…when we didn’t do our chores.
My Mom worked in the Emergency Room in a hospital outside of Detroit. She worked the standard hospital schedule. Seven in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, or three p.m. to eleven p.m.. She was that irritating lady who asked for your insurance and did all of the necessary evil paperwork to get sick and injured people back to see a doctor. After spending a day with delightful people yelling at and bleeding on her, she headed home sweet home.
My Granny and I were responsible for the household chores while Mom was at work. Granny cooked, I had the dishes and k.p.. After enduring a meal with four Hellions (my brothers and I having dinner contests involving not using our hands) my Granny deserved to not have to pick up another chore. Granny affectionately called us “the Devils from Hell”.
I wasn’t the best at cleaning the kitchen. I had other interests in mind. Listening to the radio, stealing and smoking cigarettes, general unspecified teen angst and getting out of chores. I hated to clean the kitchen.
Mom would come home and, whatever the hour, she would express her displeasure at my horrendous cleaning skills. I thought she was just being a bitch. My Granny gave me the nickname of “Ambitious”. I didn’t appreciate her sarcasm.
Still, it was better than my brother’s nickname of “Snake in the Grass”
Now that I am a grown up woman, I know the importance of a clean kitchen. It is both symbolic and hygienic. Why or when it became a perceived womanly art, I can’t answer. I have girlfriends who keep either an exceptionally tidy kitchen, and I know others whose dinner invitations are politely declined. Truth of the matter? Yes, I judge. I know it’s not right, but I can’t help myself.
So, this grown woman now has a job that is keeping me away ten to twelve hours a day. And guess who is pissed when the kitchen sink is covered up in dirty dishes? Karma comes around and bites me in the ass, and deservedly so.
Sometimes, it’s little ways that we show our appreciation. I know that I show my family love when I cook and keep a clean house. When I have their favorite things waiting for them. It would have been such a small gesture on my part to have done as Mom would have if she didn’t have to work. Maybe Granny didn’t need to witness “No Fork Friday” .
The lesson that I learned is you can’t metaphorically beat people into showing their appreciation for you. Throwing things across a room is only momentary gratification, (oh so gratifying) and no one likes to do things for a bitch. It has taken me many years to realize that I
can be am a bitch.
Sometimes people show appreciation in different ways than me, I have to learn to see them. And hire a maid.