Thursday, April 14, 2011

BOOK TWO (11) Mr. Clean, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Every time you mop, or stress over dinner, or dream of planting a larger garden...remember: you could just scrap it all, and head for the big chaise longue in the sky.

If the domestic gods exist, you have nothing to fear in taking leave of your household. For these gods will step in. Aunt Jemima will cradle your kids in her slightly sticky gingham apron of love before sorting out breakfast...

Mr. Clean will wash up afterwards,

and the Energizer Bunny will walk them to school.

But if there are no actual Tetley Tea Folk...or if these gods aren't interested in letting you permanently put up your feet...then, well, it's not worth considering! What a terrible magic-less world!

Fortunately, they DO exist (according to TV), and will happily scrub your soapscum,

or weed the garden...

and achieve everything a housewife needs done so that she doesn't feel swamped. Their presence empowers housewives and keeps them from the absolute no-nos of staying in pjs all day or resorting to eating a whole row of packaged cookies. And if there were real evil lurking (like ring around the collar) in life outside the house, the domestic gods would have packed Oxi Clean so that you could easily avoid being stained by it. (If your character remains unstained, how could your reputation for baking the best muffins be damaged?)

The gods cannot have been so distracted by "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ads as to overlook domestic pitfalls of these kinds, nor leave a housewife without any clean stockings on Meet the Teacher night. These gods are powerful and skilled! They don't just let loose 'good' and 'evil' willy nilly on the virtuous (you with your clean tiles) and the skanky (you know who they are) in the same way.

All that being said: going back to school to finish your degree or retreating into your shell; your child winning the science fair or being picked up by the police; cutting your fingertip while chopping tomatoes or having a toe-curling shag; paycheques which get you googling Tiffany& Co. or days where you fit right in at Walmart, and so forth, are equally the lot of good housewives and bad. Things like these neither make you better nor worse, and therefore they are no more good than they are evil.


  1. You can't be serious! I have trouble finding women who even know who Marcus Aurelius IS -- much less those who implement his philosophy into the realm of domestic goddess. I am impressed with this site. I found you on when you had made a comment on one of Lexie's posts. Can't wait to start reading all of these and getting to know another classicist!

  2. Thanks so much! Wish I could offer you tea and this morning's choco-prune muffin while you read...

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