Because you see, while you’re busy ideating, communicating, spinning sentences into webs of understanding and outreach, the chores don’t go away. So there you are, your wonderful self, doing all these things like researching black feminist thought, organizing resistance movements, investigating the origins of Women of Color, documenting the oral history of the Partition, speaking as a panelist, constructing a sphere of influence around your persona, learning, teaching, sharing, writing, and still, the piles of laundry are unmoved. With the patience of stoics, they wait, to be washed, dried, folded, ironed, closeted away; and the dishes sit heavy in the washer, parked until removed and stashed away; and there’s no telling your bed linen to get a move on and do a DIY job, because it needs your keyboard-focused fingers to fold the shams and fluff the pillows, and crumbs are spilled and countertops splashed and the business of getting dirty-clean-dirty spins in endless cycles every day.
Your plants beg for a drink. Your carpet dreams of a dalliance with the dustbuster. Your car could do with a nice soapy scrub. They don’t care who you are, or what you do, they’re not cleaning themselves up, or putting themselves away, and will outstare and outsit you in every possible battle of wills until you finally relent and tackle them darn chores. For all your fabulousness, and even if you divide and conquer, there’s always that laundry list of things to do around the house that keeps you grounded, with the possible aim of marinating your ego in some well-deserved mediocrity. Amplify that times a thousand, and enter children. But we won’t even go there for now.
Hausfrauness: dripping dullness into the scintillating everyday, one reincarnated house chore at a time.