To Be a Housewife

NOTE: This post does not apply to stay-at-home moms. We salute you.

So I don’t have a job.

My husband moved to Dallas 2 months before we got married, and I was told I could either come with him after the wedding or give the ring back. So I quit my job, packed all my things, and opened them again in this tiny home. And home has a much different meaning when you never leave.

For any of you who have ever been accidental (or on purpose) housewives, I think you’ll relate to this. (Unless you live in Orange County and live your life on a reality tv show with people to do your laundry and run your errands.) There’s a minor glitch in the time-space continuum that settles over the homes of unsuspecting housewives, stealing their ability to be productive in any fashion. More time equals less productivity. Your husband sets out into the workplace, leaving his home and a few instructions confidently in your hands. And yet you find yourself coming up with 8 other things to do during the day, watching the clock for 5:45, at which time you’ll hurriedly toss your lunch dishes in the sink, turn off Gilmore Girls, throw on some jeans, and apply just enough makeup to make it look like you’ve actually needed it for some outing that day. My only hope for burying the sense of shame is to make it sound like EVERYTHING was a big deal. See below.

Kyle: What did you do today?

Me: Well, I went to the post office to mail those letters and there was a HUGE line, so that took forever…. And then I cleaned out the fridge (threw away a rotten tomato) and so that took up some time. Oh, and I found this really cute pillow from Target that I want to get with our gift card, but I found it online and I don’t think they have it in the store, but it took me so long to figure that out… Technology. Sheesh.

Kyle: Hm. (This is where I know that he’s caught on, even though he doesn’t say anything.)

Me: And tomorrow I’m going to plan our menu for the week. (If I say it confidently enough, he’ll think it’s going to take me all day.)

And in the midst of it, I know he can read right through me. I know what I’m saying sounds completely ridiculous, and yet it’s my only hope to avoid what I now refer to as “Wife Guilt.”

I had 3 things to do today. 1. Apply for two jobs. 2. Write a blog post. 3. Keep the house clean.

And I sit here watching the clock turn 5:37, knowing that my time has come to an end. The sink is full of dishes, the kitchen table is covered with sewing notions, and I haven’t completed an application. Things I have done: Made a shirt, made a rug, and written a blog post. But this post took a really long time to write…

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9 Things We’ll Always Buy Used

Houses – When my wife says she “cherishes character over shiny new things” all I hear is money swirling down our vintage, century-old leaky drain. It’s ok though, I can live with that because she’s not kidding, old really is better than new. We just have to choose the right kind of old.

Cars – This is more of a financial decision than anything else.

Furniture – I’m not going to say we’re NEVER going to buy new furniture, but that’s the mindset right now. Like, if I get into a 3-car accident with Dirk and Mark Cuban tomorrow and they both write me a blank check I’m not opposed to purchasing a few leather accessories (that sounds terrible) to sit on. Honestly though? I prefer the junk my wife buys for pennies on the dollar and refurbishes. I also like building furniture. Although bookselves and desks that would take a normal person 3-4 hours take me 4-5 months…

Books – You can one-up the “buy it used” mantra here. Just trade for it. Or get it for free.

Baby clothes – We don’t talk about this one. In fact, why are we still on this, let’s move on.

Artwork – Every time we’re in Target I find myself staring at their artwork thinking “ooohh that looks so original and awesome, let’s buy it.” Then I become cognizant of the fact that 2,000 other people did the exact same thing at Targets around the nation that day. So it’s not awesome and it’s definitely not original. So we don’t even buy artwork used…we just make it.

Golf clubs – I’m not hitting a 3-iron pure whether it’s used, slightly used, brand new, or Ben Hogan himself forged the metal with which it was made…so I might as well go cheap.

DVDs – Buying new DVDs feels like buying toilet paper, you’re rarely (hopefully) using either one more than once. With the advent of Redbox, Netflix, and Hulu what have DVDs become other than placeholders for home collections? And DVD collections are SO 2002.

Big people clothes – This is one we’ve been discussing for a few days. We’re thinking about not purchasing any new clothing for the next year. I just asked Jen if that meant I couldn’t buy a polo at The Masters next year. She said “you’re the one who made the rule” in one of those voices that makes you want to climb a large tree and jump head first into a pool of seething tar. So I guess that’s that. I’m sure we’ll revisit this paragraph multiple times over the next 11 months…(personal caveat: I’ve been told that shoes and undergarments are the only two things we’re allowed to purchase new – and I thought I was making the rules!)

Enjoy “The Decision” – we won’t be watching.

What kind of stuff do you always buy used?

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