I have a very good friend, she and I go way back. She is African American and one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I am tall, blonde, with blue eyes and freckles, she is a dark skinned Goddess and the poster child for the word “petite”. We are quiet a pair.
As different as we may seem at first sight, we actually are very much the same, when you get to know us. We both were raised to be the perfect wife, with the perfect house, the perfect meal, the perfect yard…and other “perfects”.
Making things look perfect takes some time and serious effort, it’s actually hard work.
I was over at her daughters house and we helped her with the first big party in her new house. She is one of my Godchildren, she just got married and was eager to impress, as eager as we have been, when we were her age.
We were juggling pots and pans in the kitchen, rushed back and forth. We had a deadline, we wanted everything ready 1 hour before the guests would arrive. We had thrown our husbands out, they had a long list of things we asked them to do, stuff they had to buy and we expected them back around 3.
All was going well, the tables were set, the food was ready and waiting in the fridge. Everything was the way we wanted it, was going as planed. The house was ready for the guests, but we weren’t. We looked like dishrags. We quickly cleaned the kitchen, cleaned ourselves up and sat down for a well deserved cup of coffee.
My friends Mother arrived and joined us. We all call here “Mimi”. There we were, 3 generations of women sitting around the kitchen table, sipping our coffee, waiting for our husbands to come back with the ice and the drinks they were suppose to get.
We looked around. Yes, everything was perfect, as always. It would be a great party. Nobody would see how much work we had put into it.
Mimi looked at my Godchild and so did I. She looked very pretty, she was excited about her own first party, she was eager to become the next perfect wife.
“You are going to turn out just like those two idiots and myself” Mimi said and we just looked at her. She has a way with words and it wasn’t the first time she called us “the two idiots”, but normally she uses these words when we did something highly stupid. We are both in our 50’s, but Mimi can make us feel like little kids any time she feels like it.
“Why are we idiots this time” we asked and looked at her. She didn’t answer, she looked at all of us for some time, then she looked at my Godchild and said something that I didn’t expect.
“Don’t make it look too easy. There are generations of tired women, who made it look too easy and later on they wondered why nobody ever showed appreciation”.
Ouchhhh, where was this coming from?
She laughed and said “Put some flour on your cheeks and on your clothes, pull some strings out of your perfect hair and dab some Vanilla behind your ears. Look like your are ready to faint when your husband comes in.”
My friend and I grabbed two glasses and left the kitchen, the two idiots decided it was 5 o’clock somewhere and it was time for a drink.
I got it was Mimi was saying, so did my friend. We made it look too easy for so many years, then, when we got older, we complained to our husbands “why don’t you help me more, I can’t do it all by myself” and it came out of nowhere to them. They didn’t know that we often felt overworked, because we had never shown it. Many of us juggle career and housework at the same time and are still eager to be perfect.
So I would give Mimi’s advice to any newlywed, or any younger woman in a relationship. It’s an advice I failed to take, because nobody told me.
Make it look easy at work…but not at home. Put some flour on your cheek and pull some strings out of your hair.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?