Plus, they made me feel rooted and safe--the exact opposite emotions that are evoked from a stressful, challenging job.
Add ¼ Cup of Calm
While Sujay relaxed on our futon reading the last Harry Potter, I wrapped myself in my red apron and started measuring out cups of flower and sugar for dessert and then chopping vegetables for our salad. As casserole dishes went into the oven and diced vegetables piled up, one might think that could be overwhelming, yet I started to feel a sense of calm and accomplishment--two feelings I rarely experience at work, where a typical project is only completed after weeks of coordinating between multiple colleagues.
I'm not saying I was having the time of my life. I’d been on my feet for at least four hours and they were beginning to ache. An hour before Mike and Pegg arrived, Sujay realized I hadn't said anything for awhile. He gave me a shoulder rub, and then started spontaneously dusting the apartment, a level of cleaning I don't think I have ever even attempted. And that, it turns out, is precisely what Dr. Laura predicts will happen. The more tasks wives do around the house--and the less nagging--then the more their husbands will happily to do their share, she insists. I never thought I would agree with Dr. Laura on much, but in this regard, she seems to be right.
Mix in 6 Tablespoons of Self-Esteem
Dinner, if I do say so myself, was fabulous. Mike and Pegg gushed over the creamy garlic sauce. In my last-minute dash to get everything on the table at the same time, I ended up using Paul Newman’s dressing instead of making my own, but no one seemed to mind. By the time I presented the chocolate cake, I felt like a hostess extraordinaire. The day ended much better than it began: With a glass of wine in my hand, a clean apartment surrounding me, and a gourmet meal in my stomach, the relaxing after-effects of a night spent with good friends soothed my mind. Sujay took out the garbage and finished the dishes while I put my feet up.
In the months since that day, I've learned to embrace the part of me that wants to be a housewife, instead of suppressing it. I fold my husband's shirts on occasion, plan and cook almost all of our meals, and clean our apartment. He does plenty around the house, too, but it tends to fall more into the taking-out-the-garbage and fixing-the-car variety.