Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Can anyone tell me why it is that once one finally gets past the age where all ones friends, no matter how thin they are, complain that they're fat, one reaches the age where all ones friends, no matter how clean their houses are, complain about what a mess said houses are?


Blogger Ross said...

Yup, welcome to the bigs :-)

6:42 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Har har!
What? I can't complain about fat any more? Man! There goes all my fun.
Because, that's way more fun. You can leave your house, but not your body! Waaahaahaaaa.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Schuyler said...

It's because everybody wants to complain about something. I know I do. (This should be obvious to anyone who knows me.)

10:43 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

ummm... cause my house IS always messy? But what the heck... I have a kid and kids have toys. I can just blame it on her and people won't notice that I'm really a slob at heart.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

This raises a gender question for me. The kind of complaining you discussed seems to me to be done primarily by women. It seems to be borne out of insecurity, which is O.K. because I realize that people do need to vent sometimes. It can be frustrating for the listener though because you are not permitted to say, "yeah, I agree you are fat or yeah, I agree, your house is a pig sty." And then if you say you are not fat or your house is spotless, then you are being fake in order to boost the complainers ego. Yuck! This isn't meant to be offensive to women, it is just my thoughts on the subject.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

And yeah men have insecurities too, I guess they are just expressed differently. I was just giving my honest opinion to the question that you asked.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

No, I definately agree with you that it's a gender issue , Ryan. What's most disturbing to me is that we women are genuinely worried about these things. There are 0 high school girls who don't spend a good deal of time worrying about their bodies, and older women worry about this too, they just don't complain to their friends as much, and they've learned a little more about different healthy body types.
I've learned for the most part not to worry about fat, but it drives me crazy that I can't help but buy into worrying about my messy house. Honestly, yes, my house is a mess most of the time, but so is almost everyone elses, and who really cares. And, when I say to my friend, "I'm sorry my house is such a mess" I'm not doing it to make her feel more comfortable. If anything it has the opposite effect. Especially if the house is not all that bad. So, how about it girls, shall we vow to try our best to let it go?

8:08 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Ok, I was going to be light and airy on this one, but I do have a lot of struggles around the concept of messy house. For me, I'm not even sure HOW to define a messy house. Right this second, I would say that the current condition of my house is honestly messy. I thinkā€¦ It's not dirty, it's not a pig sty, it's not a health hazard, but it is messy and maybe even cluttered.

But I have a real issue in figuring out what's acceptable for a messy house and what's not. My childhood home was a health hazard. If children services ever came to my house it would have been condemned. My married house would swing between spotless and true health hazard. Israel can attest to the fact that if the ex were left to his own devices the condition of the house would disintegrate into sub-health hazard (e.g., signs that he ate of moldy plates and used moldy pans to cook, drank from dirty glasses, no working toilets in the house, etc.) I have never, ever lived in a house that bad. But during my married life I came pretty close. If we were ever depressed at the same time.... watch out world!

So, I've never had a good house keeping role model. They talk about how bad TV is for kids because of how it encourages eating disorders, skewed body images (what's fat?), encourages drinking and smoking because it looks glamorous etc, etc. etc.

Well TV also sets a bad precedence for what is acceptable house keeping. You've got Julia Child, Martha Stewart, and that Shabby Chic lady... They all set unrealistic ideals of what a good home and a good meal should be.

And when was the last time you turned on Friends and found them living in a pig sty? Heck even Roseanne has a cleaner than average house.

So how can I expect to have healthy definitions of what a "clean enough" house is? Heck, even with the changes in roles of family members (more moms working out side the house, mom stay at home moms focusing on their kids and not their floors) how can anyone develop healthy attitudes towards when is a house "clean enough"

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, this really made me laugh...hard! I think you're on to something here.

Shonda (Chattanooga)

2:07 AM  

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