Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Square One for the Domestically Deficient

I was born deprived of the domesticity gene – which is really hard to believe considering my genealogy. For as long as I can remember, my mom has played Domestic Goddess at home, while maintaining her full-time career. And so far my younger sister is shaping up to follow in her foot steps. So how can it be that I don’t have an ounce of domestic ability in me?

I’ve learned the basics through trial and error – lots of errors:

If you’re boiling water for Mac & Cheese and the flame disappears, don’t assume the stove is off. Gas is probably leaking into your kitchen, setting the scene for a massive explosion when you relight that burner. [Fail: 8th grade]

No matter how long you beat the egg, water and oil with the mixer, it will never look like cake batter unless you add the cake mix. [Fail: 9th grade]

New sweat pants usually leave a million fuzz balls behind during the first wash. Thus, washing them with your nice “party tops” is not a good idea (unless you want to buy all new clothes). [Fail: sophomore year of college]

Repainting the old retro-colored bathroom tiles to give the room a little face lift works great. But it does require the use of gentle, all-natural cleansers when cleaning. If you spray the heavy-duty stuff and start scrubbing you’ll likely remove a layer or two (or all) of the paint. [Fail: last year]

Trying to iron the bottom of your dress when you're already wearing it is more complicated than it sounds. The probability of removing all of your wrinkles is low, considering it’s impossible to reach the back of the dress. Plus you run the risk of knocking over the whole ironing board with one clumsy movement. [Fail: one month ago]

Given my track record, it’s no wonder my own mother asked me what I was planning to contribute to my household when the news broke that the fiancé and I are buying a house. My reply: “Show up and look good?”

My fiancé – bless him – accepts me despite my domestic deficiency, but I don’t want to be this way forever. So I’m determined to find quick, but quality house keeping techniques and share my trials, tribulations and successes with all of you along the way.

And I hope that you’ll let me in on your secrets, too!


  1. Welcome to the Blog World! I'm so happy to now have a way to be updated on your wedding planning/home buying! Miss you!

  2. happy blogging! The picture reminded me of a tip from my own experience - keep baking soda handy for grease fires, but don't keep it OVER the stove. Little hard to get to it over the leaping flames!

  3. Thanks, carriechiz! I didn't know about using baking soda to put out grease fires. I actually do know baking soda also goes in the fridge - something about freshness. Does anybody know if that actually works? I think I'll just store it in several locations around the kitchen, seems like it has a lot of potential uses. :)

  4. This will be highly entertaining. In all seriousness, couldn't be happier for you as you become a homeowner. In addition to the baking soda, you should probably make sure you have smoke detectors in enough rooms and a fire extinguisher handy at all times.

  5. Hey Domestically Deficient! I am looking forward to following your blog! As a note, the baking soda in the fridge is supposed to stop bad odors. They sell it in special packages just for the fridge in the grocery store. I learned that from my own grandmother.

  6. Well, I am DEFINITELY looking foward to reading your blog and I already laughed out loud at your first post (at work...awkward!) One of my favorite Dometically Deficient moments: Thinking we had a ghost who turned our stove burner on on a daily basis (not that you should get full credit for that...I think all of us believed).

  7. This blog is geat..A ghost turning on the stove! Was it Casper, the Friendly Ghost? Who empties the dishwasher?

  8. Now I feel like I should explain the whole ghost thing.

    For weeks my college roommates and I would find the oven turned on when none of us were using it. We couldn't figure out why the oven kept turning itself on (I mean the knob was turned and everything). Without another explanation, we seriously considered the possibility that we had a ghost.

    But then one day when somebody opened the freezer door -- which wasn't hinged very tight and would always banged into the top of the stove -- we finally realized it was the freezer door that was turning the knob on the oven without any of us noticing it.

    So the moral of the story is we didn't have a ghost, just a bunch of really smart, but at times clueless girls.

  9. You're a creative person, clearly shown here by your writing. My advice? Try using that side of your brain in the kitchen. And perception is everything. Take for example a black bean burrito. Simple, just top it with cheese and salsa and turn on the broiler. Just having those bubbles at the top make it look harder than it was!

  10. Hi Domestically Deficient! A cleaning tip for you - vinegar can be a great cleaning product for any variety of things. just plain old white vinegar. you can use it to clean stains, windows, floors, and so much more! Plus, it's not toxic and not expensive!

  11. We all have a laundry-list of "fails" and "near fails," so no worries! Me: Attemped to bake a ham steak for my boyfriend in college. Forgot about it in the oven until it came out crispier than any bacon I've ever made! Funny thing is...I have two girlfriends whose mothers are home ec teachers, and they self-identify as some of the most domestically challenged women I know.