In college, I once took a class all about the 1950’s. It was a fascinating time in America. Communism was the “C” word and we faced increasing tensions with Russia and Korea. Many people associate this decade with such things as the birth of rock and roll and the Golden Age of television. Others with a sexualization we were just beginning to uncover with the advent of Playboy Magazine and the most famous blonde to ever grace the Silver Screen: Marilyn Monroe.
For me, I associate this time with a different type of woman: the homemaker.
Lucy Ricardo, Donna Reed, June Cleaver… these are the women that kept their husbands and children in line while cooking each meal, cleaning house, and looking quite fabulous in those outfits. Don’t forget the pearls!
I wrote a whole paper on this “desperate” housewife. I critiqued the sadder side of the women who relied on anti-depressants to get them through their chores, often staying in unhappy marriages because they had no means to make a living on their own. Looking back, I felt quite sorry for these women. How could anyone in their right mind and given all these wonderful opportunities that I’ve taken for granted choose this lifestyle of serving others?
There was a girl in my dormitory that was only in college for her M.R.S. degree, determined to be a stay-at-home mom after getting married. When I questioned her choice of going to the number one public university in the world—not to mention the price that went along with it—when the only career she wanted was being a wife and mother, she replied, “I deserve a good education so that one day I can educate my children and help them with their homework.” At the time, I thought it was a such a waste that she would go through four years of tough academia and then do nothing with her education except be a homemaker. I have to admit, I was pretty judgmental about people’s life choices back then.
With younger celebrities like Blake Lively and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting talking about how much they adore cooking for their husbands and websites like Pinterest inspiring everyone with party decorations and fancy feasts, the domestic life is not just for ladies who lunch and is gaining in popularity for a whole new generation.
I, for one, am completely on board.
My tune has changed and I think being a domestic diva would be amazing. Cooking meals, planning events, writing, volunteering more, running errands when places are actually open for business… it all seems like a dream to me (except for the cleaning—no thanks) and I wonder why I ever scoffed at the idea in the first place. I’ve come to realize that this is the type of lifestyle I would love to have and I’m sorry to those that I did judge.
I’ve finally put together my recipe collection (something that took weeks longer than I was expecting) and it really got me thinking.
I love to cook and find new recipes to try, but after a 9-hour day at the office, I’m usually not in the mood to make a fancy meal. Plus since it’s just me and the kitties, I don’t see the need to treat myself to a different dinner every night of the week. A big batch of something simple one night can lead to many more nights of dinner. So what if it’s the same thing each meal. If I had the resources and the partner (because let’s be real, most homes with a homemaker aren’t made of a single woman), I think I would make an excellent stay-at-home domestic goddess.
It’s too bad I can’t send the cats to work.