Here’s my dirty little secret: I wish I was a 1950’s housewife.
There, I said it! My dream is to swan around in pretty dresses baking apple pies and chocolate chunk cookies, and BBQ beef ribs and lamb chops all day long.
People look at me funny when I say that. Like I just spat in the face of all the progress women have made in the past hundred years alone. Like I stomped on the suffragettes and vocal feminists whose actions and determination have enabled me to lead the life I currently lead. This could not be further from the truth. I have a fantastic education. I have an awesome job. I have an amazing apartment. I am pretty much free to do whatever I want. And I remain forever indebted to these amazing women of the past who paved the way for me.
The fact that women only gained the right to vote in Canada 90 years ago is mind boggling (except in Quebec, they waited another 29 years until 1940). So, basically, my great-grand mother wasn’t a person? Women had existed for thousands and thousands of years, and for some reason because we aren’t as naturally inclined to do chin ups we don’t count? Seriously?
So, let it be known, despite my ambitions to be a house frau, I do most certainly understand the struggle, and appreciate every single advance made in ensuring equality for all.
When I mention my Betty Crocker dreams people also look at me like I lack goals and ambition. Having said that, I am blessed with a group of highly successful and ambitious lady friends. They are all super smart, and super creative, with amazing goals and aspirations which they are very much on track to achieve. They inspire me. They have high expectations of themselves.
It saddens me in today’s world success is often measured by the degree you hold, the zeros at the end of your paycheque, the clout your company totes, and the number of cars in your driveway. And people continue look down on others for choices that matter little to them. When my want to stay in my kitchen and bake all day insights frowns, or when someone quips “She’s so smart, why would she be a hairdresser!” it makes me angry.
Not everyone can meld their passions into their paycheque. And I don’t think people account for that enough. And when they can, sometimes it’s not “good enough”. Sure I love baking, but does that mean I should start my own bakery? Sure! Wait, I currently have no business knowledge. You love your friends and family? Let’s all be like Jon and Kate, and put ’em on TV! Perhaps not. If everyone could make a career out of what they are truly passionate about we’d all be writers, travel reps, golfers, bakers and sailboat makers. I am lucky enough to have a job I love, and time leftover to dream about one day making a paycheque out of my passion for baked goods. Some people are even luckier to have a job which is their passion. But some people get trapped following that much heralded “success” path, chasing dreams of bigger salaries, kidney shaped pools. Stress filled fourteen hour days leave little time for flower arrangements or monopoly tournaments.
I like to measure my life on a level of happiness. And if whatever you do makes you happy for the most part, then high fives all ’round. Be it mopping floors with your PhD in History with time to spare, or having dropped out of high school and working as an aerobics instructor, actors waiting tables, or in the case of my hot-shit-awesome roomie shooting for the stars and actually landing exactly where she wanted (yay!!!).
If it makes you happy, then I’m happy for you!
And, I’m most happy in the kitchen, with my pink mixmaster whirring away.
So stop giving me the stink eye.