Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Daytime World

I have entered a new world, one that I like to call Daytime World.

In Daytime World, there are many more women and elderly couples. I have seen moms with their kids, and the moms actually don't look exhausted. When I go to stores in Daytime World, there is much less tension in the air. People move slower. The customers are friendlier and not so rude. The workers are friendly. They smile, make small-talk, and compliment my purse (no, this was not a man hitting on me). I love worlds where I get purse compliments. The starbucks in my grocery stores gives out free frappacino samples in Daytime World for the women and elderly couples to enjoy. Everything is much more relaxed. There are people in the grocery store behind the meat and bakery counter. They are friendly too, and they come out into the aisle to ask if you need help. Then, if you need help, they actually walk you over to the product you are looking for. Then, and this is really shocking, they SMILE at you and ask if you need anything else. AND it really seems like they are being genuine. This is a really crazy place, and I like it.

In Daytime world, I'm learning a lot of new things, as any recent immigrant would. Now, I haven't been completely undomestic in the past. Not nearly as bad as Samantha, from Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, a book near and dear to my heart (I don't want to be one who doesn't look out the window!). Unlike Samantha, I at least have always had a desire to posses some domestic acumen, and I do have vague recollections of winning blue-ribbons for such efforts during my 4H days. However, my current efforts remind me just how many summers ago that was. The outfit I sewed for the fair and fashion show (a knit fabric, so I made the whole thing with the surger! That's a real promotion in 4H Sewing World.) had a big applique Garfield on the front - it was that many summers ago. This week I jumped two feet first into the domestication swimming pool, and boy am I getting wet! I'm learning lessons that probably sound stupid to someone from another world, yet they are real and true stresses and lessons, none the less.

Lessons for today:
  • When menu planning, don't plan three meals in which meat must be purchased. All meats are (generally) purchased in quantities that would feed my small family for several meals, so if I'm also buying several kinds of meat, I've really just bought enough meat for about a month. This is expensive (for the current week) and unnecessary, unless I live in the middle of Montana and have to drive an hour and a half for grocery shopping. I don't live in the middle of Montana and my freezer is tiny. Today I decided that instead of BBQing pork ribs later in the week, we would be just fine BBQing the extra pork chops, chicken, hot dogs, or hamburger that I already have. I really don't need a full butcher shop in my tiny freezer.
  • Even if I need to do some of my shopping at Target (where my cereal and face wash are much cheaper), it is worth the extra few minutes of driving to go to the bigger Safeway and fruit stand. I spent 20 extra minutes a the little Safeway looking for things that were in strange places, since it's a small store. The small fruit stand glows red, since it's in a red tent, rather than a building like the big fruit stand. The produce isn't as good either. The efficient driving did NOT make up for the frustration and wasted time.
  • Going to Safeway when they are giving away frappacino samples is a very good thing.

My first couple of days has been rather humbling. For some reason, I think many of us expect domestic tasks to be easy. Where did we get that idea? It's not that the tasks themselves are hard, but the coordination is. I'd love to make breakfast for us both, prepare hub's lunch, clean, run, eat my lunch, do chores and errands, get 6 hours of desk work done, and make dinner - ready at 5:45. Somehow, this doesn't all fit into my day. I will get faster, and learn to be more efficient, but I still don't think it will ALL fit in. That's ok. Except for the desk work, all the rest of it is 100% more than I was doing before. The hardest part of the coordination, as many well know, is the magic of getting all the dinner components ready at the same time. That's really a trick.

Yesterday, hubs got home from work, and we sat down for dinner. He looked at his watch and just grinned at me. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, or if he was teasing me - why. He just smiled at said, "It's 6:10." Just smiled. Then it dawned on me. I don't think we have ever, EVER, been eating dinner (that we cooked, on a week night) that early. Ever. It was still nice and warm out. Still sunny. We had a nice dinner and then had to talk about what we wanted to do with our evening. Normally, if we actually made dinner at home, we wouldn't finish until 8:30, and then would still need to clean up. Not much evening left, and we'd be exhausted. Not last night. We still had several hours (I can't believe it - HOURS) of evening left and we both had lots of energy.

We really like this world. I think I'll stay.

1 comment:

momrn2 said...

YEAH for you!!! I have not yet started. Probably end of Oct. before I can change my schedule consistently! So, I'll let you begin paving the way for me. :-)

Keep the "lessons" coming! :-)