School Days: Domestic Rituals I Despise

It took me long enough to become domesticated. For most of my 14-year marriage, washing dishes, doing laundry, and cleaning toilets were not top priorities. Not that I am a slob or completely oblivious to my family’s needs. But, let’s face it. I would rather romance my husband, play with my children, help out at school, write my blog posts, train for 5ks, socialize with my lady friends, read, and shop. In the end, these are the priorities that give me the greatest pay-off.

So, there are domestic rituals I despise; and will put off until my kids scream bloody murder and my husband booby-traps my writer’s chair. These must-dos are pure evil. No woman I call friend should ever have to endure the black magic swirling above when these duties are imminent.

1. Getting kids dressed for school. Issa is a diva who could care less. She barely looks at my suggestions the night before and moves at a turtle-pace to the task. Then, there’s Riff. He just entered kindergarten and the particular phase. He insists on wearing one of two favorite shirts and refuses to wear a jacket when it’s cold and raining outside.

2. Making lunches. I was fine with this the first week of school. The weekend prior, I  stocked the pantry and fridge with their favorites. Now, I try to stretch what I have for two weeks before the next major grocery excursion. For one thing, I hate grocery shopping. It’s boring, fellow shoppers lollygag, and I would rather spend the money on something fun like shoes. Another thing. Making lunches is the last item on my daily chore list before I am free to watch TV, read or catch up on Facebook with a glass of Garnacha. Sometimes, the lure of watching Once Upon a Time or re-reading Fifty Shades for the fortieth time is too much.

3. Bath night. I love sweet-smelling kids. But, mine fight me while my husband watches television and ignores their need for cleanliness. They don’t start moving for the bathroom until I threaten a spray-down in the backyard. Once they’re in, they don’t want out. They both claim a need to practice holding their breath under water. Go figure.

4. Cleaning out the fridge. I push my people to eat leftovers in a timely manner. The creation of unknown formations is never my intent. But, on occasion there is an ugly that appears in the rear that catches me off-guard. So, for the sake of my children, I hold my breath — until I turn purple — and purge without discrimination.

5. Weeding. My husband seems to think weed barriers will keep all ugliness out of our flower beds. I don’t know what gardening class he took. But, weeds invade and cling to whatever patch of soil they seek to claim. They don’t go unless evicted with vicious, continuous, strategic.

Independent, But United

 Tracy, my partner for life

In 1998, at this very date and time, I was married to Harold Tracy Parish III (Tracy). Some might laugh at the date we selected to say our vows. After all, July 4 is a holiday celebrated in recognition of our country becoming an independent nation. We take time to think about the many freedoms we enjoy.

I don’t know about Tracy. But, I do not view our marriage as a loss of freedom or independence. We are united in most beliefs and ideologies. But, both of us remain free to think, decide, speak, act, and listen. I feel secure in the support we give one another as well as the space to make new friends, learn, pursue talents and careers, make mistakes and make successes.

It is frustrating at times when Tracy and I disagree. There are issues we battle that leaves one or both fuming. But, our unity is stronger than the temporary inner turmoil we find ourselves in. We agree to disagree. It is unrealistic to expect 100-percent agreement on how to solve each problem we meet.

Independent, but united is how I prefer to define our marriage. I am Kate; and — without a doubt — he is Tracy.