I’m trying to remember when I read Sue Kaufman’s Diary of a Mad Housewife.  I’m pretty sure it was after I’d become a housewife, but fairly early in that phase of my career because I hadn’t been one but a year or so when I started using “madhousewife” as my internet handle.  I used to have a chickmail address with that name–anyone remember chickmail?–but that was ages ago, and I digress.  Anyway, I’d been using that name for a long time when I started this blog on Xanga, and originally I was going to call the blog “Blog of a Mad Housewife.”  How dull and derivative would that have been?  I think that blog exists out there, somewhere, maybe even on Xanga.  I don’t remember.  There are lots of madhousewifes on the internet, but only one of them is me.  Bear that in mind if you ever see some suckhead posting as madhousewife on some other, random site.  I don’t ever post on news sites or political opinion sites or anything like that, and if I did, or if I felt compelled to say something suckheady, I certainly wouldn’t use what I’ve come to think of as my real name.  My other real name, I mean.  Actually, if I wanted to be anonymous, I might be more inclined to use my real real name, because my real real name is just about the most boring and forgettable name I can think of.  I’m starting to think it’s holding me back in life, but of course the only proof I have of that is my failure to get anywhere, and technically I think that’s what we call “inconclusive.”  But I digress again.

I had mixed feelings about the book when I read it, just as I had mixed feelings about being a housewife in the first place.  I hadn’t been married long at all before I started feeling like I was losing my identity.  Before I got married, I was pretty sure of who I was.  I felt very much in control of my life, and also like I was a dynamic individual, someone who could make things happen.  That changed dramatically once I got married, and I really can’t tell you why–not because I don’t know, but because I purposely stopped thinking about it a few years ago in order to save my marriage and my sanity.  My marriage is in very good shape, by the way.  Even the sanity is not so bad, at least on good days.  I’m all about moving forward, except when I’m about sitting on the couch and blogging.  Things I am not about:  dwelling on the past, going backwards, that sort of thing.  I have become extraordinarily self-conscious about feeling sorry for myself, which is several steps away from not feeling sorry for oneself, but I feel like it’s a step in the right direction, anyway.

Where was I?  The book.  Yes, I was reading that book, and while I was enjoying it, I also found myself thinking, “What is this woman’s problem?  How did she find herself in this place?  With advantages such as she’s had, shouldn’t she be a little less ‘mad’?  I mean, someone else does her laundry–she barely qualifies as a housewife, if you ask me.  What kind of problems does she have?  Her children don’t respect her, and she hired a caterer to make omelets at her dinner party when omelets clearly were clearly out of vogue.  Cry me a flipping river.”  Which, you could argue, only means that I didn’t really “get” the book.  No, I got it.  I got it.  I just thought that as mad housewives go, hers was a pretty mild case.

Will the REAL mad housewife please stand up?

So last night I was talking to my husband, and I was saying how difficult Wednesday was going to be because the housekeepers come that day and I really hoped they’d come before 3:30 because at 3:30 I have to leave to pick Princess Zurg up from school and take her to her 4:30 therapy appointment in freaking Tigard, and meanwhile at 4 p.m. Mister Bubby has his piano lessons, and I can’t forget that, but the babysitter will be at home with the other kids, so really, she’s the one who’ll have to remember, if I just remember to tell her that the time has changed, but if the babysitter is at the house with the kids, she’ll have her son with her, and if the housekeepers are there at the same time, that’s really a lot of people to be keeping out of the housekeepers’ way, and historically the babysitter has not been very good at that, and I also wonder if I’ll be able to get the house ready in time because I’m not feeling well and PZ has a church activity at 6:30 Tuesday (today) and MB has Cub Scouts at 7, and that is why I wish I could just make the housekeepers come when I want them to–then everything would be fine.  My husband said he was going to say something about first-world problems, but he thought better of it.  Except he didn’t, really, because technically in saying that he was going to say something about first-world problems, he effectively said something about first-world problems.  But my husband’s not a dummy.  If you want to shut me up, just mention something about how I’m feeling sorry for myself, even obliquely, and I will totally shut up.  Because I can only bear being conscious of feeling sorry for myself if I’m the first one to notice it.  Or, at least, the first one to mention it.  The other hurts my feelings.

So I was thinking about all of this on my way home from dropping Girlfriend off at pre-school, and that’s when it hit me.  I am that woman in the book, and this blog is the book.  That’s so embarrassing.  Not to mention disappointing.  I wonder how many people have mixed feelings about me.

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