Monday, December 6, 2010

A Long, Long Climb

Tonight, I attempted to make dinner. I did succeed in making what I set out to make (woohoo!) but, as I sat in my room, in front of my computer, eating my meal of chocolate chip pancakes and milk without a napkin or silverware, splitting my time between surfing the web and attempting to wipe spilled syrup off my lap, I began to realize how far I have to go to become a proper Betty. Holy goodness, I have a long, long climb ahead of me!

I mean, honestly, as of today, it is an incredibly victory for me if I manage to do something as simple as make myself pancakes for dinner. Cleaning the house is a phenomenal triumph I experience once in a blue moon and laundry? Oh please, if I do a load from start to finish including folding and putting away, I get so smug, you’d think I’d won a Pulitzer! Housekeeping is not “my thing”, nor are cooking or mending or any of the other domestic arts. Thus, in order to actually DO The Betty Project, what I DO is not the only thing that will need to change. I need to rethink my definition of what constitutes an acceptable way to live.

Now, I realize that to SAY that you’ll do something is a far different thing than actually doing it. And, at this point, I’ve said I’m going to do this thing called The Betty Project but am not entirely sure how I’m going to go about accomplishing it or even what “accomplishing it” will look like. I’m intimidated and overwhelmed. So I will try to channel my mother and, as she advised me time and again throughout my adolescence, I will try to take this “one little ducky at a time”.

Therefore, the first three months of The Betty Project I intend to spend pursuing Betty numero uno: Betty Crocker. I will (try to) focus my energies on the home: cooking, cleaning, mending, and so on. I also feel the time has come to take a bit more pride in my appearance. After all, women back in the day would put on a dress, heels, stockings, a hat and gloves just to go to the market. The least I can do is put on a shirt under my sweatshirt and TRY to wear pants without holes in them.

My starting point is tonight: an apartment in utter disarray, at least three loads of laundry waiting to be done, not a single table surface free of clutter, dishes in the sink and on the counter, utter chaos accompanied by a dinner of chocolate chip pancakes and milk eaten with my bare hands in front of my computer in my plaid pj pants and a striped t-shirt. Really and truly, there is nowhere to go from here but up…


  1. I felt so proud of myself that I vacuumed last night. For a whole fifteen minutes. Then Margot disemboweled one of her dog toys, covering the carpeted area with tiny balls of fluff. I considered vacuuming again. Instead I ate a baked potato and watched bad reality tv. Which is all to say - I feel your pain.

    And you might relate to this blog post, too:

  2. OK... I have so much to say.. I have pictures to post but don't know how. I do know how to be a "Betty" it is my "es'peciality`.I do not know who the f some of the "authors or people" are you Elliot women talk about but. I can be a Betty. I highly suggest you go out and buy the cook book ( I bought it at Safeway in the 70's, you may have to use Amazon) Bettter Homes and Gardens "new Cook Book" It usually has a red and white gingham cover. It has been my bible since I was wed. I have since bought 100's of cookbooks but use them only as a starting point. I must admit my mother was the casserole queen and I learned at her feet. As I sit here sucking down a wild turkey, Because I am a Betty and could tell you things that will turn your blood cold, I think back to my year 26.. I was ??? had 1 baby and was totally sitting in my condo thinking what in the ffffk am I good for and who the fk am I.. Mary.. IM STILL ASKING THAT QUESTION. Honey you are one of the brightest, creative women I have met in my life. I think you have achieved some stupendous goals that I can only be totally jealous of your experiences. However You want to know anything and I mean ANYTHING about cooking "home style" meals not Moni's gourmet stuff, but Betty stuff you email me.. Im your girl. I have gleaned over the years, what to do with left overs (for days, I create great, family endorsed meals) with the same ingredients. And I cook, Sew, and can clean a house faster than it takes to do this email, (however I now have maids, thank you Jesus). so I will write more later, for now ribs, salad and Zucchini and onions to soak up some of the Whiskey. Love and kisses from the Burbs(the high end?!?!?) Jomama