Time really flies. Well, not literally but figuratively. I was just getting used to the idea that it was finally Spring and all of a sudden here comes Memorial Day, the last Monday of May. Come next Tuesday it will be June, the month of the summer solstice, and from then on out we’re on our way to winter again.
Here’s where I remind myself that it’s not too late to take care of that spring cleaning I’ve put off. This time around I’ve involved myself in some overdue paring down. Getting rid of stuff that has lost its appeal, as it may be, but separating the baby from the bath water can be a formidable task, so it takes some knuckling down.
Here’s my theorem: If I haven’t used it in the last three years or if it has gathered at least a quarter-inch of dust, I tell myself, “Throw it out, mister.” Except, perhaps, for that random computer cable that I may need. Someday. Maybe. Or not.
So, I’m getting into this whole domestic thing. Clearing out and keeping various ducks in various rows.
I guess it’s something that happens when one has lived awhile and that getting domesticated is one sign of growing up for a guy. Even if it takes 50 or 60 years.
Then again, some guys are what we used to call confirmed bachelors, and never want to get married, serenely going through life like Henry Higgins wondering, “why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Of course, that character from My Fair Lady also had a housemaid to take of him so he never had to be domestic.
I was a stay-at-home dad for a few months when my son was born and sort of got into the domestic thing. During that period I learned two things: how to bake a potato in the oven and change my son’s cloth diapers.
It was like learning skills that I never picked up while growing up. With six kids in the house, our mother gave everyone chores to do and rotated them around for the most part.
For instance, we all took turns washing or drying the dishes and sweeping the floor, but cooking was not rotated, and neither was sewing or ironing or doing the laundry. My two brothers and I were relegated to cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage and retrieving the occasional dead possum from the crawl space under the house. My three sisters did that other stuff, the “women’s work.”
That was back in the fifties and sixties, but even so, I’m not sure if that isn’t still the case today in some households.
At any rate, it’s not until they leave home that guys start learning how to do that other stuff. In the military – mainly boot camp – we learned to do laundry, shine shoes, make beds with hospital corners, clean the latrine, mop the floor, strip and wax the floor, buff the floor and you name it.
But I’m getting off track.
It’s okay for a guy to be domesticated these days, but no matter how far we’ve come in society as far as gender equality is concerned … look around, men still want to be tough and women still want to look pretty, and in reality we meet up somewhere in between.
This modern world has also introduced us to some unlikely definitions, like describing a cell phone or an automobile as “sexy”. What? Huh? I’m confused.
I’m thinking this is due to a fascination with the entertainment world. Movie star gossip. Recording artist shenanigans. Exposés and sports scandals.
I don’t know if people are more preoccupied with being entertained nowadays than a few years ago, what with all our three-foot TVs and i-things. I was wondering what people did for entertainment back when Socorro and Magdalena were growing, say in the 1800s. Other than the occasional Saturday night barn dance I guess they would’ve had to make their own music at home, sitting around with neighbors plucking a banjo.
But what were their versions of movie stars and glamorous celebrities? I mean, before the Aragon or Gem movie theaters opened.
Oh, right. There were the traveling hoochie-coochie shows and, heaven forbid, those whispered houses of ill-repute.
But enough of that.
Back to the above-mentioned Memorial Day. Aside from the day you’re allowed to wear white and one of the first of a string of holiday sales at retailers, Memorial Day is not, to be blatantly honest, a time for celebrating. It’s for remembering and commemorating. The day specifically pays tribute to those Americans who have died in the line of duty, and this Monday at 11 a.m. the DAV will be doing so at Isidro Baca Veterans Park.
With some of the COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, check it out.