A ‘Dear Housework’ Letter

Dear Housework,

I start with a lie, because as both you and I know,  there is nothing ‘dear’ about you.

It has been said that you are seldom noticed unless you have not been dealt with (Read that as being: ‘housework is seldom noticed unless it is not done’). Never a truer word has been said. On the days that i have slaved all day, dusted and mopped, tidied up and scrubbed, no one seems to recognise your presence around us. I can see you silently mocking me, as all my efforts go unnoticed and definitely unappreciated. While no one else may notice you, I know exactly where you are. You are in the 8 gleaming dining chairs that i polished relentlessly this morning; you are in the bath tub that glistens after having been subjected to my cleaning frenzy; you are in the spotless kitchen sink which only a few hours ago, was groaning under the weight of the breakfast dishes; you are in the neatly tiered clothes within the  wardrobes..the very same clothes that had lain higgledy-piggledy in the basket after having been taken off the clothes line in the backyard; you are in the elaborate meal spread out on the dinner table, which only a few hours ago was a confusing mix of vegetables yet to be chopped, pastes yet to be ground and garnishing yet to be prepared; you are in the fresh-smelling pillow cases, the cobweb-free ceilings, the neatly aligned shoe stand, the gleaming and smudge-free window panes….You are in the painstakingly scrubbed oven that only a short while ago was grubby from all the baking and grilling indulged in over the weekend; you are in the well-made beds that looked hurricane-hit not long ago; you are in the well-stocked fridge that empties faster than one can blink; you are in the glistening microwave that is now crumbs-free, and the low-humming dishwasher that is briskly dealing with the dinner time dishes….

You are wherever  i look, and yet, no one in the house but me notices you.

When i wake up in the morning, you are the first thing that comes to my mind. My day revolves around you, and as evening approaches, i finally collapse exhausted in one of the many chairs i had dusted a few hours ago.

Although no one else might have guessed your presence around the house, I hope you recognise that I have done you full justice!

‘Dear’ you may not be, but ‘demanding’ you certainly are.

Isn’t it strange that on the days i have dealt with your every demand, nothing is said. And yet, on days when i have chosen to ignore you, i get asked ‘What did you do all day?’

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A ‘Dear Monday’ Letter

Dear Monday,

I cannot, in all honesty, call you my favourite day of the week. Can anyone really? You have so many odds stacked up against you, arriving as you do on the heels of Sunday, the very darling of the week’s offspring, with its holiday flavour and lazy demeanour. You come as a cruel shock to the system, announcing your entry with such fervour that it would be well nigh impossible to mistake you for any other day. One has only to sweep a glance around to realise with a sense of impending doom that yes, you have finally arrived! Grumpy drivers on the road, annoyed not just with themselves but with the world at large, driving with a manic fury, as they listen unhappily to music channels that chant coy jokes about “monday blues”. Every household transformed overnight miraculously from the sanctuary of the day before into a chaotic battlefield. Homework is suddenly lost, school uniforms decide to hide in places unseen by the human eye, and tempers fly as everyone scuttles to get out of the house on time.  I see you make your smug presence felt, dear depressing Monday, even in the work place, where colleagues walk in with slow measured steps, ready to bite off anyone’s head if they so much as wish them “good morning”. Not a smile to be seen, not a hug to be had….and you dare wonder why you are not everyone’s favourite? Oh, where has my beautiful, placid Sunday gone, filled as it was with good humour, easy banter and sleepy meandering.

There is nothing endearing about you, cruel Monday, for you are relentless in your bid to make us recall our duties and commitments for the remainder of the week. It is inevitably you who reminds us of bills we have forgotten to pay, school permission notes we have forgotten to sign, and phone calls we have forgotten to return. You are a strict taskmaster…tough, daunting, unforgiving…possessing none of the warm tolerance of Tuesday, the vitality of  Wednesday, the buoyancy of Thursday  or the sheer delight of Friday. The remaining two days do not even bear being spoken about in the same breath as you, so spectacularly supreme are they in their own little world of endless cheer.

However, all said and done, i have always known that in spite of your countless quirks and idiosyncrasies, you are a charmer in your own fashion. If life was full of lazy Sundays, we would never accomplish much. We would wander through this journey on earth in our  old flannelette pyjamas, yawning every now and then, humming tunelessly as we let time slip through our fingers, like grains of sand through the hour glass. You implore us to wake up, get dressed and go out there, so that we can leave our footprints in the sand.

If it wasn’t for you dear determined Monday, life would be an endless weekend, and you know what they say about too much of a good thing. So while you may not be top of the popularity charts, you have a special place in my heart because you believe in being cruel to be kind. Like any loving parent, you are not afraid to make tough decisions, knowing fully well that if you don’t, no one else will. You are willing to let your children, those remaining carefree days of the week, enjoy a relatively stress-free existence, while you stubbornly take upon yourself all the brickbats.

You are not the step-child of the week, dearly beloved Monday, you are indeed the parent!!!

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