Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Housewife Chronicles - EPILOGUE

NOTE: Days 10 to 17 were uneventful. Just more of the usual cleaning, laundry, and cooking mishaps all housewives have to go through to perfect their craft.


NOTE AGAIN: Ok that’s a lie. The author just got tired of documenting her days when she discovered being a housewife wasn’t all what she expected it to be. It is one thing to be a wife inside the house (which of course, she was), and another thing entirely to be the wife inside the house that has to do everything. She discovered allergies she never knew existed… broom allergies, cooking pan allergies, etc.


NOTE AGAIN, LAST: And washing machines! She’s allergic to washing machines and flat irons too.





I started my new job on March 12, ending my brief stint as a part-time-housewife-part-time-bum. Now, 6 months after my domestic realizations, nothing much has changed. I still can’t cook. I gave up feigning interest in laundry (we now bring our laundry to a nearby laundromat for washing and pressing). I’m still using the same telecom provider, out of some perverted loyalty that arises from the fact that I know my friends who chose to stay there work really, REALLY hard to provide me and the other 24,999,999 subscribers this service. But on the other hand, the business I started is doing well! My wardrobe got a major overhaul. And my floor is still clean!!! So I can honestly say it’s not all bad :)


I am calling an agency this weekend to get household help.

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 9

DAY 9 – March 3, 2007


Why can’t floors stay clean? I don’t get it. I hardly walk on my floor! I spread a mattress on the floor of my living room where I spread all my “kalat” (stuff) and play with my necklaces and bracelets all day. The only times my feet touch tile are when I need a glass of Coke (and water sometimes) or when I need to go the bathroom.


Saturday bustle at my house starts at 11AM when my husband wakes up. Before 11AM, I am free to lie on the sofa all morning watching the Disney channel, fast becoming my favorite because “kumpareng” Walt’s shows are so entertainingly wholesome, nothing heavy or deep or upsetting. The only chore I needed to get done early Saturday morning was to take the trash out because the garbage truck makes its rounds on my street on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.


But then, there’s the floor. I remember my husband telling me before we got married that his idea of a clean house is a clean floor. I guess the idea stuck so specks of dust on the floor offend my senses.


I mopped.


My husband woke up. We had breakfast at 11AM. We went to the mall for lunch around 3PM. We walked around for a while then went home around 7PM.


My husband watched the TV… literally. That’s what he does. I don’t think he actually watches any show since he channel hops like every 5 seconds and lingers on a particular channel for only 2 minutes tops.


I don’t get it. But I don’t care. I’m content sitting on the mattress on my clean floor playing with my beads.

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 8

DAY 8 – March 2, 2007


Due to a very important family affair, the housewife is on leave today. Sorry.

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 7

DAY 7 – March 1, 2007


I visited this certain telecom company I used to work for.


**Assume the Lotus position**


** Deep breaths**


Thinking about it tires me already. Suffice to say, some people being the “efficient” beings they are, I was not able to accomplish what I had set out to do there. Something about people signing every page of this document I needed to wash my hands off the whole affair EXCEPT the first page where it says Signature.




** Happy thoughts**


Thought bubble: Janelle, you are calm.



The Housewife Chronicles - Day 6

DAY 6 – February 28, 2007


Living the bum life and feeling really good about it! For the first time since I resigned, I was feeling peaceful and relaxed. The house is clean (though I find myself sweeping and mopping the floor daily now… this used to be once-a-week activities only) and I have no backlog of laundry.


I went to the gym early morning… without eating breakfast first since my husband was taking me there on his way to work and he was rushing me. Bad move, I know. I was feeling dizzy after 30 minutes on the tread mill. I thought about getting lunch first before continuing my workout but I just wanted to get it over with and get on with my day.


Feeling this good, I decided to surprise my husband with dinner. No, I am not planning to learn to cook in the few hours I have before dinner time. People like me are thankful for the technology which brought about the invention of frozen, ready-to-eat meals which you can get from any decent supermarket.


I had pesto sauce so I was planning to make cordon bleu with pesto, my favorite lunch meal combination from La Terraza at LKG. I went to the supermarket to get the cordon bleu. As my luck would have it, the supermarket was out of cordon bleu. My dinner plan was screwed. I needed a plan B.


Luckily, my plan B was sitting in the same freezer where the cordon bleu was supposed to be: frozen dinners. I chose adobo strips.


There are 3 ways of preparation choose from: oven, microwave, and pan-heat. I chose heating it in the frying pan since it was the most difficult and I wanted to be able to say I “prepared” dinner and leave it to my husband’s interpretation what that meant. I threw away the packaging and made sure it was buried in the trash so he won’t see it.


The packaging said I should cook it in the frying pan for 20-22 minutes if I was cooking from frozen. Being the trusting person that I am… I did as told. I left it in the pan for 20 minutes while I watched TV.


Popping sounds from the kitchen was my first indication that everything was not going as it should… Darn, it was only 15 minutes!! Why can’t things do what they are supposed to do? The packaging lied!!!


Good thing the meat didn’t really burn. The part that touched the pan was a bit overcooked (not burned, mind you), but overall, it was ok.


And it was good. My husband asked me from which cookbook I got it from (we have about a dozen cookbooks… my husband likes cooking ;) Yay me!!) and I said it was a secret and that he should just appreciate that I cooked for him.


Well, it was a good try. Apparently, he really doesn’t trust my cooking skills… after dinner, while I was doing the dishes, he dug around in our trash looking for telltale signs of the dinner I prepared.


He found the box.

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 5

DAY 5 – February 27, 2007


I woke up to a text message from Cecille asking me if I will be at my grandfather’s wake this evening. She wanted to drop by and offer her condolences to me and my mom.


Today is supposed to be gym day but this “katamaran” is quickly becoming a way of life so again, it was put off. Cecille’s visit being a very covenient excuse.


However, my 2 big piles of laundry finally attacked my obsessive compulsive tendencies and I found myself growing stressed seeing it in my peripheral vision (plus, my husband and I were running out of clean and pressed clothes). Today will be ironing day.


I started after my brunch of bacon and eggs. Two hours into it and I still wasn’t done yet. My running maximum record of ironing time is an hour and a half. Two hours and major self pity was setting in.


I finished after about 3 hours of ironing. A major feat for me. So I guess this is how my accomplishments will be measured from now on.


A friend called as I was about to get ready to go to the wake. This was a welcome relief since my spirits were very low after all that ironing and I was beginning to miss opening my mouth and having sound come out, being alone at home all day. My husband is a quiet man and I don’t get to talk much anymore.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 4

DAY 4 – February 26, 2007


I've been meaning to go to the National Statistics Office to get a copy of our marriage certificate for a month now. I was planning to go today, but “katamaran” (laziness) set in early (from the time I woke up), so I decided to put it off. “What’s the rush?” is fast becoming my new mantra. (Which was a good thing because I am to learn that you can actually apply for this via phone call or online and you don’t have to actually go there and brave the crowds.)


Peaceful day for me. I worked on building my merchandise inventory since I was scheduled to give the next batch of necklaces, bracelets and earrings to my sister over the weekend. I decided to “mass produce”. Meaning I started making 2 pieces of each design.


I used to make only one of each, making each piece unique. This kept the work of making them from being boring… it also makes for a very slow process. And with the demand I have to meet (man, it feels good to say that!), I need to work faster. “Mass Production” is then the way to go, baby! Though I can’t make more than 2 pieces for each design because it gets boring for me after the second piece.


I went out for grocery and spent a lot without buying anything of substance as I will discover by dinner time. I got the usual soda, cereals, chips, chocolates, crackers, bread… straying away from the meat and produce section since I felt I had no reason to go there.


Lunch, or any meal aside from breakfast, by myself is always a dilemma. I don’t know what I want to eat. As a kid, my mom decides what we eat. In college I lived in a dorm where they serve meals. Living alone was the longest I was able to go on diet, not because I wanted to, but because there was no other way I knew how to live without someone taking care of my needs for me. Getting married improved my situation… my husband then decides what we eat.


If lunch is a dilemma, dinner is traumatic. Doing nothing and staying at home all day, doesn’t give me any excuse on why I can’t have a decent dinner ready by the time my husband arrives from work. The thing is… I really have no idea what to prepare for dinner unless he is willing to put up with soups, salads and fried anything.


So I sent my husband a text message asking him to pick up something for dinner from the grocery. SMS being reliable… he arrived home without dinner. I made the mistake of asking him what he got for dinner, confident that he got my message. Apparently, he didn’t. And it annoyed him that I was asking him this knowing I went out for groceries earlier that morning and that I was just at home doing nothing all day.


This housewife thing is quickly getting very old very quick. At least when I was working, I had a perfect excuse not to cook at night seeing I get home later than my husband does.


Around 9PM, my husband finally received the text message I sent him at 5:30PM.

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 3

DAY 3 – February 25, 2007


On leave from housewife duties.


NOTE: It's Sunday!!!! Come on!



By the way, we went to my lolo’s wake early this morning.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 2

DAY 2 – February 24, 2007

My grandfather died today.


My husband and I were out buying supplies for my latest hobby-turned-small-business venture when I got the news. I've been making bead jewelry since January. What started as a repair job on one of my bracelets turned into an obsession. They are really nice (ehem... ehem...) and it’s the one activity that relaxes me. I can work on it all day without getting bored, without getting tired and without eating. I make them, and my mom, my sister and my cousin sells them for me.


I first started selling when my husband started getting annoyed with all the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings I was making for me… which we both know more than half of which I will never be able to use. I was surprised with how well they sold. I was able to break even with the first batch after a couple of weeks. And the next batch sold just as well and I was getting orders. I needed to expand and I needed to find a cheaper supplier.


Hence, it’s Divisoria for me this Saturday.


I was choosing pearls when I got the call from my cousin who lives in Cagayan De Oro. She has been asking for updates on lolo since he was hospitalized so I took the call. She was crying.


I was a bit distracted by what I was doing that I didn’t get what her call was about. I guess she was too upset to talk to me much so she hung up after I kept asking her to speak louder. I didn’t really think much of it until I got a call from my mom few minutes later.

My grandfather was gone. Apparently,

my mom sent me a message earlier which I didn’t receive until a few hours after her call (I won’t even mention what telecom provider I’m using.... aaarrrggghh!).


They brought him home from the hospital after lunch and he died after they transferred him from the stretcher to his bed. I guess he just waited to get home.

My husband and I were planning to visit him at the hospital in the afternoon where he has been confined for the past 2 weeks. We should have done that in the morning. Now it's too late.

So this is how regret works.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Housewife Chronicles - Day 1


These were written during the 17 days I was between jobs. I am only able to post it now because I just remembered I had this the other night. I will be posting one entry per day :)




Day 1… Zero hour… been looking forward to this day for weeks since I arrived at my decision to quit my job as a Software Development slash Business Analyst (I don’t even know what I do or what they’re calling me anymore) for a leading telecom company’s IT department.


I had a lot of things planned for this day: ironing (which I’ve put off the last couple of weeks); general cleaning of the house specifically the 2 upstairs bedrooms (see Figure 1); shopping, since it’s been a while since I last gave serious thought to my wardrobe (I have this spur-of-the-moment-purchases-wardrobe going on); and my new hobby: jewelry-making!


Figure 1.


But hey… as I said, first day. I can start living the Tao/Confucian/Zen or whatever principle it is that states take your time. Don’t really care. No rush.


Ten AM and I find myself watching the Disney channel on TV. This… is… the LIFE! At least until this part of me that annoys me to no end kicked in.


One of my former officemates told me I had a problem with relaxing after I told her that sitting at home on weekends stresses me out because I keep thinking of all the things I had to do while watching my wall clock ticking away the seconds… which turns to minutes… which turns to hours… which… aarrgh!! I always start feeling like I’m running out of time to do the things I HAVE to do just as I’m doing the stuff I WANT to do.


Well ok, so that part kicked in. I was sitting there, watching TV peacefully when I started to feel stressed over all the things I had to do. Knowing I have plenty of time to do it made no difference. I felt I had to do something and I had to do it NOW.


I need to work on this concept, relaxation.


I started cleaning


From the kitchen, to the sala, to the spare rooms, to the bedroom!! So maybe no one will be able to open the closets in both spare rooms since that’s where I stuffed all the mess we had lying around. But hey, the house is clean. I even ironed the new bedsheets I put on the bed in our bedroom since I know I will be taking an AFTER picture.




I was done by 3PM. I had cereal for lunch since cooking has not been one of my strongest points (ok fine, cooking has never been my point), and I was too tired to go out to eat or get something to eat. I lived alone for a few years before getting married, I survived on this diet I formulated which revolved around anything ready-to-eat and doesn’t need preparation,

though seeing my groceries used to depress my mom every time she visits me.


I was tired but I was able to relax better in my now-clean house, in spite of Mt. Laundry looming in the corner which I know I have to attend to one of these days. But that story is for another day.


And so Day 1 of The Housewife Chronicles ended at 5PM with me going out to meet my friend, Cecille. Being a full-time housewife, I imagine, will be tiring and boring, and so I decided to make it an 8-5 thing only.


**END OF DAY 1**


Guys, bear with me. Day 1 is the longest entry in this series J