I have many redeeming qualities. I am kind. Easy going. Love animals. Enjoy children. I like to be helpful. I enjoy a good laugh. I can tack up a horse in 34 seconds. I can milk anything with teats (even a human if need be).
But there are some areas in which I am definitely lacking. And domestication is one of them. Shall we examine the evidence?
1. Early years: As a young lass in the kitchen I made many interesting discoveries. 1) A single potato baked for 20 minutes in the microwave will become a bouncy piece of black foam. 2) If you make one pizza using a dough recipe for 6 you will end up with a 6 inch thick slab of dough that does not cook. Also: if you are out of pizza sauce you can use the condensed tomato soup. Just slap it on there. Of course your family will eat it. They love you. 3) A birthday cake made for a goat consisting of coffee grounds, oatmeal and candles (which the goat ate) will induce labour. Do not panic when you witness a goat with a head on the front end and the back end, both bellering mercilessly. I was convinced this horrific sight was the impetus for Dr. Do-Little’s “push-me-pull-you”. My early years in the kitchen left quite an impression. During my 12th summer we lived in our family’s double car garage while building a new house. I was required to feed the work crew without hot water using a work bench as a kitchen counter while the boys pounded in nails and mucked about in wet concrete. The moral of the story? Domestication sucks. The plus side of living in a garage is your pygmy goat Demetri can become a permanent resident, you can have crabapple and potato fights with reckless abandon and you can hear everyone in your family toot in the night.
2. Teen years: My priorities during my teen years was definitely focused more on the barnyard than the kitchen. In my eyes the kitchen was only useful in terms of how it could somehow benefit my animal husbandry needs. I was only interested in cooking up bran mashes and linseed oil concoctions to impart a shiny coat on my 4-legged com padres. My father was disgusted when I used the serrated edge of one of the kitchen knives to remove bot eggs from my horse’s legs. I recall my mother scrimping and saving to buy her first complete, shiny, brand-spanking-new set of pots and pans. At this same time my beloved horse developed a pus-filled abcess in her hoof. I helped myself to one of my mother’s brand new kettles and filled it with warm water and Epsom salts to draw out the putrid infection. Mother came round the corner of the house just in time to see said horse stomping massive hoof-shaped dents in her brand new shiny pots. My response to her cries of disdain: “Oh geez Moooooom! <insert eyeroll> Get over it!” I also had a two day stint as a waitress until I showed up to work with a swollen seeping eye (raging pink eye methinks) and a surly attitude. I wasn’t employed long. This is not only proof that I was a terrible domestic goddess during the 90s but also a complete douche bag.
3. College years: I met my Hubs* in college. The first day of college to be exact. Praise the dear sweet Baby Jesus for that one, otherwise I probably would have died early in the second semester from malnourishment combined with profuse explosive diarrhea and a hardy dose of scurvy. When Hubs met me I was living the groovy lifestyle of a hip lacto-ovo vegetarian (how I later came to be a bloodthirsty carnivore who owns a butcher shop I will never know). I existed on a diet of Shreddies, ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches and 12L of milk per week. Now would be a good time to recall I am lactose intolerant. In all fairness I was not diagnosed for 2 more years but GOOD GRAVY you can imagine the acoustics in the communal bathrooms. Hubs (formerly Boytoy**) swept in and began cooking for me long before we were even dating. Boytoy became a mother hen ensuring I had regular sustenance. He began cooking vegetarian meals using textured-tofu-fake-meat and feeding it to the whole floor of our dorm (sorry to his roommates, that was a dirty trick). When Boytoy had to leave town I existed on Alphaghetti straight out of the can with a disposable spoon (no dishes that way, see!) and those instant oatmeal packets made with lukewarm water (more like cookie dough that way mmmmm!) My roomies and I (all 6 of us) did not subscribe to any domestic duties in the cleanliness department either. Our preferred mode of cleaning was liberally spritzing Febreeze around the kitchen every time the stench of molten rot from the festering dirty dishes got to be unbearable. Once a month or so we would heft loads of the mold-spackled-cheap-o-dollar store dishes to the garbage chute and shove them down to start anew the next month. College…ahhhh, the good old days.
*not his real name
**also not his real name
Please note: Hubs met me in college, saw (and possibly heard/smelled) all of this and married me anyway. I’d say he had fair warning that a life of domestic bliss was not in his cards.
4. Early married life: I tried. I really did. I attempted a lovely stir fry for my dear sweet young Hubs. I skimmed a little too quickly at the crucial step where it advised to add 2 tsp of garlic powder I added 2 TBSP of garlic salt. My concoction was not fit for human consumption and made the dog barf.
5. Motherhood: A few years ago my dear sweet then-3 year-old son made a picture of his mama at playschool describing “Why I love my mom”. Below the bubble-headed-stick-legged-distended-abdomen that was my likeness it stated “I love my Mom because she makes me lunch when Daddy isn’t home”. I need to be reminded by my children when it is mealtime. In a perfect world there would be Alpo for humans. I would be quite happy on 3 square meals of breakfast cereal per day. Hubs cooks 99.876% of the time. The rest of the time we have pasta or frozen pizza. This is all very scandalous because for the past 5 years I have been speaking at agri-food industry events across Canada about the significance of the family farm, ethical eating and real food. I’m kind of a hypocrite in that way because I love to farm, I love to eat but I loathe cooking. Shhhh…don’t tell
There you have it…concrete proof why I am an absolute dud in the fine arts of domestication. I realize that I am a trophy wife. Basically eye candy. A rural roots kinda Playboy playmate (except I wear shit stained coveralls and rubber boots instead of a birthday suit). And ya know what? I am ok with that. .