Creativity. Gentleness.

OK, so it needs work. I'll think on it. And in the meantime, I'll stock up on canned tomato products and play the pantry game with other domestic goddesses.

1 comment:

Loretta_S said...

hmmm, being a DG or appearing to be one has never been one of my concerns. Frankly, it's completely off my radar. As a homemaker, I suck, even when I lived alone. My home was a place to crash between activities. Now my home is more my cave, my fortress of solitude. I don't want other people in my cave. My husband does a good job of making it homey for me, but that's as far as that goes.