Beating, whipping, rubbing, slaving, dustup.
No, housework and cooking. All negative words. Nothing positive except gleam. I’d be a happy puppy if housework was entirely banned and a little polish pertained only to a small gentleman from Warsaw.
Yet you can’t expect to bin housework entirely. Even if living in a cave you’d need an occasional swipe at the floor with your second best broomstick to get rid of carrot peelings, squirrels, an overstock of newts’ eyes or left-overs, like frogs’ bodies.
Nowadays glossy magazines and TV programs promote house worship; froufrou furniture, bijou bidets, pretentious paint, designer glue: it’s a DIY make-over take-over. An explosion (though a neat one) of homephilia, or even chez-moiphilia if French. Yet a foreigner (bless their pronunciation-challenged cotton socks) might be startled by our interest in euthanasia, there being so many ‘die’ outlets available.
It’s time we dispensed with DIY. A much better option would be returning to the barter situation, so I babysit your sprogs and you put my shelves up. An hour’s dog walking might equate to half a metre of ironing or some light bulbs changed. This system will be called SEDIFY: Someone Else Do It For You. Much more time efficient, as people would be doing tasks they liked and were good at. This would bestow a warm and fuzzy feeling on both donor and recipient; like kidney donation, but without the fuzzy-making anaesthetic. Or blood.
I’m a terrible wallpaperer; my husband decided we’d move home shortly after one of my more notable efforts. However, I have other talents; walking dogs, making apple crumble, arguing with teenagers; you get kitchen and plastered, I get teenagers and curfew, although there seems to be a short straw in that pairing.
We use SEDIFY at home as everyone has some culinary piece de resistance. When I delegate dinner, we eat flapjacks, chocolate cake, spaghetti hoops or beans depending on which child has been designated chef. No, vegetables don’t feature; artistic licence, they tell me. That’s their piece of resistance.
The worrying bit is if the government decided to tax SEDIFY. We’d have to go to the Houses of Parliament to change 25% of their lightbulbs or put up 40% of a shelf. In return, politicians could use their best skill, supplying us with green fuel from the Westminster Hot Air Generator: natural gas.
So if you’re bored of ironing join SEDIFY – or get somebody else to join it for you.