Monday, February 1, 2010

Te Quil A Mockingbird

I was once invited to join a wine-tasting/book club. They met every Tuesday night, sans the kids, and discussed the book of the week while becoming connoisseurs of fine wine. I declined membership. I couldn't commit to reading a book every week and I can't stand wine, or any alcohol for that matter. But I had to admire them for their commitment. It's hard to get a group of people together on a regular basis, especially on a weekly basis.

I often think about the 1950s housewives and how much they accomplished everyday. They'd wake up a few hours before their hubby and brood to shower, do their hair, and dress for the day - in a dress, stockings, and heels of course. Then they'd cook a nourishing breakfast, pack the lunches, and lay out everyone's clothes. These Stepford women would kiss everyone goodbye and wish them a good day. Then it was time for the real work to begin. Kitchens would be scrubbed until you could eat off the floors. Laundry was washed but forget the dryer. They didn't waste electricity. They used clothes lines. And there was the matter of ironing to tend to. The only starches in my house are carbohydrates.

Next, every nook and cranny was dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed. This was done before lunchtime. That's when they could finally take a break and have a light salad while watching the soaps. Most likely even during these "breaks" you could find these amazing women knitting something or sewing on buttons.

Before the kids came home they baked desserts and prepared after school snacks. Then there was homework to help with, dinner to start on, and freshening up to do before her hubby made his appearance. (Phew! I'm exhausted just typing this.) The happy housewife still didn't have time to sit down. She had to get a drink ready for the Man of the House, get him his newspaper, and get dinner on the table. After dinner she did the dishes by hand and cleaned the kitchen again. She was available to play games with the family and later she read to the kids and put them to bed.

And these were called women who didn't work.

Somehow these women still found time to sit on porches sipping freshly squeezed lemonade while sharing the latest gossip. They didn't have to eat out because they hadn't found time to get to the store. They didn't scramble at the last minute to make costumes for their kids or empty change jars for lunch money. They attended Tupperware parties. They read. They volunteered. They RSVP'd without worrying whether they would be too busy or if something better would come up.

I can't imagine life in those days. With all of the modern conveniences we seem to be a society of people with less "free time" on our hands than ever before. It takes me a few weeks of co-planning just to get together face-to-face for coffee... with my neighbor.

I think those ladies in the wine-tasting/book club had the right idea. Multi-task. It's the only way to get things done anymore.

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