Sunday, September 19, 2010

I have a clean-dentity.

One of the most challenging aspect of living with other people is the blending of several people's version of 'clean'. You expectations for the status quo of your home, more then anything, is from the home you grew up in. Like many things inherited from our parents, we are either reactionary like the pendulum, or emulate those aspects that inspired us.

For me, I emulate my parents in some ways, and am reactionary in others. In the realm of emulation, I must first inform you that my father is a bit of a perfectionist, especially in the kitchen. My father is a jack of all trades in the purist form. He could never find anything to
capture his interests enough to want to get a degree in, and so never graduated college. He grew up on farms, and working the land, building things, working with his hands, so he knows a bit of each skill type. He built houses, worked on construction crews, but was always creative and perhaps sensitive, and so he cultivated the other less stereotypically masculine aspects of himself as well. He's an accomplished and talented sketch artist, sculpter, potter, woodworker, leatherworker, tailor... and perhaps most relavant on this topic, cook. I grew up knowing my father as the cook, in fact, I didn't realize my mother could cook until I was well into middle school because Dad always cooked. We had homemade bread, gourmet meals, creative recipes and it was all delicious. But the kitchen was Dad's domain and he wanted it just so. Dishes were always rinsed and set on the counter, never stacked in the sink. Trash was carefully sorted into compostables, plastic & metal, and finally burnable trash. The cupboards were ordered and things always in their place. As a result I can't think if the kitchen is a mess. The sink must be cleared and each cupboard a specific purpose and organizational scheme. If this is no the case, then I am doing it wrong.

My mother was a fastidious housekeeper, mostly. We cleaned bathrooms and swept, and vacuumed as often as we could as a busy family, and her commitment to routine clean has certainly inspired me, but my greatest association with housekeep and my mother is the business of her decorating sense. Part of this is utilitarian. We always had pets, and so not only were most flat surfaces kept as full of stuff as possible (to keep the cats from jumping up and sleeping on them, and thereby knocking things over), but all furniture was covered with country quilts of varying colors and patterns. Every inch of free space was utilized from full bookshelves of books, trinkets and photo frames, to jungles of houseplants on top of a chest beneath a window, draped in lacy curtain. I've always been more or less ok with busy-ness. But as I've become used to having my own home, with my own decorating sensibilities, I am more and more drawn to simplicity. Solid colors, clean and empty surfaces, matched sets, neat and organized rows.

This might seem like a bit of unnecessary family
history on my part (overshare, tl;dr) but, it's
relevant in that these two things (although not alone) are part of my formative identity, so agreeing with another person, most specifically my darling husband, as to what 'clean' means, and who's to be responsible for it getting (and staying) that way, is
among the more difficult challenges.

And while it is safe to say that after living
together for three years prior to our nuptials, not a lot has changed, for some reason this issue seems more ever present in my mind. In order to compromise and find happy mediums we tried delegating tasks or spaces to each other, although that hasn't worked entirely to our satisfaction. We've also tried ignoring the things that irk us, also not an ideal plan.

The only solution that I can see is that despite, or in spite of our formative clean oriented identities, we must strive to create a new, dual identity to what our own version of clean is. Starting fresh, and new at the beginning of this new journey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Would You Like a Treatment?

Did I fall asleep?

So I'll admit the first thing I think of when I hear 'treatment' is Joss Whedon's short lived Dollhouse television show in which treatment was a euphemism for mind wiping.

Treatment in general, with or without the sci-fi personality implant is a word that for me is steeped in social justice. 'Treat' also seems to be something of an 'elementary school' word in the sense of learning how to treat others is one of those basic moral things you learn in grade school.

Treatment, being a noun, however, is somewhat difficult to measure. The way that one person treats another will be valued and catagorized differently by the treater, the treatee and the observes of said treatment. Context and relationship also play a huge role. For instance good nature teasing and one-up-man-ship between buddies (especially of the adolescent male variety) can easily be mis-interpreted as cruel teasing and social torture (and visa versa).

Respect is another thing that factors heavily into the complexities of 'treatment', especially historically as there were (and are) proper ways to treat people and animals based on your own status and the level of respect you are trying to convey.

Treatment is about reciprocity, and the type of world you want to create, and our behavior and the way we treat others is an integral aspect in creating a community and series of expectations for society.

In that light, we have in some ways come back around to the behavioral modification of the Dollhouse reference. Our treatments define the world we live in, and the role which we play in that world, and how others see us and behave toward us, regardless of our intent with that treatment.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In the first of my non-wedding related posts

I have been directed, via a few friends, to Sunday Scribblings, a blog which posts weekly prompts.

This week's prompt is WAIT. Which is something I feel like I'm doing an awful lot of. Most recently I was waiting to get over jet lag, so I could have the energy to do the things that I want to do now, things around our home (we're planning on painting most of the rooms of our house), wedding wrap up things (sorting photos, writing thank yous).

Of course now that I'm over the jet lag, I've fallen back into my sedentary ways and haven't made nearly as much progress as I thought I would.

I'm also waiting on a lot of other things though. Waiting to get a full time job is a big one. Once I have a job, with some job security we can start a family, and spend a little more money on making our house nice, and invest in some more authentic materials for our SCA projects, and actually start saving money and paying back student loans with larger payments.

We always seem to be waiting on friends to get back to us on plans, in limbo, holding a date but waiting to make sure folks can actually come.

Waiting seems to be an inevitability of life, however, my mom has a motto, that can make the waiting not so bad, that she has taken from James Taylor.

Wedding is done...

So many pictures to go through. I'll do a summary post once that's all done. Still waiting on the files for the pro-shots, although the shots are published, you can find them at

In the meantime, I'd hate for this blog to go to waste, so the theme shall shift slightly to include general life posts, as well as home, family, relationship etc. Hope you'll stick around with me!