We had friends over for dinner last night. It was a festival of lasagna and meatballs, wine and laughter. THAT DOG pranced about adorably with her new bone, I made a pot of coffee at the end of the night without blowing up the kitchen. All in all, it was a huge success.
But evenings like this make me aware of a gaping hole in my formal education. I followed the typical path: I spent my high school years learning things that would get me into college, and my college years learning things that would make me sound pithy and erudite in interviews and at cocktail parties. (We'll leave out my law school years, where I learned little besides how many Miller Lights it took to fend off a panic attack.) The thing is, though, nothing in my eduction prepared me for the mundane, practical aspects of social living: that someone needs to cook, and someone needs to clean. And sometimes, that someone is me.
I blame feminism. Now granted, I'm grateful that my college moved beyond it's historical tradition of teaching women only the domestic arts. But the result is that I never learned any of the domestic arts. And contrary to what I haughtily said to my mother when she suggested it might behoove me to learn, my years of training in how to think about a problem and tackle it effectively haven't helped me figure these basics out at all.
Now don't get me wrong: it doesn't all fall to me. Steve is a great team player in our attempts to sustain life here in the Ryan Hood. He can Swiffer abandoned dog fur into submission like no one I've ever seen, and he came home at 4:30 yesterday to make the lasagna. But still, it took me SIX HOURS to clean the rest of our 900 square foot condo. And it hasn't been all that long since we did it the last time. Six hours??? Clearly, either there are some tips I'm missing, or this is the reason so many couples stop having marital relations once they move in together--they're too busy trying to stay ahead of the creeping crud.
It makes me wonder--might the whole course of my life have been different if all students at my college had been required to take a semester or two of Home Ec? Think of what a great place the world would be if every History, Math, and Poli Sci major came out of school armed with a good oatmeal cookie recipe and an understanding of the difference between 409 and Windex? If I'd known I'd someday live in the city with a furry dog, I might even have declared an official minor in dust management.
THIS is what I'd like to see on HGTV: a reality show where they reveal other people's pathetic attempts to fight mold and mildew, and then give them Home Ec makeovers so they don't have to re-route their 401K contributions to the Merry Maids. We could call it Clean Eye for the Dirty Guy.
Just a thought.