The Anti-Domestic Goddess Manifesto
I hate cooking. I love the idea of feeding people lovely food, but I just hate doing it. Cooking makes me feel anxious and irritated. I want to throw things at the stove, and then they magically become delicious, but they don’t. I hate thinking what to cook, and actually cooking. I burn myself a lot. I love eating.
I hate cleaning, I don’t get a glow of pleasure when it’s done, just a feeling of vague temporary relief. I have a terrible relationship with the vacuum cleaner; it’s actually a mutually violent relationship especially when turning corners. The vacuum cleaner knows how to resist me. It also likes whining and screaming, but you don’t know what the fuck is wrong with it. Sometimes it’s just weak and pathetic. I hate it.
I love the washing machine and the clothesline, they are reliable and kind, they work with nature not against it. I love them.
I hate ironing. It never works. It is pointless, and I like to pretend that my clothes are meant to be wrinkled. Sometimes that works, but in Parliament, it really didn’t.
I hate shopping. Shopping for clothes is just horrible and painful. Shopping for anything is difficult and tiring. People do this for fun. There are way too many choices, and you buy stuff that may not fit or work. Shopping is the pressure to make bad decisions by other people, who are mostly in my head. Shopping in malls is like going to hell and not even knowing anybody else there. Shopping at markets is better, but it’s the people that I like. I admit the fresh food is excellent, and the mussel fritters at the Thames market.
I hate window cleaning. It’s massively tricky. The smear that must be on the other side is always on this side. That’s a metaphor for life, you scrub away thinking it’s something else causing the mess but actually its a lot closer to home damn it and will not rub off. The light hits the glass and shows up my sloppy scrubbing circles.
I love lighting the fire, the fire is not a cheap date, you have to build the relationship with dry paper and good kindling, and you have to pay attention at the critical moments. The fire is dynamic and beautiful; the fire gives so much to the room. I love the way the fire never lies about the quality of the wood, the fire brings sacred heat and ancient comfort.
I don’t like cleaning the car. It reminds me of everything we agreed we do not eat any more. The evidence is there under the seats. I don’t like the way the vacuum cleaner (we are not friends) tries to suck up gravel outside the car when it’s meant to be cleaning the mats inside the vehicle. Also when you wipe the upholstery with a damp cloth it looks clean, but it dries dirty, what’s that about?
I love walking the dog, the hills are blue and wonderful, the air is cool, and kereru flap effortlessly over our heads. We walk down to the ford where the clean river water roars underneath and dances away over shouting rapids. The dog and I wander along, and its good for us. We never invite the vacuum cleaner to come with us.
Catherine Delahunty cannot, will not, does not, resist from writing. She has written her whole life, inspired by her peers. From the rich dairy lands of the Hauraki, Catherine is an activist across a range of issues from Free West Papua, Honour Te Tiriti, no mining in Hauraki and women's liberation. She is in recovery from 9 years as a Green Party MP and lends her wisdom to the pages of Awa Wahine.