Yesterday, I came home from the gym, started the coffeemaker and then hopped in the shower. I can’t begin to communicate the intense feelings of efficiency and normalcy I experienced as I got dressed, knowing that downstairs brown liquid was aromatically dripping into a pot. The same feelings surface when I’m doing laundry while editing a video, or running the dishwasher while weeding the courtyard. Good lord, the ecstasy when I do three or four household chores at once!
There’s the obvious multi-tasking, killing two birds with one stone type deal – many people experience joy at that I think. But the sensations of normalcy, those are probably a bit more unusual. I think they’re rooted in my childhood, and in what I did and didn’t have, and in what I viewed as normal back then.
Most kids wanted a My Little Pony or a Game Boy; I wanted a vacuum, toaster, microwave, car, washer and dryer, real trash bags (not recycled Jewel bags), an answering machine, Tupperware (not recycled plastic tubs that at one time housed impossible to spread organic peanut butter with oil on top), and ziplock baggies (not the kind that just folded over, ones that actually zipped shut). I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment, with a single-mom. No TV, no car. My friends all lived in houses, with two parents who drove Volvos, and saved leftovers in matching plastic tubs with blue tops. Their kitchens were filled with amazing items, like food processors and coffeemakers. I thought if I could just make toast or clean a rug without having to beat it on the back porch that I’d be a little less different than everyone else – which was a tall order for a non-Jessica, biracial, overweight, six-foot tall quasi-Jew.