Domesticity is Not my Middle Name

When I married in the 1950’s, the domestic, house-proud woman was the cultural norm. Unfortunately, I was neither domestic nor house-proud, but self –awareness also wasn’t one of my strong points back then.  My mother’s despair over attempts to teach me to cook as a teenager should have been my first clue.

She tried to start as simply as possible by just setting out a box of corn bread mix along with the other ingredients and utensils for me.  I read the instructions and combined the ingredients in the bowl. That seemed simple enough.  I might have actually managed, but mom came in at that point and said, “Wash your hands and put the mix into the pan.”  After she left, I thought, “Why am I washing my hands?  Is this one of those baking things I’ve read about that you do with your hands?”  So, I used my hands to scoop the mix out of the bowl and to sort of shake/fling it into the pan. When not a whole lot of it made it into the pan, I began to suspect than my intuition about using my hands was off base.  As I was trying to figure out how to get the rest of all the corn meal off my hands and into the pan, my mother returned to check on my progress.

She lost it. “What in the world are you doing?” she shouted.  “What a mess! Why is it all over your hands?”   I, in turn, had a meltdown, starting to sniffle, backing away from the mess on the counter into the stove behind me, where there was a pot of melted butter.  As the butter poured into the burner and down the front of the stove, I ran crying from the kitchen with half the corn meal still on my hands.  Neither mother, nor I, ever found the courage to attempt to domesticate me again

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on February 5, 2016, in Failure, Humor, Parenting, Teaching/Learning Experiences, Total Humiliation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Ah! Domestic bliss..i feel for you but you’ve saved yourself many hours at the stove..or have you?

    A lovely sharing, Eileen

    Thank You

    Big hugs



  2. very interesting and funny approach… btw, I have no middle name, Mélanie is my only forename and I’m really happy with it!!! 🙂


  3. I imagine you got better in the kitchen over time. =)


    • my husband calls me the casserole queen my kind of thing, everything but the kitchen sink i shattered my right shoulder two days ago.
      typing with my left hand is slow going. waiting for time to take some more pain pills. will have surgery when swelling down and blood thinners out of my system who was the author who wrote in all small letters pretending to be a roach who couldn’t push the capital letter key?,


      • Oh NO!! So sorry about the shoulder, Eileen| Someone will have to do this for you if you’d like to try and avoid surgery or hasten the healing post-op, but comfrey leaf (just whir in blender) in rice or apple vinegar as a poultice for 3 hrs or overnight will bring rapid relief and mend the bones. I’ve used it with remarkable results for myself and my boy. For his wrist injury this wk, I added some oats – ground that up with the comfrey so I could form an easier paste on the skin. Wrap with cut-up old cloth or shirt and then ACE-bandage it.


  4. I taught myself to cook while still very young. Where I grew up it was survival as ‘the mother’ couldn’t cook and there wasn’t anyone else to do it. Besides, there was a price if I didn’t.
    Cooking and baking aside, I am no ‘Susie Homemaker’.
    I do hope you are feeling better.


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