But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Archive for Taking Care of Me

Blog Confession Number Four: I Kind of Like Goop

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Image via New York Times, Feb. 22, Fashion & Style

A couple of weeks ago my husband passed me an article from the New York Times (Martha, Oprah … Gwyneth?) as we relaxed together that evening. He likes to show me articles that he thinks I’ll be interested in to turn me on to the Sunday New York Time. I do share his joy over the the Sunday paper, it’s just that, these days, I’ve usually got stacks and stacks of books which I’m trying to get through for my blog….These things take time.

Anyway, I have ambiguous feelings about Gwyneth Paltrow, which have recently swung towards the positive end since I finally rented Sylvia from the library. Her performance was so good, I couldn’t help but have warm feelings toward her, despite her many differences from me (I just like to relate to people). 

And yet, I shy away from people who are born privileged with the slender physique that money can buy. People who have homes in the Hamptons and London and talk about the Kabbala, fasting and detoxification, and such New Agey stuff as “the Inner Aspect.” 

Here’s how the Times introduced her new website:

The enterprise attracting the most media sniping right now? Goop.com, a lifestyle Web site and e-mail introduced in September that hits subscribers’ in-boxes on Thursdays with tips like “police your thoughts” and “eliminate white foods.” The site’s name is derived from Ms. Paltrow’s initials, and its slogan, “Nourish the Inner Aspect,” positions it deeply in the New Age realm. 

As the current model for Tod’s, the Italian luxury brand, she looks at home lounging around like Grace Kelly — outdoorsy and to the manner born. It seems that despite several lowbrow films, an aura of pleasant and tasteful hauteur remains. So why is she suddenly on TV giving dieting and fitness tips, backing a gym, writing a cookbook and an online newsletter full of shopping advice, kabbalistic musings and discussion of the Master Cleanse?

See? You would think I would hate that! My husband had fun reading aloud snippets from the NYT criticism and from her website itself and we chuckled over it together, but when he was at work, late the next day, I found myself sneaking onto her site (and then telling him about it later for a laugh.) 

And although she’s been criticized for her recommended reading list (which was compared to a high school reading list) and for her banana nut muffin recipe – “Does the world really need another banana muffin recipe?” asks Beth Wareham, in the NYT article. (Actually, I haven’t yet noticed said muffin recipe. There was a recipe for buckwheat and banana pancakes, which I found interesting because they lacked milk and eggs – and because the buckwheat crépes I’ve had at our favorite Crépere are really good!) And even though her travel sections firmly espouse a certain class level of which I’m not a part, as when recommends places to eat and stay in Paris and talks about being taken there by her father for a weekend getaway when she was a kid. And even though her holiday shopping guide include things like women’s watches for over $1,000 well despite all that, I still kind of like it!

I like it’s simplicity (and yes, it has been compared to Real Simple magazine). The layout and photographs are calming. Her food sections are really my favorite and give me the hope that someday I’ll enjoy cooking for my family – which is the premise of a new cookbook she is working on. Most of all, her menu for a one week detox (something I don’t actually believe in) provides a healthier alternative to the fasting that is so popular and actually looks good! I’m not a dieter, but I’m always longing to find something which will inspire me to break out of my bad habits and make me feel clean and fresh and energized so that I can begin to live a healthier lifestyle from now and into the future. 

So check it out and tell me what you think of it.

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Let’s Take a Personal Day

I’ve been bad again, not blogging the way I thought I would when I started this adventure. And the day is so incredibly sunny, so unbelievable, that part of me wanted to feel upset about the state of my house. This should be a day where I open up every window and let the air flow through my sparkling domain. But it ain’t gonna happen today, and I’m not going to allow myself to get upset about it. Yes, that part keeps tugging at me: that part of me that is embarrassed and feels guilty about the pile of dishes, the insane pile of mail, the shoes that are overtaking every inch of the downstairs, the crumby, spilled-upon countertops, the fact that I’ve not mopped my kitchen floor once since we’ve moved in. Not once! (We’ll talk more about that in another post.)

I’m not going to bother being upset by the way air flowing through the house might just be spreading the dust and filth around. Anyway, it’s bad. The house is bad. I couldn’t possibly entertain a guest that might stop by – I’d have to grab my purse and recommend that we go down the street for coffee. And what if my landlord stops by to pick up her mail??? (The pieces of her mail that I have been collecting since Christmas! and that I can’t find because they’re spread out in numerous piles throughout the downstairs.) 

But I’m choosing to ignore all that, because I want to relax outside in this healing sunshine for awhile, and then I’ve got a ton of school work to do, so I’m not going to waste my day trying to  clean the awful, awful house. I’m hoping that after taking care of myself so beautifully and getting some schoolwork done, I’ll be able to pour a glass of wine this evening, turn up the music and tackle the house once more. 

And here is the reason why that just might work: This is the first day my husband has been on call for a couple of months, meaning he’s not coming home tonight, meaning, I can have an unconventional, answer-to-nobody-but-myself day today. I can eat cottage cheese and fruit for dinner and then tackle the dish pile, instead of making more dishes by cooking. So, I choose to have hope today – that I will get to the bottom of it all eventually – just not right at this moment – when the breezy  air is tinkling in my neighbors wooden wind chimes and  it feels like a day to be spent poolside – at the beginning of March!