Meet Microwave Madam’s Husband | The Keeper

Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 4

MM’s husband was a forward thinking man who lacked the skills needed to make his ideas on equality a daily reality. Two things in particular that made housework an endless task for MM with no weekly off – food habits and disorganization.

A fresh-is-best with some leeway for bulk cooking can be used to give the homemaker a weekly off from cooking, but this was not what he was used to. His mother had always eaten any leftovers if there were any and he’d always had freshly cooked food at every meal. And this was the way he wanted it. At first.

Plus, he was a terribly disorganized keeper of things. Not a hoarder, because hoarders are different. They tend to have a deep attachment to things that often over-rides their ability to care for themselves, and for the environment they create for their family.

He instead, was the son of an excessively neat mother with a tidy streak so strong that she’d constantly picked up after him. So he’d never had a chance to learn to pick up after himself. He often left for work leaving stuff out for his wife to put away. Even on days she was not well or tired.

MM, very particular about tidying up before marriage, learned to pick up, clean and put things back where he had left them. Only tidying when he was at home to see where things went. Else her work day would get filled with organizing, and her evenings with fetching things he couldn’t find because he hadn’t put them away himself.

This changed his attitude I think, because he could see the effort it involved. Also, it taught him that each item has a place and a home.

He had an openness and a willingness to embrace change that many don’t have. And yes, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the lockdown of 2020 brought a lot of lessons.


The Keeper
Do you live with a keeper – a keeper of things
who won’t let go of old stuff, miss the joy that this brings.
Or have you raised a child who keeps toys on the floor
that you pick up and tidy – then go out and buy more.

So much to clean and so much to dust
more that you need but it’s still not enough.
Until lockdown twenty-twenty – with no maid at home
And you just can’t cope and you want things gone.

A keeper and collector who’s learning to let go,
less stuff, less to clean and space for more.

Covid19 sometimes seems like a message from above
less stuff to look after and time to live with patience. And love.

I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper.

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