Friday, July 6, 2012

The Domestic Delinquent

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Due to the seemingly astonishing amount of cooking and baking I do, almost all of it from my own unique recipes, I've been teasingly called a little "Martha Stewart" by some of my friends.  Each time this happens I feel like a complete fraud.

Because the ugly truth is, aside from my cooking and baking skills, I am pretty much the Domestic Diva's polar opposite.

While I will shamelessly brag about the deliciousness I cook up on a regular basis, I can't, in good conscience, claim to be all that expert in the food presentation department.  You may remember the sperm cookie debacle:

Those squiggles are actually supposed to be "As".  The icing I flooded the cookies with was supposed to be pink.

Or Big A's birthday cupcakes from this year, which looked beautiful for all of 3 minutes before the piped pink icing practically melted off them in our hot kitchen. 

Adam's sister took up cake decorating just 2 years ago, and already she is producing magazine-cover quality products.  Mine do taste great...but sometimes they look a bit like they were whipped up in an easy-bake oven.

This is about as good as it gets for me:

But it gets even worse.  Despite my obsession with home decor and reno shows, I can't seem to apply what I learn to my own design attempts.  My questionnable artistic skills aside, I am a wee bit disappointed with the paintings and sketches I made for the girls' rooms, because the scale is all wrong.


 Perhaps I am just a dingbat, but admittedly, I didn't bother to measure their walls ahead of time nor research what sized canvases would be most appropriate.  Also - for the record - I am completely technologically disabled...which is why the photos are all misaligned...

And that, therein, lies my problem: I am very impatient and a little too task-oriented. I am so keen on accomplishing a goal and getting it done, that I often do a half-assed job. I rarely am patient enough to read instructions for anything and tend to just barrel ahead and hope for the best. Kind of a weird trait for a Type-A perfectionist, huh?

So...the paint colour (beige) I choose for our living room/dining room - I now realize - is too dark, the blue in our bedroom has too much green and not enough grey, and the brown tiles I chose for our downstairs bathroom are just butt-ugly.  Again, I can chalk all this up to being impatient...or maybe lazy?  I hate spending too long on these kinds of decisions, and instead, tend to be a little impulsive.

Not only do I have no future in interior design, but I am also rather incompetent at even everyday menial tasks.  Adam has banned me from folding laundry, or ironing clothes.  He carefully inspects every dish and pot I wash to make sure I haven't missed spots.

Truthfully, I hate domestic tasks.  With the exception of cooking, I despise it all: vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, mopping, all of it.  Even the thought of putting away laundry or unloading the dishwasher fills me with dread.

I am embarrassed to say that even over the past 3 years while I have been on maternity leave with Little A, and in school not making an income, I have insisted that we continue to employ someone to clean the house for us.  I just can't do it.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  If it were left to me, I suspect I would put it off until things became a sorry state.  I am lucky to have a husband who happily does his fair share.  Adam does all the laundry folding and ironing.  He takes care of the bills (another task I hate), and is in charge of the garbage/recycling/composting duties.  He mows our little lawn, shovels snow and rakes leaves.  He has always said he would happily clean our house himself, and while that seems lovely in theory, in practice, I know that when this responsibility is left to him, he does the same few things (vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms and kitchen), and neglects all the rest (dusting, changing towels and linens,cleaning under and behind the stove, etc).  I'm not complaining, he is a very helpful man, but I just think we are a couple that need domestic help!

While we are fortunate to have the ability to pay for help cleaning our home, we can't justify the expense of having a gardener, and both Adam and I hate gardening.  So while the inside of our house is always sometimes clean, the outside sometimes looks rather pathetic.  My mom, a talented green-thumb, often takes things into her own hands and cleans up the yard for us when visiting.  In between, things tend to go downhill fast.  Although I like gardening more than I used to, I still don't like it that much, and this is another thing I tend to put off as long as possible.  I also seem to have a brown-thumb.  Give me a house plant - any kind - and I am guaranteed to kill it within a few weeks.  Given what a lovely job most of our neighbours do tending to their front yards, I am very embarrassed by ours.  But, of course, not embarrassed enough to do anything drastic myself.  Nope, I am now contemplating hiring a gardener or landscaper to clean it up for us and make it so low-maintenance, that even Adam and I can handle it.

Here are some of our neighbours' yards:

Here is ours:

 Notice all the brown grass and weeds?

Again...I can't get the stupid pictures to go where I want them to.  I guess I could research how to do it...but I suppose I'm too lazy.

Admittedly, I feel very guilty hiring other people to take care of our home, seeing as I am not currently working full-time and could do it myself, but life is short and I want to spend as little of it as possible doing things I hate.

Now you could throw this in my face and say that you hate exercising or eating vegetables, so you don't want to waste any precious time exercising or eating food you don't like, but if you don't take care of your body, your life is bound to be too short, or your health so compromised, that you won't be able to do the things you love.  So there!  Hire someone to clean your house, eat broccoli, and go out for a run!!

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