This morning I saw a new article trending “I am a Domestically-Challenged Bride; A Proud One!“ and garnering lots of ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up’.
“I earn and help my husband take care of the bills. I am well-read and can hold interesting conversations with him and his friends when we entertain, I can add numbers real quick and if he wants to cross-check any fact, I am the one who can give him the info in a matter of minutes (thanks to Google and a good phone). Am I still a bad wife? A lot of people seem to think so.”
I read this article with over ‘33.3K shares’, and had a good laugh.
I think the people around me are suffering from what I call ‘afsar’ syndrome. Through my stints in a typical Delhi office environment I have observed how the afsars (officer Hindi-fied), the white collared gentry, think that it is not their job to do anything other than ‘work’ which should involve paper/computer/application of mind. Tasks such as washing their own cup, throwing the used paper cup, taking files out of the cupboard, removing the used plate are meant for the blue collared boys in their blue uniforms. I have also heard tales from my acquaintances who take ‘pride’ in the fact that they earn but can’t cook & clean and can afford a cook and a cleaning lady and that such ‘actions’ do not make them a ‘bad’ ‘wife’. No not all… rather such ‘thoughts’ only make you sound like an ‘immature’ ‘person’.
Do we ever take pride in saying ‘I just cant take a bath myself, I have a Man Friday do it for me, and I am proud of it’. Or ‘I just cant brush my teeth, I cant waste my time on such things’ Or how we wish this was true ‘Don’t expect me to do my own exercise in the gym… its too trivial for me to waste my time on this… I get a maid to do that for me’! Ever seen a Westerner boast that he doesn’t do his laundry or cook?
Recently my cook lost her teenage daughter under very tragic circumstances. My neighbour (who has a 7 year old girl) told me that she was ‘shell-shocked’ and told the cook to take ‘her time’ to recover. One day she was at my door at 6.30 am asking me if the cook resumed her job and that she ‘thought’ that the cook started coming to my house. I said no and it was only 4 days since the little girl passed away!
We go to schools and colleges to get educated. However, in the process of getting a degree to make ourselves financially independent, guess we forgot to educate ourselves about complete independence. Learning to cook and keep your house and surroundings clean does not make you a ‘typical Indian aunty’ (the derogatory term we like to call typical homemakers). Rather we are just doing our own jobs. Why is it that there is a lot of emphasis on how ‘well’ we perform at our professional jobs and that doubled with our inability to do our personal chores is received with applause. The fact that men are not expected to do these ‘menial’, ‘trivial’ jobs is another ball game all together.
Not knowing what to eat and when to eat, living in a dirty house and wearing unclean clothes harms only us. The aim is not to be Martha Stewart at housekeeping, but to know the basics and to DO it when the need arises and do not flaunt your ignorance!!
Respect the ‘blue collared boys’. We have our cooks, cleaning ladies, car washing bhaiyyas, etc. and they help us achieve more within the limited time that a day grants us. So when these helpful angels do not come, cut the bullshit and just do your own work! And no none of this is TRIVIAL or NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!
PS: Dear author, I don’t need to be a breadwinner to know how to ‘google’ to check facts or ‘entertain’ guests!