My morning routine (once the kids have left for school and provided I have no doctors' appointments to rush Owen off to) goes something like this: Turn Chicago Public Radio up (it's already on, but I haven't heard much with 4 kids and a husband milling about in the kitchen). Make myself a bowl of Cream of Wheat. (I prefer Farina, but it's almost $2 more a box.) Do the dishes while the cereal finishes thickening. Eat while I read the news and my emails that require attention. Put my bowl in the dishwasher and clean the kitchen while I continue to listen to the morning news.
And the news, of course, has been less than upbeat lately. But it hasn't made me downright angry until today--and I'm not talking about reviewers who dared give Hugh Jackman anything but high praise for his hosting of the Oscars last night.
I'm talking about one woman interviewed here in Chicago who said she's been eating frozen foods since being laid off a few weeks ago from a well-paying job. A dietitian was interviewed for the same segment. She (dietitian) said people often mistakenly believe eating healthfully means paying more for your groceries. Not so, she insists. You can buy a chicken and vegetables and make a few days' worth of soup for much less than it costs you stock up on a few days' worth of frozen, fat-, sodium-, and preservative-filled pre-packaged meals. This recently laid-off woman said yes, she knew that, was sure she could save "a lot" of money if she made her own meals, but (and here's where my blood pressure starts to go up in spite of the fact that I don't eat those sodium-filled frozen foods) cooking makes her feel too much like a stay-at-home wife and mother.
I know it's old fashioned to stay at home. I've known that since I decided this is where I want to be. I've known that since Ron's female college roommates got angry at him for marrying me, someone who "only" had a Bachelor's degree and who wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and who, therefore, was "an insult to feminism." Yes, that's a quote. But not only is it apparently old fashioned, but it's shameful now. At least one woman right here in Chicago would rather go broke buying crap food and then die of heart disease than do anything that might make her feel for a few hours like (gasp!) a stay-at-home wife and mother. Heaven forbid.
Y'know, we, as a society, deserve what's coming to us now. We really do. If we have reached the point where we would rather kill ourselves than live like the middle class, then we deserve to be spiraling downward at a dizzying rate. Glenn Pace of the LDS church said in a talk not terribly long ago that we should *not* be like a parent who, upon seeing his child hurt himself after doing something we told him not to do, says, "Serves you right. You had it coming." And, yeah, sure: ideally, I'd like to be the kind of person who never says "I told you so." But I'm not. I'm disgusted by our sense of entitlement and our downright shame at having to let go of pre-conceived and plain-old wrong notions of what we deserve.
Excuse me now while I go plan tonight's dinner, do some laundry, and vacuum the carpets. Yes, I know, I should be embarrassed to admit that's what lies ahead for me this morning.
And I'm not sure whether that's Cream of Wheat or bile I feel rising in me right now.