I used to think 'domestic' was a word that only applied to cats. Now I love the smell of bleach in the morning. What is happening to me? I fear I am becoming worryingly domesticated.
The Worryingly Domesticated (WD) is a breed that used to dry clothes over the door, and now counts the tumble dryer as his or her most prized possession. Not to be confused with the so-called OCD Housewife, whose house makes you want to weep and never visit again, the WD is someone who is becoming house proud in barely perceptible stages.
There comes a time in life when you see your house as less of a place to change between work and the pub, and more of a Home. Whether because you have just got your foot on the housing ladder, have bought your forever home, have had kids or just got a wee bit older, you tend to spend more time at home. And as a side effect of this, you become more house proud. You just can't help it. It is a slow creep for people like me, but I have finally got to the stage where I would describe myself as becoming domesticated to a level that worries my former self, drinking lager in the back of my mind. Do you recognize yourself in any of the following?
- You browse the cleaning aisle like you used to browse beauty counters. With that willingness to believe, that hope springing eternal, that thrill of the chase. But it's not your face that you want to look brighter, fresher, younger, more radiant. It's your toilet.
- You love getting your house ready for guests. Even better if they don't arrive and mess it all up.
- You love emptying the tumble dryer filter. Rolling that lovely lint between your fingers - mmm! You used to think it was another ridiculous manacle of the home, now you can't wait for it to fill up again.
- Your favourite purchase, nay victory, of the last year, was a genuine one-handed kitchen roll dispenser. (Yes, you have to observe the correct angulature of tuggage, but it's a true one-hander. Life-changing.)
- If your vacuum cleaner packs up, you treat it with more urgency than you do your cracked IPhone.
- You like to pre-wash a pan before popping it in the dishwasher. Saying that, I wouldn't dream of subjecting my favourite Le Creuset frying pan (a solicited recent Christmas present - itself a troubling admission) to its harsh jets.
- You buy loo roll. Every time you go out. You get the fear if stores run below one roll per household member.
My standards haven't dropped completely. My life is still too short to iron sheets, although I have to admit I now wholeheartedly see the logic in ironing a table cloth before I put it away. If I'm like this now, what will I be like in 20 years? I already know the answer. My mother-in-law.
Jess Paterson blogs at Wry Mummy.