Saturday, January 26, 2013

Housewives do not have the luxury of ecophobia

I’m reading Tenth of December, and I have to say that George Saunders deserves every bit of praise he has received for this book. What makes him special is that, well, he’s genuinely special. His style is not pretentious or restrained, it's playful and smart and funny; and, and, he’s doing what seems impossible in the literary world: he’s getting acclaim as a short story writer. No stuffy, bogged-down or forced novels needed. His characters know when their time is up, and I can say that each story left me satisfied. Saunder’s crisp, vibrant, free-feeling short stories are changing the scene, and I love him for it. More, I love his interviews. If you want a taste of the fiction, check out the collection's namesake here, published in the New Yorker.

I used to subsist on Hot Pockets. 

Good to know there are now cheaper options out there.

My late-blooming love for George Saunders aside, I came to the realization yesterday that if I was a housewife, I would likely die within a few months. This was a hurtful realization because technically being a housewife for me would just mean not working the day jobs, which would, in turn, allow me to write full-time (I'd still be a housewife, not a writer if one is labeling by the way one actually lives day-to-day ie gets the bils paid). Imagine just working part-time... Imagine how much writing I'd get done! But no, it's not going to happen for me. Not that I'd die of boredom or anything symbolic like that. Like I said, I'd write until I could parlay that into a career. But no, I mean, I worry being home too much would actually be the death of me. I'll explain further, but first, a few items to my credit: I keep a clean home (the husband helps out). I have routines. And, since my health scare and subsequent health kick, I have to admit that I’m getting pretty damn good at cooking. I make salmon, burgers (for the husband), quinoa, salads, dynamite smoothies, guacamole, beans and rice, risotto, and a few other things that aren’t microwavable; but this increased time in the kitchen has directly correlated to the increased number of at-home accidents.

According to a handy estate planning article I came across while researching accidents, an American is killed in an at-home accident every 29 minutes. I have one work-from-home day three weeks out of the month, I spend many weekend hours at home, and the occasional vacation or sick day; but overall, I’m not home much. I work two jobs most of the year, and I write in coffee shops or, if at home, I do not much move from my desk. Still, I manage to find myself post-accident at least once a month. Accordingly, I think my odds are higher than most, and if I were home more my days would be numbered. 

A few months ago, I brunt my cheek with boiling water (the water had oil in it). The mark is fading and I got a good short story idea from the incident, but it was pretty ugly for a while. I was going into the office with a large bandage on my cheek. And seeing as how the office life thrives on gossip, people found his highly intriguing which I, in turn, found highly annoying. So, while healing from that I thought back to my ironing accident after a few days home years ago. I still have a scar on my arm from that, and I thought, hm, maybe I can never be one of those domestic goddesses I admire. Then yesterday, the maybe was erased as I set a giant plastic spoon on fire while making ravioli. The flames were reaching at me, and it was frightening. I'm not exactly sure how it all happened. All I know is that I had given the ravioli a good stir then (in my unhousewifely way) set the spoon down next to the pot. I was able to put the fire out easily enough, but the melted plastic on the stove was a bitch to clean and the smell was, well, the smell of burning plastic. 

Bottom line: I decided yesterday, as I inhaled the post-plastic-melt and apologized to my dog for the scream and frantic running around that I could see was stressing him out, that I will never be a housewife. I'd made this decision when I was a little girl, too, but I just remade it. For practical reasons. My husband and I did enjoy the ravioli though, for the record, as the food itself was not affected.

In writing news, I have contributed a piece of fiction to an anthology geared toward helping the victims of Sandy, the devastating 2012 storm. This anthology is a wonderful effort to help those in New Jersey who are still struggling. You know, we hear about these things and we help immediately, but the aftermath remains. Anyway, if you're a writer or a reader interested, you can get updates on the book, here: OH SANDY! An Anthology of Humor for a Serious Purpose.

Well, if you need me, I'll be spending the weekend packing for Vermont, watching Game of Thrones, and trying to calm my restless mind. Oh, and I have set the goal for myself to write two flash stories this weekend. They can suck, I am allowing myself that right, but they must be written. I need a warm up for the next few weeks. Did I mention I fly out next weekend? I'm excited, a little nervous about not making the most of it, but mostly I'm just thrilled. Damn it, I'm going to get to write!  

Cheers! To the weekend!

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