This I realized today:
I have forgotton what it’s like to come home to dinner on the table because someone else has made it.
Then I cried, for I felt lacking what all my female friends have, a spouse, a domestic partnership–steamed broccoli and grilled chicken–prepared at 5 o’clock by someone other than themselves. They belong to a club to which I have no access. I can’t get in.
Then I stopped.
Which was provoked by the little dog peering at me through the shower glass. I realized at that moment that I have everything I ever wanted, dinner or not, spouse or not. This is the life I imagined and now I get to live it, even if doesn’t include pre-cooked meals (from time to time) or magically folded laundry. It may even be better–I’ll never eat burnt food and my shirts will always fold in exact unison (as they should).
This week I’ve been looking over Woolf and her Essay A Room of One’s Own. I decided to focus on a thematic depiction of sexism within society and her eventual hopeful resolve of such–androgynous creativity. She spends a considerable amount of time detailing the female inequalities, imagining a world where women are free and able to create as they wish.
“Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
There was a time when I couldn’t have that little dog because someone else didn’t like them, and my opinion or desire was of no importance. Yes, perhaps I did have dinner made by that someone else, also, during that time, but I was confined to the home, vacuuming, the mundane. I wasn’t thinking and living for myself. This is not to minimize domestic life, if a woman so chooses, but it is essential that she choose it herself. Although, I highly recommend it’s choosing be in unison with some other “thing” also. The interest of vacuuming, recipes, and Clorox toilet cleaning tricks will pass. I assure you.
So, I’ll take my empty table and make a meal, every night, one of my choosing, For I figure, as Woolf did,
“how unpleasant it is to be locked out; [but] how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”