An African's Anecdotes and Accoutrements
|In the 79 months I’ve been living in the
I’ve come to appreciate the “challenges” of keeping a home, aka HOUSEWORK. A time-consuming and sadly necessary function all too familiar to virtually every single person living on this planet. |
In Zimbabwe servants/domestic workers/housekeepers are a part of the way of life for many people living in urban areas, something I’ve written about in some of my stories/articles for our Project Write World group.
I will readily admit to doing my fair share of housework during my years back home in Zimbabwe. I have always made my own bed, prepared and cooked meals, washed up the dishes, cleaned the bathroom etc. This is light housework, and is a relatively painless task. REAL housework, like ironing and cleaning windows is tough.
Now, I’m not complaining too much about housework... it has to be done, and there’s absolutely no way of escaping cleaning/washing/ironing/vacuuming etc. Thanks goodness for the modcons like vacuum cleaners, steam generator irons, dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers etc. What I am complaining about is my personal hates of things affiliated with housework; things that raise my normally low blood pressure (90/60) to dangerous levels. The following three examples demonstrate my dilemma:
Plastic Water Bottles – one of my efforts to be more environmentally friendly involves recycling our 500 ml water bottles. When we’ve emptied them I wash and refill them from a big 20 litre water bottle. I have no issue with full water bottles, but those empty ones are another story. The slightest jolt sends them on a suicide mission, throwing themselves off the kitchen counter onto the floor, or from the draining board into the sink. I think what annoys me most is they weigh absolutely nothing, and seem absolutely intent on falling over. There is NO REASON to do it, so why?
Electrical Cables – no matter how carefully I store the extension lead after vacuuming it never fails to kink itself before its next use. I have a very long extension lead that lets me vacuum the entire house from a single plug point, which should in theory be really effortless and stress free. It never is – firstly the knot or twist needs to be sorted out before the vacuum cleaner is started. Then comes the excitement of moving around the house trying to finish vacuuming, because every single item seems to want to grab the extension lead – usually near the plug. This results in the divorce of the extension lead connection and the vacuum cleaner plug, meaning electricity suddenly dies and vacuum stops working. Trying to free the cord from underneath the water cooler, the side table or bottom of the couch should be easy, but it isn’t. Somehow the electrical cord is so tightly gripped the offending chair/table/water cooler needs to be lifted to free the cable. I really believe these items hate me and the vacuum cleaner, and grab the cord simply to anger me. Are my household items trying to tell me something???
Coat Hangers – why do they insist on behaving like they’re taking part in an orgy? Their large metal hanging hooks and the smaller plastic ones for using on skirt loops seem to seize each other at every opportunity, locking on with rapturous excitement. Often more than two hangers will be locked together, so when one is selected to use for a freshly ironed shirt the “hangers on” will do their best to try and prevent its escape. Coat hangers are my most hated household item.
I know I should let inanimate objects frustrate, annoy and anger me in this way, but I just cannot help it. I could go on and on - the light switches that frequently need to be released and reattached so they work... the toilet flusher that needs to be pushed again after use to stop water flowing into the bowl for hours after the first flush... but I don’t want to whinge. I told Ivan I had been spring cleaning today, and he laughed before telling me our temperatures are forecast to plummet to a few degrees above freezing on Friday, and remain that way for a week. Instead I will console myself with these fine words of wisdom from Erma Bombeck, although I doubt even she was courageous enough to live by them:
My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?