I am feeling a lot like this woman today, and I especially find myself reflected in her glassy/crazed-eye expression. Thank god March Break is almost over.
Recently discovered: Emily Matchar's blog The New Domesticity, through The Hairpin. I have been loving it. Matchar, who is 29 years old and childless, is writing a book about the current "fascination with reviving 'lost' domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc." In her book, she plans to tease out the answers to questions like "Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?" (You may have read Emily's article Why I Can't Stop Reading Mormon Blogs.) Her blog is a sort of scrapbook of her research and her posts have been both thoughtful and informative. Today she linked to Is It Safe to Play Yet?, an article in the NYT that sort of poo poos the current movement to keep children safe from dangerous chemicals that may (or may not be) in all the stuff that surrounds us. I have always downplayed the danger to our kids from toxins in the environment until I recently did some research about the effects of BPA on development and freaked out a little bit and wrote the Campbell's Soup letter, and then did more research (see Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things )and freaked out a little more.
I am also fascinated by the work of food historian Rachel Laudan, to whom Emily linked. In her article In Praise of Fast Food, Rachel reminds us of the sheer work historically involved in making food from scratch -- I was shocked to learn the fact that until the 60s Mexican women had to spend FIVE HOURS A DAY grinding maize in order to make tortillas. Does anyone really want to go back to that kind of labour? (I should get to work on my business plan for a healthy fast food restaurant version of McDonald's, complete with non-toxic happy meal toys.)
Anyway, there is plenty of good stuff to read on The New Domesticity for those who enjoy embracing traditional domestic tasks and those who would hire a full-time housekeeper if they could. (Like me.)
I would write more but must go referee an ongoing battle today between Luke and Vivi. Vivi insists that today is Luke's birthday and Luke insists that it is not. You'd think this would be resolved by a two-line exchange but they have probably exchanged more than two hundred lines on the topic today, accompanied by storms of tears from both parties. And by "parties" I do not mean birthday parties.