5 Reasons Housewives Are Losers

So today I was just sitting here at home, worrying about what kind of cupcakes to bake for my book club Tuesday night, when I logged onto Facebook and saw that one of my friends had attended a Housewife Party last night. Have any of you faithful blog followers heard of these? It’s not like a Tupperware party or playing Bridge with the other gals or whatever. It’s a party where a bunch of arrogant yupsters dress up in the most gaudy housewife garb they can, get drunk, and act like Peg Bundy. Of course none of these people are actually housewives. And these are also the same people that say they couldn’t find any meaning in their lives were they to just be married and have kids.

As I sat here in my leopard printed stretchie pants, looking through these photographs, I have to admit that I was somewhat hurt. This isn’t the first time a friend has attended one of these. And now I’m just wondering if these people can really be called “friends” when they are so arrogant and judgmental.

But the way a housewife dresses isn’t just what makes her a loser; an underbelly of society in these people’s eyes. In my experience there are really five main features of a housewife that make her such a waste of space, a drain on the world’s resources – at least in the minds of the anti-housewives.

Reason #1 Housewives Are Losers: We Dress For Comfort

Yes, the first is about the way we dress. 9 days out of 10, we dress for comfort. So that does mean we often dress ala Peg Bundy. Stretch pants. Comfy tops. Sweaters. Just yesterday I bought myself some leopard printed stretch pants and they are probably the most comfortable pair of pants I own. My favorite outfit is just that – stretchie pants with a dress or tunic and a cardigan sweater. Or we go with yoga pants.

Do you know why we dress for comfort though, rather than cuteness (and, by the way, most of the time we look cute in our comfort)? Because we aren’t sitting at a desk all day. We aren’t processing on a computer or sitting in comfortable meeting room chairs. We aren’t spending our lunch hours in fancy restaurants – we don’t even get lunch hours. Wearing uncomfortable heels for 12 hours of vacuuming, folding laundry, and corralling the children would hurt.

Reason #2 Housewives Are Losers: We Are Immersed in Contemporary Culture

I don’t mean that we’re cool and hip and we dress like yupsters, riding our bikes tandem around Coachella while listening to the musical stylings of Pitchfork on our iPods and shit. I mean that we are more aware of what is going on in contemporary culture on the whole because we’re home for it 24/7.

We listen to AM radio and watch talk shows during the day. We read the news and we read books that are new and popular, because we have the time to. We join book clubs. This morning I realized that my own intellectualism has been debased a little bit because I was reading an article on the Google News Aggregate about Snookie giving birth to her devil spawn early this morning. But then I realized that at least I’m reading, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I know with successful careers. Some of them haven’t cracked a book, magazine, or newspaper since college, and don’t plan on it. It’s a personal choice that everyone has to make for themselves, but I see the added awareness of the world and contemporary culture a plus.

If anything, it gives us more to talk about at a party, other than the most annoying dinner party conversation ever: how our jobs are going.

Reason #3 Housewives Are Losers: We Are Meaningless Realists

Perhaps the most glaring thing about housewives is that we are realists. We are in the real world. We don’t have any pie-in-the-sky dreams of saving the world with our two-bit jobs as a secretaries at the local power plant. We don’t have any idealism that we will cure cancer or stop global warming or end world hunger. It isn’t to say that these notions are bad things to have, in fact the world needs people with these notions to work at least a little bit closer to them; it’s just to say that as housewives we keep our lives and those of us around us in a little bit of perspective.

What this means, though, is that people sometimes call our realism “negativity.” “Oh, you can make a change; you can make a difference!” Sure, I can recycle or raise money for a cause or go out and vote for every election, but realistically speaking there is only so much one person can do. If people want to have an idealism; want to stay away from realistic negativity, that is fine. But just because someone has a job and a vague sense of meaning in their lives does not mean they are the next Steve Jobs or Neil Armstrong; and most importantly it does not mean that our jobs as housewives are unimportant and meaningless either.

Reason #4 Housewives Are Losers: We Worry All the Time

As I mentioned before, I was worrying about baking cupcakes for my book club on Tuesday night. The reason why I was worrying was actually just because it’s been so hot out lately that running the oven is not something I particularly feel like doing. But you see, as housewives we over think and worry about everything.

Sometimes my former self – the young woman in graduate school on her way to a Ph.D. in philosophy and successful teaching career – rears her ugly head and says to me “is this all you have to worry about? Jesus, get a life!” But then I start to think about why I worry about things like cupcakes, vacuuming, cleaning the toilets, what to make for dinner, and so on: because they are a part of my job as wife and mother. Not to sound corny or anything, but I place as much importance and value on my job as any other person in the adult world. Now not all housewives worry about everything that I do, but I can say with certainty that the majority of us do. This makes it even more hurtful for someone to say a housewife doesn’t have a care in the world. Because while your care in the world may be an 8 to 5 kind of care, a housewive’s is 24/7.

Reason #5 Housewives Are Losers: We’re Online A Lot

… but are also clueless technologically.

As a housewife – especially one with kids – life can be a little bit isolating. We don’t get to go to a central location with other human beings every day. Sometimes we have play dates or extra-curriculars, but a lot of the time we have is spent alone. So we go online and interact with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

On the flip side, we aren’t necessarily equipped with work-sponsored laptops, Blackberries, and other new technologies. While we understand Facebook and how to do our blogs (those of us that have one, that is), we don’t necessarily understand all the other social media and equipment that is out there now. And you won’t often find housewives checking their email while out to lunch with friends, or standing in a group of people completely oblivious to each other because they are too absorbed by their smartphones.

What I always find to be ridiculous, though, is when people judge a housewife because she spends time online every day; simply because those that do that are the same people that can’t go an entire meal without checking their work email. That can’t have a conversation without interrupting it for a phone call or a text message. How are these things any different from each other?

So you can see, I don’t actually believe that housewives are losers. I am one, why would I? Okay, sometimes I believe I am a loser, but that’s more my former self rearing her ugly head again. I guess the real point is that before judging what another person does, we should all consider that there may be meaning and value in it, and that everyone defines that for themselves. And for God’s sakes, if anyone invites you to a Housewife Party – graciously decline. They’re just rude and arrogant.

Top 6 Reasons Your Hubs Ain’t All That

Multiple times during the week, now, I am woken by some sort of tragic event going on in my bed. Sometimes it’s my husband spreading out like the entire California King is needed to fan all of his parts – pushing me to the small edge on my side of the bed. Other times he is punching me in the back as he flops from one side to the next. Last night, it was the covers. Around 3:15 AM, he – for some reason, in his sleep – pulled the entire comforter off of me and bunched it up in front of him, leaving me to freeze.

As I lay there, angry and desperately trying to get back to sleep, I composed a blog all about husbands in my head.

Top 6 Reasons Your Hubs

Ain’t All That

#6 Home Becomes Work Becomes Home

Perhaps it is a sign of the crippling economy, but it seems that men can no longer come home from work and hang up their hats, leaving work hanging there with it. Now, when the Big Daddy Breadwinner gets home, he has to talk about work, think about work, let work interrupt his evening activities, check emails from work, answer phone calls about work, allow work to disrupt him from getting his house stuff done, and go to bed with nothing but work on his mind.

I’m all for the general “how was your day at the office, dear?” conversation over dinner. What the hell else are you going to talk about? But there is that and then there is taking it too far.

The fundamental problem with this is your husband is allowing work and his job to define who he is, rather than what the real definition of him is:  a conglomerate of many different things, which includes father, husband, friend, son, etc; not just “employee.” Perhaps this is just a California thing, where it seems as though everyone lets their jobs completely dictate their lives, but the old adage should always be kept in mind to keep a healthy work/life balance: it’s just a job.

#5 The Identity Crisis

A while back, I wrote a blog called “Stop Being Such a P*s*y.” I will never forget the response of one man in particular, who said that men are in the midst of an identity crisis as a result of smothering mothers, the Feminist Movement, and people like me calling them p*s*i*s

Bull shit.

A man isn’t a man because of the identity that he holds, the masculinity that he asserts, and his oppression of women. He’s a man because he has a dick. Period, end of sentence. It’s what he does with that Big D, though, that makes him either a real man or a p*s*y. But this incessant whining that in the last few decades women have oppressed men by demanding equal rights; and that men need to reclaim their masculinity by putting women down is just stupid.

And furthermore, if a woman is upset about something a man does – even her husband – she has a right to say it, wherever she wants. This doesn’t cut at the man’s masculinity; it is honesty with the intention of fixing an unhealthy behavior. I’m so tired of people acting like saying how things are is a bad thing. Your husband ain’t all that if he can’t take a little honest criticism. If a man is acting like a jerk, he’s acting like a jerk. He won’t know to fix it if no one tells him.

#4 Honey, You Married My Parents

My in-laws are coming over for dinner next week and I am again reminded that my husband is really his father and tries – routinely – to treat me the way he has observed his mother treated.

There is a reason why psychologists say you need to set a good example for your kids:  they will inevitably believe that this is an acceptable way to treat their spouse. If he doesn’t want to hear it, my husband’s dad will simply ignore and not respond to my mother-in-law. One time she was sitting there and she just kept asking question after question after question, all of which were ignored. I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion, and when I talked to my husband about it he said “yeah, well that’s what you do when your wife is blathering on, spewing her emotion everywhere.”

Indeed.

Your hubs is just as much his parents as my hubs is, and he ain’t all that because of it. How he handles it, though, does redeem him.

#3 Feeding Time At the Barnyard

It is astounding sometimes to see the way that my husband eats. Here’s how it goes: I spend about three to six hours preparing a delectable, healthy, and perfectly seasoned meal. I hate to cook, so this is a really big deal for me to do every day, day in and day out. Nick comes home and promptly takes his plate, smothers it in a complete layer of salt and pepper, then sits down to inhale the food – periodically slurping it up; only to be disrupted with guzzling and slurping down whatever he’s drinking to wash the pig slob down.

Sometimes I think about just installing a trough.

I see men eat like this all the time, and quite frankly it is horrifying. Whatever happened to the days when a husband put his napkin in his lap? When he waited and tasted the food before piling it with seasonings? The days when “boy Mom, this sure is a swell meal” came out of his mouth? The slang swell should clue you faithful blog followers into how long it’s been; nonetheless, your husband would be all that if he would adopt such slang himself.

#2 Bodily Functions & Personal Hygiene

Gross. Gross. Gross.

Since graduate school ended and I took to being home all the time, I have become evermore aware of the bodily functions and personal hygiene we have in this house. My husband and your husbands alike all ain’t all that simply because they are pigslobs.

They miss the toilet, every time.

They wear underwear with gaping holes in them.

Which also have stains in them (I just vomited).

They have a never-ending case of foot fungus.

And as if that is not enough, they top it all off by laying around and scratching their balls nonstop; emitting bodily sounds intermittently as if “excuse me” is foreign to their vocabulary. And then they deny it all when you mention it.

#1 He’s Competing With A Million Other “Best Husband In the Whole Entire World LOL OMG ! ! ! ! ! !”

 If you are like me, every day you check your Facebook and are inundated with all your friends – God love them – posting on their Facebook statuses all about how their husbands are their heroes, their everything, and THE BEST HUSBANDS IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD LOL OMG ! ! ! ! ! !

I wrote a blog about this a while ago too, although I think it was far too logical. The crux of my argument was that:  obviously, everyone can’t have the best husband in the world because there can be only one “best” of anything. Far too intellectual, but if I were to continue I would say that obviously no one can have the best husband in the world because there are none.

As a result of this, though, your hubs ain’t all that because he is competing in this post-modern age of Feminism and people like me calling them p*s*i*s with other husbands to outdo each other, and live up to this “best husband in the whole world LOL OMG ! ! ! ! ! ! ” standard. So he does one of two things: (1) tries to outdo other husbands and becomes completely effeminate in the process; getting his floral thong in a bunch every time you admit any of his faults thereafter; or, (2) decides he cannot win and so does absolutely nothing. Mine falls into the latter category, and I know the majority of his friends are pulling their pink thongs out their asses right now in rage over the fact that I said it.

I’d have to argue that those are the top 6 reasons why your hubs ain’t all that. There are obviously more, like mommy issues and my afore-mentioned sleeping traumas. Like I said, I’m sure a lot of my husband’s friends will read this and complain how can you tolerate her saying those things in her blog? Well, because it’s all true. My hubs ain’t all that. Neither is yours. Neither are you.

5 (More) Pet Peeves: Home Edition

We live in an apartment complex of some couple hundred places. There are town homes, condos, and apartments of all sizes. When we moved here – just in November of last year – we really liked it. The rent was affordable. The area was almost too quiet. There are pools, a work out room, and the complex is relatively close to a lot of local stuff.

And now, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to live in apartments. For a while we considered buying a condominium, but the thought of being permanently tied to southern California would no doubt upgrade my difficulty finding reason to get out of bed in the morning to an utter inability to do so. I also like the idea of being able to get up and go without having to worry about too much, the sense of community, and some of the amenities as well as the ability to call maintenance for problems without having to deal with the cost and maintenance ourselves.

And still, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

I still like the affordable rent and all the stuff we have available to us. And I love the fact that we have had a lot of repairs that would have cost us an arm and a leg; yet, in reality cost us absolutely nothing since maintenance is included in our rent (unless we intentionally break shit). But some other things have happened since November that I don’t like. For one, no one abides by the pet policy (so it would seem), except for us. People are supposed to be allowed indoor cats only, and yet there are cats fucking everywhere. I hate cats with every breath in my body – I’m allergic and their dander and hair dropped on my front porch makes me sneeze and wheeze on a daily basis. Why the hell should I have to deal with that? Worse, as I have mentioned to you faithful blog followers before – one of those cats has completely destroyed my Midnight Jasmine. And don’t even get me started on the fact that they do not allow dogs of any kind and yet every other cotton-picking unit has a dog.

But it goes beyond the pets. Some hillbillies recent moved across the walkway. I can only assume these people are hillbillies because of the fact that I heard one of them say he lost his teeth. I see them come home with KFC and Taco Bell bags on a daily basis. It appears that none of them works, or at least works very little. By my count, there are 8 people living in the two bedroom apartment, with an additional 10 or so constantly coming in and out. They have parties every single fucking night. Every fucking night. They are loud. They are crude. Without a doubt they are hillbillies, and it is obvious that a lot of the neighbors don’t want to take it anymore (six other units have moved out since these people moved in).

Then this morning, we received a notice on our door that there have been recent burglaries in the area. So now our quiet and safe neighborhood is louder than shit until all hours of the night, and to make matters worse: unsafe.

SO I’m in a shitty mood (when am I NOT?). To blow off a little steam, I thought I would share five more of my pet peeves – home style ones. Now that I’ve gotten the neighborly ones off my chest already, my list focuses on my own house.

#5 Leaving recycling trash on the counter

I’m all for saving the planet, but sometimes it annoys the shit out of me. Not only do we produce very little recyclable waste, but we waste so much more in electronic waste as well as the enormous carbon footprint my husband’s car leaves behind. It thus seems almost a little childish to be making such a big deal about one ginger ale can once in a while. Not saying we shouldn’t recycle, just saying let’s keep things in perspective here.

We have no room in our place at all for a recycle can, so it sits out in our covered carport. The only job my husband has around the house is to take out the trash, which would of course include moving any of the recyclable things to the recycle can out by the cars. Annoying as all shit is when that recycling stuff, which my husband makes a federal case over “doing his part” for, is left on the kitchen counter – where I cook food. Trash, human garbage – often covered in bacteria and bits of food – left on the counter. Seriously – one fucking job.

#4 Wasting money “trying new things” that turn out to be crap

Last night we wasted an entire bottle of the crappiest wine I have ever had. Just as with saving the planet, I’m all for trying new things. But at some point, and with certain things, I really think we should stick with our “go-to”s, unless we have money to flush down the toilet.

Or down the drain, in this instance.

My husband convinced me to buy a new bottle of wine at World Market the other day. I was going to get one of my regulars but instead we got this Radio Buzz crap from Spain. When we opened it last night, you could actually smell the alcohol – it was that shitty. A couple sips and I couldn’t take it. Just a few more for my husband and the whole thing was dumped down the drain. I’m so tired of wasting money on stuff like that.

#3 Continuing to pretend like we are horticulturists

Speaking of wasting money, it has become my pet peeve that we must continue this little charade that we are horticulturists. As long as I have known my husband, and as long as we have been living together, we have been unable to keep plants alive. If our own lives depended on it, we would have been dead a long time ago.

I’ve done research, I’ve tried all kinds of different things – I just can’t keep them alive. Had a cat not killed my Midnight Jasmine, here, I would have (eventually). I have no idea at this point how much money we have wasted on this little project over the years, but at the very least the most recent destruction of foliage comes to $115 wasted. We bought those in February.

Maybe #4 and #3 would really be combined into one main pet peeve: wasting money stupidly.

#2 Leaving hairs in the sink

This really hacks me off. While laying in bed this morning, I could hear my husband trimming his beard and my blood pressure immediately began to rise because I knew that when I got to the sink it would be full of those little, annoying hairs.

They wouldn’t be so goddamned annoying if they didn’t clog the drain. I know they clog the drain and that my husband hasn’t told the maintenance people yet we need the drain unclogged. I also know that every time the maintenance people come they tell me to stop allowing my husband to try and fix things himself, because it usually makes the problems worse (this last time they said the management will start charging us for repairs because his attempt at fixing the shower door made it more difficult for them to fix, and they can always tell … how embarrassing that was).

So immediately after my husband leaves, I have to get up and wipe all of those disgusting fucking hairs out of the sink so that it doesn’t clog even more. Big annoyance.

#1 Not wiping crumbs off the counter/table

Oh my God faithful blog followers, this is the tip of the iceberg for me. I’m not sure why it makes me so crazy, but whenever anyone in this place leaves crumbs or smudges of shit on the counters or the kitchen table, I go absolutely bonkers. Maybe it’s because I have usually just cleaned only to see that a mess has been made. Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s in the form of leaving a knife with peanut butter on it sitting in the sink – the sink that was cleaned and will now have to be cleaned again. I don’t know, but I usually go ballistic about it. Like I did this morning.

There they are. My five (more) pet peeves. The home edition. Maybe the marriage edition. Maybe I’m just on the rag and pissed off at the world. Or just those hillbillies across the walkway.

I Don’t Work, “Get a Job,” Yadda yadda yadda

So, faithful blog followers, I’m super tired and we’re on our second viewing of Freaky Friday (that horrifyingly stupid movie with Jamie Lee Curtis and Linsey “I’mma fuck up ’til I die” Lohan) – so needless to say I’m feeling a little snarky. Last weekend, I went to this writers group meeting for an anthology that I submitted a piece to for publication. Of course, like every good writer I thought the other pieces submitted in the same category as mine all sucked. I mean they sucked hard. They sucked harder than that one time I had to suck all of the pimientos out of an entire jar of Spanish olives to make a log of Jamaican jerk cheese. That hard.

So one of the submissions that was – fortunately – rejected was about that terribly cliched topic of whether or not stay at home moms actually do a lot of work. In all seriousness, anyone that thinks to the contrary is an ass hat-jerk face that needs to have a serious date with my fist up their ass. But the other group of people that is way overdue for my fist up their asses is this group of morons that keep writing these idiotic diatribes about the plight of the stay at home mom.

The submission that was rejected for this anthology was one of the worst. To be honest, she sounded bitter. One of her worst lines went something like ‘so the next time you look down at me for not having a real job, Mr. PhD, remember I’m raising the children that may one day be saving your life.’ I am (of course) paraphrasing, but doesn’t it just make your blood boil to read that ignorant shit?

There are of course a few things that need to be addressed here:

For one, a stay at home mom or stay at home housewife does a lot of work – no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. If I were to write one of these terribly self-aggrandizing essays, I would probably just write about a day like the one I had today. I would talk about how my day started at 7 am when the kid got up early because she went to bed early, and proceeded to turn the TV on in my bedroom to those frightening Yo Gabba Gabba shows and turn the volume higher and higher until I got up. Then it was teeth brushing, face washing, body bathing, clothing, and making breakfast. By 10, we were on our way to get the oil changed in my car. By 10:30 we were going to get early lunch at Subway. By 12noon we had gone to UPS, the Harbor Gift Shop, Kinkos, Staples, and Radioshack. By 1 in the afternoon we had done a major grocery shopping trip and were lugging all the bags into the house and into the refrigerator and preparing a healthy snack. After that were two hours of homeschooling, followed by three loads of laundry, more homeschooling, and the preparation of a healthful dinner of turkey, wild rice, and carrots. As if this were not enough, it was then time for more teeth brushing, more body washing, more clothing (only this time in pajamas), forty-five minutes of homeschool reading, and now I finally have some time to work on my latest knitting project and write this blog and (hopefully) sleep.

Staying at home is a lot of fucking work. Everyone knows this. We do not need more pithy and hostile diatribes written to justify that fact.

The second thing to discuss, though, is that Ms. Hostility up there does have a good point – there are a lot of people that still seem to look down on the stay at home act. I, myself, struggle to find meaning amidst all the laundry and errand running and it doesn’t help when I have assholes like Hello Kitty Toaster posting on Facebook bull shit about stay at home mothers or housewives needing to go out and get jobs. This reminds me of people that put others down for eating food they don’t believe to be healthy (which Hello Kitty Toaster incidentally does all the time) – as if they are so miserable in their own diet that they have to put down others to make themselves feel better about their decision to not eat carbs or fats or whatever it is they choose not to eat. I think this is the same thing that is going on when someone genuinely does look down on or talk down to stay at home mothers. Secretly, deep down inside they want to stay at home and raise the kids or whatever it is they’d want to do at home, and have to put others down to make themselves feel better about their decision to embark on a fulfilling life working at Burger King (or whatever their career choice may be).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a stay at home mother or housewife. Despite the truth to this, though, we still don’t need it stated more. For years, this has been stated – in essays, articles, blogs, you name it. I can remember reading an essay in high school (over 10 years ago) called ‘My Mother Never Worked’ and it was all about the enormous amount of work the author’s mother actually did as a stay at home mom. The topic is overdone and no matter how many angry, hostile, and seemingly moronic attempts people make to justify that, it doesn’t work. People will always look down on it because people are assholes who think their way of life is the way of life.

So get over it. Move on. Get a hobby or go back to judging others for eating carbs or not eating carbs or whatever the fuck you want to judge them for. I’m just so tired of hearing people bicker and bitch about this topic. Shut the fuck up or you’ll be having that date with my fist up your ass.

Even B(itch)es Need Breaks

… now before you all get your party hats on and begin celebrating at the thought of me taking a break from B(itch)logging, think again. I’m not talking about a break from writing on my most spectacular blog of misanthrope and ridiculous encounters. I’m talking about a break from life.

That’s right, this b(itch) needs a vacation.

“But your life is a vacation, isn’t it Heather?” is what I am sure some of you are asking. I assure you it is not. Sure, I sleep until about 9 every day and have cocktail time around 3, but a cakewalk my life most certainly is not. Homeschooling and managing a household with a husband that is gone at work for a minimum of 12 – 16 hours every day (plus often on weekends) is tough work. Not to mention trying to write a book in the process of it all, I’ve been racing towards burn out for some time now.

Now I’m going on vacation for three weeks in just under two months, but at the rate we’re going right now I won’t even make it to that point. I’m not trying to pretend like my life is more difficult than others – I know in some ways I have advantages in ways others do not. But this does not mean that I am blind to seeing the results of burning the candle at both ends either. This past week I’ve been sick with a sinus infection and finally my Ear, Nose, Throat doctor has broken the bad news that it’s time to seriously consider sinus surgery. For years he has threatened me with this and only this time he has outlined to me how much worse my sinus and allergy problem has gotten in the last year or two.

I really don’t want to have surgery. I’ve had other operations in my life and they are absolutely miserable. So I’ve decided to go another route: I’m taking a break in hopes that a little R&R will clear my head (and my nose).

Of course things will fall apart if I just ignore everyone and everything, so I’m setting up some perimeters right now. I’ve also planned this entire week to prepare everything for me to take such a “vacation from life.” That means spring cleaning, purging our house of old things we no longer need, stocking up on bulk food items that we only purchase a few times a year, planning homeschooling for the remainder of spring, getting everything ready for the actual three week vacation that’s swiftly approaching, as well as a host of other things – all are happening this week. Getting all of that done is not what I’m worried about, though; what I’m worried about is sticking to my guidelines.

So here they are and I’m counting on you, my faithful blog followers, to hold me to them.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number One: the vacation will last through and including April 15th.

This is my 30th birthday. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not taking the turn very well. It isn’t that I feel old per se, it’s that I used to hold 30 up as the year I wanted this laundry list of life’s achievements to be completed by. Even my short list revision that I made a few months ago probably won’t be finished in its entirety though. So why even bother – I’m vacationing until I’m 30 and it’s going to be the most relaxing remainder of “the 20s” that anyone’s ever had.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Two: I will not tolerate people making me feel defensive about taking my vacation.

I’m starting to get a little sick and tired of people making me feel like I have to defend my lifestyle. One great example: we have a cleaning lady come once a month to do the real tough stuff. We have a family full of allergies and so it really is the best thing for us to do to make sure we’re as sanitary as we can be – and that lady cleans in ways I never could. In addition to that, one of those surgeries I mentioned above was a spinal fusion when I was only 15. That’s right, the B(itch) is robotic – I have stainless steel rods fused to my spine that corrected my scoliosis, and while I do a lot of physical work around the house, there is only so much I can do before my back starts causing problems.

But having the cleaning lady doesn’t mean I never clean, though. I live with total slobs – I’m constantly cleaning up after them, as well as cooking and doing all their laundry. And the old “I’ll do the cooking, you do the dishes” never really seems to have caught on quite as it was supposed to. Whenever the cleaning lady is mentioned anywhere, though, someone always feels they have a right to tell me that I shouldn’t have her coming (often my husband’s family).

Well on my vacation from life, I will not be tolerating that. If someone doesn’t like that we have a cleaning lady once a month, or that I’ve decided to relax a little rather than run around like a chicken with my head cut off – well, that’s the way it’s going to be and anyone that doesn’t like it can suck it. I’ll be telling that (in so many words) as well.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Three: while on my vacation from life, I will not be doing any of the following…

1. Folding laundry. I’ll wash the shit, but I’m not folding it. Time for others to pitch in.

2.  Going to see children’s movies in the theatre. (I’m sorry, but it’s time for the husband to take a turn on these… I’m pretty sure none are coming out anytime soon anyway and I watch enough at home to make up for it.)

3. Driving more than ten miles to go to any family-related events (with the exception, of course, of when we are on our actual vacation).

4. Organizing anything. Everything is so terribly organized our place looks like a museum. If shit gets messed up, somebody else is going to fix it. Or it can wait until after April 15th.

5. Arguing with anyone. If something needs to be discussed that may turn into a disagreement, it’s going to have to wait until after April 15th as well. I don’t see this becoming a problem, but just so everyone has been warned.

6. I’m not doing any dishes, unless someone else does all the cooking.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Four: I will only work on my book if I feel so inclined to do so. 

I will not work on my book because I feel I have to. I will not write for anyone but myself. I will not go to any writers groups, writers critiques, or share anything with anyone. I will not feel indebted to anyone to work on my book quickly. My poor manuscript is a little torn and tattered at this point and I feel it’s because I feel obligated to write, rather than doing so out of a genuine desire.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Five: Internet and telephone time will be limited.

I spend too much time being available. Every day from 11 am until 3 pm, my phone is going to be turned off so I can do all the things I really want to do – read, write, have fun with the homeschooling projects we do, investigate the Korean Hooker Hostage, watch Desperate Housewives, among other things. And I’m only allowing myself to use Facebook, Twitter, email, and my blog. There will be no obsessively reading the news, no checking every social network out there. No Tumblr, no Pinterest. No LinkedIN. No networking.

So that about sums it up, faithful blog followers. As of this week, I’m on a vacation from life. But vacation from life sounds a little cliche doesn’t it? So does much needed me time (even though that’s exactly what it is). Earlier today I said that this next three months is “the three months of Heather,” but really I think “the three months of the B(itch)” has a much nicer ring to it.

So begins The Three Months of the B(itch).

5 Things A Housewife Should No Longer Feel She Has To Do

Today I got into a little bit of a tit-for-tat disagreement with my sister-in-law on Facebook (of all places). Keeping in mind that we do not spend much time with this side of the fence (which seems to have created a bit of a rift), she has become increasingly more active as of late in voicing her judgments and opinions on my Facebook. Unfortunately, she is not very educated and terribly immature, and thus opens herself up, then, to the ridicule of my friends and family who know better. A few weeks ago, she posted something about how much she loved Christmas on a webcomic I had shared and a cadre of friends began mimicking her incessant refusal to mind the rules of grammar and punctuation (one poster said “OMG LOL, I can’t wait to get a Hello Kitty toaster !! ! ! ! !”). I, myself, have bit my tongue on a number of occasions – particularly when she spells words like “gross” – grose, such as she did the other day when I posted that I couldn’t wait for a White Castle slider when I get (home) to Chicago in two months.

Today I could not take it anymore, though, because her comments went beyond the realm of simply judgmental, annoying, or inherently stupid. So I said my peace politely, although it left me with a horrible taste in my mouth. The conversation went something like this:

In a Facebook status, I joked about the irony of cleaning before the cleaners come: “Cleaners are on their way which can only mean one thing: must pre clean so we don’t look like slobs.”  A few of my friends commented immediately, indicating that they do the same exact thing, and one friend and I got into conversation about how worth it the cleaning service is – particularly when you have kid(s).

All of a sudden, Hello Kitty Toaster chimed in, saying I like to burn the calories and see all my hard work in the finished results !! Plus cleaning supplies last a long time… doesn’t equal the price of a cleaning lady !! just saying…

Fair enough.

I responded, continuing the conversation. For one, maybe I just live with complete and utter slobs, but we go through cleaning supplies like gang busters and when the cleaning service only charges $60 to completely disinfect, deallergen, and clean up after us, the net increase in the monthly budget is negligible. So I mentioned this. I also mentioned that there also is the “I’m not a slave”-factor, in the sense that just because I am a woman does not mean I have to spend all my time cooking and cleaning. (And in truth, I still have to clean up after the slobs…) The last comment I made on it was simply that having children around when you are trying to clean is much different than having no children (Hello Kitty Toaster of course falls into the latter category).

hmmm… well lets agree to disagree … no judgement here !! Just a different opinion

Fuck you, Hello Kitty Toaster. I hate it when people say that. It’s like the proverbial “I have nothing to say but am going to ignore your comments anyway.” I didn’t actually say fuck you – (despite the fact that her husband once told me to “go fuck yourself off” – great family, eh?…), but I wanted to. In the end, with her pithy “agree to disagree despite the conversation going on”-response, Hello Kitty Toaster shut the conversation down, leaving me annoyed and feeling like the housewife gong had again been struck.

Thanks, buzz kill.

But does she have a point? Is it better to clean house? She’s a housewife, although she has no kids. She actually does little but teach dance classes to children and some sort of yoga to adults. I’m not one to judge whether her existence is meaningful or not, although beyond this “teaching,” she is often nothing more than a bimbo. A blonde, uneducated, LOLOMGROFL !! bimbo. And – as I said – a housewife. A housewife who prepares her husband’s plate for him as if his arms are broken.

But still … does she have a point?

After thinking about it for the better half of the day, I still stick by a resounding “NO.” This isn’t the 1950s anymore, and while there is something to be said about a woman that will cook her man a nice dinner once in a while, this should not come as an expectation by any standard of judgment. Even when women don’t work – when they stay at home and raise the kids, or stay at home and work on other projects – I don’t think that the decades-old standard of housewifery need still apply. If the woman wants to abide by archaic standards of oppression and servitude, by all means, but for me, there’s a simple list of 5 Things a Housewife Should No Longer Feel She Has To Do:

#1 A housewife should no longer feel she has to change her last name. This is such an archaic practice and I’m not sure why people still do it. More over, nothing is more offensive than someone who cannot accept the fact that a woman chooses to keep her former name. My last name is and always will be Schmidt. I have multiple degrees tied to it and there is no reason to switch (something a lot of cultures practice as well…). Accept it or I’ll stop opening your mail.

#2 A housewife should not feel her station in life is to cook and clean. If a woman is not working and she and her husband make an agreement that she will do all the cooking and cleaning as a part of staying home, that is one thing. If a woman is not working for some other reason, though – be it to raise the kids, go to school, work on some other life-fulfilling project that does not necessarily bring home the bacon, then all bets are off the table. Nothing is more pompous than a man that acts like his wife should feel guilty for not cooking a luxurious meal every single night, either.

#3 There is no reason a housewife should serve her husband – food, slippers, whathaveyou. It’s always nice when you are tired from a long day and someone gets you a drink while you relax. Nothing beats coming home to find a plate of food dished up for you. But the concept of a woman fixing her husband’s plate every night – especially at family events for all to see her servitude – is ridiculous. I feel like punching Hello Kitty Toaster in the face, and asking her husband if his arms are broken, every single time I see them do this.

#4 A housewife should not feel obligated to bear children.  Again, every relationship is defined differently, but there are tons of options for having and raising children if a couple wants to do it and the woman does not want to put her body through the trials and tribulations of childbirth. I’ve heard a number of pompous assholes in my day say they could never truly love a child that is not related by blood. I call hog wash on that, and in a big way. A child is a child is a child and blood line does not make them any more or less so, just as sperm donation does not make or break the title of “dad.”

#5 Lastly, a housewife should not take any shit just because her husband is the man of the house. I don’t know many people I could call “men” that lie, abuse, and emotionally manipulate their wives. The other day I read a great article about “gas lighting” – which was described as an epidemic in our country. It is never acceptable for a man to make his wife feel she is wrong for having feelings, crazy for being upset, or the bad guy for wanting something out of the relationship too. Nor is it ever tolerable for a man to scream and yell, or to humiliate, talk down to, or demean his wife. Ever.

Of course maybe this 5 Things … list is why I don’t get treated to date nights and diamonds on Valentine’s Day like most other housewives do…