Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 6, 2012

Today was a day of ups and downs.  I am not totally sure why, but I was feeling pretty bitchy for parts of the day.  Actually, I do know some of why.  I just don’t know why it is that the things that I just ignore some days really get to me on other days.

I am afraid that I feel that I am not being treated with the respect I should be.  I could say, “deserve”, but that sounds more combative than I want.  

I would love to have a spotless house and a beautiful yard.  I feel overwhelmed by how much needs to be done and by how little anyone else in the house seems to care.  And I don’t live alone.  And I often felt that I am the only one who notices the messes or cares.  

We have had many homes over the years.  Houses that we made into our home.  By bringing our personal effects into these dwellings, and then by actually living there, they have become our homes.  Every time we moved to a new place, it was so hard to adjust.  Nick had his work and his role already there, defined and waiting for him.  I didn’t.   I had to learn about the neighborhood, shopping, transportation, customs, new money as well as make friends with people I had never met before and might not ever meet again after out time or theirs’ was up. 

We both suffered from homesickness and wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.  I wish I had been able to look at the bright side of every move and the wonder of the places we were living.  Of course, after the first six months or so, the places do become home.   But I can sure remember saying “I look forward to being nostalgic about this place”!

In many of the places we lived I had household help.  It’s a mixed blessing.  Yes, the burden of the routine chores is lifted.   But the presence of outsiders into your every day life is not easy.  It is impossible not to get caught up in the lives of the people who work for you and become attached.  But they are not people with whom you socialize.

Having another woman to help with the housework, a maid is a sort of bonding/ female energy that gets you through the days.  It means having company without having to go looking for it.  I never thought of our servants as subservient, but rather as helpers.   My best friend in Bangkok from 1976-78 was also my maid.   More than 30 years later we are still friends.    But, she is back in Thailand and I am here.   She now has maids of her own, and I feel pretty much on my own.

I am not sure how I got started on this vein.   I guess I am just feeling so much like I would love to have help.  I would love to have a friend who I could just hang out with and with whom I could share and swap chores.  Someone who would come and have coffee with me while I sweep the kitchen and fold the laundry.  

Instead I live with two men, one my husband and one my son, who don’t seem to even see me.  Or so I feel.  Yes, we engage in conversation. But when I see something that needs doing such as raking the leaves or vacuuming the carpet, unless I specifically ask for these things to be done, I am ignored.  

I do have to say that Nick has done a good job of taking over the cooking most days.  I have cooked so many meals for a family of seven over so much of my life that I am just tired.   I feel like I would like to be done.  I am a good cook.  Maybe even a great cook.  But when there’s only the two or three of us to cook for I just have a hard time caring a whole lot.

Today was my sister’s 65th birthday.  We spent a very nice evening with her and her grandchildren, son and daughter in law and Nick and myself.   My sister is my best friend here, and has been my best real, permanent friend all of my life.  When we lived overseas, before the Internet, she and I were the best pen pals.  We each wrote to one another at least once a week.  Sometimes more.  I hope that we have many more happy, healthy years together.

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