Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In the Singlehood: My household roles

I saw this prompt over at Mama Kat's and thought I could combine my Writers Workshop piece with my "In the Singlehood" series.

Here's the prompt:

"What is your role in the household?"

HA!! That's a good one! You mean roles. When you're a single person, you can't have just one role in the household. Allow me to explain:

1. BREADWINNER

I have to work. I am perfectly healthy and do not have any conditions that would prohibit me to hold down a job. I have to work to put food on the table, keep a roof over my head, keep the lights and the heat on, maintain transportation, communication with the outside world, clothe myself...oh yeah, and have enough supplemental income at the end of the month to purchase my books. (Although Paperback Swap rocks and I've received ten books over the past month from that wonderful website).

2. COOK

I cook for myself. It's too expensive to eat out every single night. Besides, I find cooking theraputic. There's just something about the smell of ingredients that relaxes me and helps me unwind from the day.

OK, I'll admit it: chopping and slicing is a great stress reliever. Especially chopping.

I don't always cook during the week. Most weeks I'll cook big on Sundays and freeze the meal in smaller portions so I can just pop a container in the microwave when I get home. Other times I like eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bread and butter is good, too. Cheddar cheese slices atop Triscuits are good choices. And let's not forget my love affair with The Cheesiest. (If you haven't read it yet, check out my post "The Single Gal's Guide to Groceries," which is under the "Greatest Hits" section in the right column).

3. HIRED HELP

Sometimes it gets overwhelming to clean a two-bedroom, loft-style condo on one's own. I have to break up the chores so I don't clean the whole thing in one day. Some days, I don't clean at all depending on how tired I am from my day at work. The easiest chores for me to do during the week are laundry and running the dishwasher. It's easy to put clothes in the washing machine with the detergent and letting it run for a while. Folding...well, that's another story. I'm much better at it than I used to be.

4. CAREGIVER


Mags and Gabs depend upon me for their very survival. I feed them their Meow Mix Wholesome Goodness daily and make sure they have fresh clean water. I make sure that their litter boxes are decluttered of waste material. I endure painful car rides to take them to the vet. Granted, the vet is ten minutes away, but the way they meow, you think I'd have kidnapped them. I give them their monthly flea treatments (which is always a joy) and brush them and groom them. I give them as much love as I would to any human.

5. LAWYER

I have been having issues with my insurance company lately. I won't get into specifics, but let's just say that my local hospital is having trouble negotiating a contract with my insurance provider. I'm not alone, but I was on the phone earlier this afternoon with a rep from this company who was very nasty to me and wouldn't let me ask more than one question. Since I am the sole policy holder in my household, it was up to me to debate with this company. I won't name names, and I won't tell you the first letter in their name. I don't want to get madder, or get anyone in the sitation, angrier by disclosing party names.

6. WARDROBE CONSULTANT

This is my least favorite role. I have no fashion sense. I'm amazed none of my friends has nominated me for What Not to Wear yet. I would be their most obedient, dutiful pupil. But then again, they may not have me on the show because I wouldn't argue with Stacy or Clinton. Obeying, sadly, does not make what TV execs consider good reality programming.

That having been said, I will not pay full price. I really like Goodwill and have bought many great pieces from them. However, it's gotten to the point where I have a Monday outfit, a Tuesday outfit, a Wednesday outfit, etc. I hate that!

I also like sales at Target, Kohl's, and Lane Bryant. I am petite and plus-sized, so it's not always easy to find clothes that fit well. Maybe that's why I loathe shopping so much.

7. HANDYWOMAN

I've learned to do minor repairs around the house, and I'm very proud of myself for doing this. I know how to use a carpenter's level, an electric screwdriver, and a hammer. I installed my bathroom medicine cabinet, as well as my showerhead, all by myself. I love painting walls; I'm awesome at edging.

For the big guns, though, I'm no fool. I know my limitations. Fortunately, my best friend knows how to fix things. He installed a ceiling fan for me in my kitchen, as well as put in a set of blinds in front of my patio door. He even helped me install my entertainment center (his old one). Best thing about this is, I don't ask him to do these things for me. He offers. And I am forever grateful for that.

8. BANKER/FINANCIAL PLANNER

This is my most difficult role. It took me years to learn how to plan a budget. I was in love with plastic, and paid a huge price for it. My credit rating is very, very slowly getting better, but it is still not great. I'm really glad, though, that I learned the lesson before the current financial crisis occurred. I've got money in the bank, I've curbed my spending, and am very happy living with less. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I'm glad I learned it.

9. PARTY PLANNER

As much as I like having friends over, entertaining can be a pain. I'm no Martha Stewart. First there's the issue of getting the condo cleaner than clean (see #3), then there's the menu planning and taking into consideration everyone's likes, dislikes, and allergies (see #2). When the party's in full swing, I have a great time. But it's the before and after that kills me. Thank God I have a group of friends who are good about cleaning up after themselves.

That's why I often will sneak to the kitchen during a party and start doing the dishes for my host. I often get yelled at for doing this (especially if BFF is hosting the party), because "I'm the guest and don't have to do that", but it's my way of showing my appreciation for what the host has done for me.

10. ORGANIZER
If I didn't have my planner or cell phone, I would be incredibly lost with all that I do during the week. Even though I'm single, I still have responsibilities to my job, my church, keeping myself physically and mentally healthy with my jaunts to the Y and my therapist, and I still need to have a life. I visit friends, I go to dances, events, visit family, and go to the library, among other things.

It's una vida loca, that's for sure, and I juggle a lot of roles, but it's MI vida loca and I wouldn't have it any other way!

4 comments:

Heather said...

Oh, I know those roles well!! We (all of the single, live-alone ladies) wear many hats, don't we? It's tough work sometimes!!

septembermom said...

You are a true woman of all trades! Those are a lot of hats to wear. Sounds like you must be organized to get all of that done. I need to check out that Paperback Swap. I'm always on the lookout for more books.

CDB said...

Wow, you are a serious multi-tasker! Amazing descriptions, too. I like the "lawyer" one, though I have doubts you like it right now.
Great list!

Janna Bee said...

I like the obamafied Kitties. Very cool!