When we arrived at our new desert home, the powers that be wanted to know who I was before I was issued a residence visa, even though I was merely a secondary concern since it was my husband’s job at a university which had brought us to the other side of the world in the first place.There were many, many, many forms to fill out. Among the questions I was asked was my religion; N/A. My marital status; steady and holding. And my occupation. Here I dutifully wrote in Writer.
I sometimes feel funny stating as my occupation “writer” because while it’s what I do most of the day, I make very little money from it, if any at all in some years. So is it really a job if there’s no renumeration?
Because, after a long wait in which, I suppose, my credibility as a human was thoroughly vetted, my visa finally arrived where under occupation was typed: HOUSEWIFE. Finally, I thought, a job where making no money isn’t even an issue! The last couple of days, sporting a certain glow, what with all the possibilities, I’ve been trying to decide what sort of housewife I should be.
Naturally, I turned first to my youth when my world was awash in housewives.Then there was mostly two types. The mothers of my best friends tended to be the sort still in their dressing gowns at three in the afternoon with a large G&T at hand. I loved them, their low cigarette growl voices telling us to go ahead eat them out of house and home or, as we grew older, requiring nothing more from us, as we ferried boat loads of horny boys down into the basement, that we stay relatively quiet, easy since we were all necking, and that we didn’t burn the place down, not so easy as our joints were constantly flaring up and flaming out and this was the era of shag carpeting.
The second type of housewife, and these were thinner on the ground, I like to think of as the sweater set. They offered us tea and wanted to hear about our day at school. This sort of mother was so foreign to me that I imbued her with near mystical powers, a belief that was confirmed when I once saw my friend’s mother actually paint her front porch in heels and pearls.
I may aspired to be this kind of housewife, but don’t hold out much hope.
Nor do I want to be a Housewife from Beverly Hills, Orange County or Atlanta. Those women are just bizarre.
I’m not without some housewife street cred. I can cook. And do, making my own bread, my own pasta, in fact, I make most things from scratch. So perhaps I need to go further back in time, say the 1940’s, before time saving devices made cooking a microwave affair. There’s much of that sort of life that appeals to me, sans the frumpy house dresses and the thick ankles, but only, and this is important, if it’s a part time job. Otherwise, forget it. I’m just too lazy. Those broads worked hard.
Which makes me think, since I am a housewife of no particular standing, after all, I have no children and don’t even have a house for that matter, that I might as well cherry pick and choose the best aspects of all these types of housewives.
So, should you come a-calling, say one afternoon around 4pm, expect to find me supine, gin and tonic sweating on my coaster-clad coffee table, my nails perfectly manicured while my dog, panting on a treadmill, powers my hand-cranked rotisserie chicken roasting over an open fire pit. Just don’t ask me to write about it. Unless, of course, you want to pay me.