Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Lost Housewives

I found them. The lost housewives. Remember those women from when you were growing up? The ones that took their housewifery very seriously. The ones that spent copious amounts of time eliminating waxy yellow buildup? The ones that spent hours clipping coupons and making shopping lists? The ones whose hair was perpetually in a state of curlers covered by a bandana? The ones who wore sensible shoes and anklets on legs that were rarely shaved or moisturized? The ones who looked angry. All. The. Time.

I stopped at a grocery store yesterday – a few miles from my relatively yuppie neighborhood. It was on the fringe of the city in a modest area with modest little houses. I walked in and thought that I had stepped back into 1974. If I wasn’t standing next to the microwave popcorn, I would have sworn that I had time traveled.

Throughout the store were the type of women that I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. They were all middle-aged and seemed stuck in a time warp. They shopped s-l-o-w-l-y, making sure not to miss a store special on meat or the opportunity to cash in on a double coupon.

One lovely lady, in Capri pants purchased the first time Capri pants were in style, seemed deeply confused when I excused myself to get around her and get to the butter. She moved out of the way and then shuffled along, rifling through her coupons. She was either very tired from a morning spent scrubbing tile grout or over the limit on her Prozac dosage.

What impressed me more than the lost housewives’ sense of style or subdued nature, was the idea that these gals hadn’t had fun in a long, long time. I don’t think they’ve laughed since the Carter administration and I’m pretty damn sure that they don’t go to lunch with their friends. I’m betting that their hubbies haven’t taken them out to dinner since the refrigerator broke. I think it’s safe to say that they’ve sacrificed their own identities to maintain their well-run homes. I felt a little sad for them.

And after rushing past the butter blocker, I high-tailed it out of that grocery store hoping to never encounter the Lost Housewives again. There but for the grace of God go I.


At 8:22 PM , Blogger Jay Cam said...

you found a secret portal back into the 1970s!

At 7:09 AM , Blogger Bob-kat said...

Looks like you and the microwave popcorn were refugees from the future in that store! Kind of reminds me of something that Stephen King might wrte about so it's probably a good job you left quickly!

Michele sent me to say hi.

At 7:18 AM , Blogger Joe said...

hey--thanks for stopping by my blog via Michele!

At 2:07 PM , Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Karen, Michele sent me today....Oh My My My...The Lost Housewives, indeed! I don't think I've seen them since the '50's...! But that may be becayse of where I live---Hollywood! Everyone is stylish in the Super Market, in their "designer grunge"...if that is what they still call it....
Come to think of it, I just might love running into a few Lost Housewives...LOL!

At 8:09 AM , Blogger BreadBox said...

Stepford, a few years later?
Funny piece, Karen!

Michele sent me,

At 10:34 AM , Blogger sophie said...

I also thought of the lovely town of Stepford. I see some of those women when I shop on my off day during the week. They frighten me. I can't imagine a whole posse of them.

Michele sent me.

At 3:50 PM , Anonymous Write From Karen said...

Angry housewives, indeed!

I've run across those angry housewives - the ones that wear a perpetual scowl all the time, the ones who wave their children away like annoying flies. Oh yes, I used to BE one of those housewives ... until I got a job and learned, "Whoa, there IS more to life than being a wife and mother. There's ME."

Thanks for the reminder that it's okay to come up for air once in a while. *smile*

At 4:00 PM , Blogger craziequeen said...

Wow, your first paragraph just about describes my mother-in-law, god bless her!

MB and I had such different childhoods, his mum was a stay at home, look after the kids, devoted to her home mum. My mum was a 'get the kids weaned then back to work' mum, we had our own keys, had our chores and learnt to cope alone. He has never had an inkling what it was like to be a latchkey kid.

Michele sent me to say hi, and I immediately thought 'Stepford' as well (not the new one, the original, of course!)


At 5:43 PM , Blogger aka_Monty said...

I'm sorry, I totally didn't mean to block the butter. ;)

And who has time for shaving? hehe

Hello, Michele sent me!

At 4:42 PM , Blogger Marisa said...


My slackeriness (and lack of home computer) got me kicked out of Michele's blogroll long ago, but ah, memories.

Anyway, thanks for the comment, makes me feel sane.

And let me just say that watching baseball this season has taken on a whole new meaning... but it's just too easy!

At 4:42 PM , Blogger Marisa said...

Oh and one more thing: this post, this is my nightmare!

At 9:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Did you walk into the Twilight Zone? Scary. do-do-do...

Good thing they didn't trap you in that time warp.

At 7:49 AM , Blogger rashbre said...

Some current London fashion seems to be borrowing from 1950-1960 housewife styling.

At 8:08 PM , Blogger Carmi said...

Gaa, this was a scary post, Karen! I've crossed paths with many of these women in my extended family, and they've always struck me as a little sad, too. I often wonder what they could have been had they stepped out of the apron-clad shadow.

Visiting from Michele's tonight. Hope you had a great week!


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