Some women are HOMEMAKERS. These women can put together an impromptu dinner party for thirty while simultaneously stitching Halloween costumes for their grandchildren without breaking a sweat. Their homes are immaculate and their decor like something out of a magazine. I have friends who fit this description, but I am not one of these women.
I’m the dreaded anti-homemaker whose arrival was prophesied in the book of Martha Stewart, Chapter IX, verses 3-7, “And lo, there will be among them women who can neither cook nor sew. Women who will weep and rend their garments when the microwave fritzeth. And these women shall feel no shame. Yea, ‘tho they walk through the halls of Betty Crocker and Southern Living, they shall gather no knowledge of domesticity. Woe unto the partner who finds himself yoked unto her, for his days shall be filled with ramen noodles and take out.”
My mom tried to teach me the domestic arts. She really did, but I had no interest. Even baking a cake from a box puzzled me. Every single step had it’s own special rules: “It’s this way, not that way. Drain this, not that. Flip it like this, no, no, not like that. Here. I’ll do it.” Her need for me to be perfect in the kitchen was superseded only by my total lack of interest.
Our home economics teacher, Mrs. Craig, did her best to mold me into a practitioner of the domestic arts, as well, but her efforts were for naught. I did learn multiple ways to freeze cantaloupe in her class, though. To this day I hate cantaloupe.
Mrs. Craig also taught a sewing unit that culminated in a runway type style show. We were to find a dress pattern we liked, buy the material, and make a finished outfit that we would then model for our final grade. My pattern was for a jumper and blouse. I selected a light weight blue denim material for the jumper and red and white checked gingham for the blouse.
I worked on my outfit every day in class, but as the date of the style show grew near I was still woefully behind schedule for completing the project. With many painfully patient late night hours of assistance from Mom, I had a presentable, ok, darned cute outfit for the style show. I’d venture to say it was one of the best final projects that semester, and I received an A for my efforts. Of course, Mom threatened to disown me if I ever signed up for a home ec. class again. She needn’t have worried. Happiness was home ec in the rear view mirror.
Mom has been gone for many years now. She pretty much gave up on me ever becoming a competent homemaker, but I’d want her to know that I’ve become an okay cook and a decent housekeeper in middle age. She’d be astonished and proud.