Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dutch enough for you?!


I'm having a biological/genetic/demented need for heifers right now. Maybe it was all that Dutchness from this past weekend, at my grandmothers funeral, that's re-infected my bone marrow like a relapse. Or maybe it's that with all this moving I haven't yet formed a good group of girls to hang out with and I must be thinking that a herd of cows is a logical substitute (although I was just out with 'the' girls). Who can explain it? I need heifers.

Our home purchasing power severely diminished over the past year. It's sort of depressing. In Spokane, it looks like we can get a refurbished, brick Victorian mansion in our price range, but on a .11 acre lot. Or we can get a pile of rotting shit on five acres. I've always wanted to live in a fancy old house, but now that I get my chance, all I can say is, "Where will I put the heifers?"

Some times I'm not as Dutch as I look. The Dutch have a word "Schone" which means both clean and beautiful. It's a genetic need to scrub and clean and make it all perty. And I have this gene, sort of. I think that's why my house sold so well. And then... well... let's just say we're at the single-style-parenting stage where I am just f-ing sick of cleaning the kitchen and my love for picking up the same damn toys 50 times a day is starting to wane. I lay awake in my bed every morning creating a time emergency, because I know that my list of things to do that day is the same as the day before and probably goes something like:
1) fold the same f-ing laundry I folded two days ago,
200) clean the kitchen twice then vomit in the sink with boredom,
1798) pick up toys before something (toy, foot, mental health) gets broken. Occasionally, I mix it up with a few extra chores, like car tire-ing and food crap. What's hard about this stay-at-home-single-mom-ish (SAHSMI) schtick is the boredom, the pure, unadulterated, tear-jerking BOREDOM. (But I love my kids, and spending quality time with them, and blah blah blah)

But my point is that during this past visit to American-Dutchness, I made a joke to some folks, who will remain nameless and may or may not be related to me, about having to clean my kitchen 365 times a year. It was a joke. It wasn't a very funny joke, I'll admit. These Dutch women did not intentionally make their disapproving, shaming faces, I'm sure. But accidentally, it happened. And then one said slowly, as if I were the village idiot, "But...you...know...you...have...to...anyway..., right?" And SHE wasn't joking.

I felt like such an outcast, such a freak. My sister slurred me this weekend with the term "hetero-normative". However, I was not feeling very "normative" right then.

Tonight I went to S's house for her daughter's birthday, and then we mom's had an after-party. But the point is that S's house isn't very, um, Dutch. It's cute it just isn't "Schone." And I suddenly felt "normative" again. I hated being labeled "normative" but then I didn't love feeling shamed for not being a real mom, who LOVES to clean. (Is that really normative?)

I just bought red tulips and I want heifers. Isn't that Dutch enough? I have to be constantly, cheerfully Schone too?

UPDATES: funeral was fun, or rather the after party was. With 31 cousins there's always someone to play with, and always someone to piss you off too. I did read my poem, revised while driving there, (and now revised on the post too). I cried more than I thought I needed to. Nothing is permanent in this life and you think we'd all be used to that. The only thing that is permanent is death, so you'd think we'd all like that by comparison.

The sermon was amazing. I don't even know if I'm ready to talk about it yet. But it had to do with bodies being buried so that when they are raised from the dead they face east. You think, if God could raise em from the dead, he might be able to get them facing the right direction too. But the only image that came to my mind was a battalion of worms, rising up from the astro-turf-ish Lynden lawn, and dancing in the sunshiney dawn like a sea of intestinal cilia. I enjoyed his gross mis-characterizations of unbelievers as materialistic and shallow. While he asked, "Where, oh death, is your sting?" my sister wondered what that sting would be, and I knew that the sting of this particular death was actually his sermon. There was also a near-miss with an altar call. But in the end, all 300 of us gathered could agree on one thing: grandma would have loved it.

Also, I'm taking my kids to a pro hockey game tomorrow. I don't know why. But it beats washing the damn dishes again.

3 comments:

  1. can i just clarify that i said you seem hetero-normative on the surface but you're actually quite radical? but, since this post is all about how things seem on the surface, your point remains.

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  2. Okay Okay... and also in your defense, you were defending me to someone else who could understand my joke but not that I -- a married woman with two kids --- could understand enough about life to make it. Is that right? And do you remember the joke?

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  3. ""Schone" which means both clean and beautiful. It's a genetic need to scrub and clean and make it all perty."

    Thanks for teaching me this word. I have this affliction when it comes to my surroundings and keeping them clean and ordered and whatnot. I always assumed that I inherited this from my dad who actually takes baths in bleach... but maybe it has multiple sources.

    Being married to someone who is rather disorganized and not into putting things away, I have been working on letting things go somewhat, else I must resign myself to a life of never-ending cleaning, organizing and putting.things.away. I've gotten better at saying 'scrubbing that bathroom can wait another day while I sit on the couch and watch House'. I don't know what will happen when we move to a place bigger than our current 600 square feet though... how will I keep it ordered?!

    Thanks for your highly articulate recap of the funeral experience. Was good to see you guys...

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