The Invention of Drudgery.

Chores, who the hell decided which ideas or “chores” were kept and maintained over the years? Was it one man, a committee or society itself? I doubt it’s the latter or else we would never have owned anything made from brass, it is such an arsehole metal to clean. Surely there must have been some pointless tasks that have been rejected or fallen by the wayside since man began. I don’t recall seeing a Dyson or a tub of shoe polish etched on to a cave mans wall. Survival was there only chore and a damn important one at that.

I often thought we had it easier than my parents or grandparents; the history I’ve seen on television is of housewives beating carpets and scrubbing floors. Almost all the chores were more difficult but I feel there is more pressure on housewives/men now because we have no excuses. There are a metric fuck tonne of appliances and liquids to help us do our chores. We have no excuses if our windows aren’t clean or our carpets are dirty. There’s no reason to have dusty shelves or dust webs in the corners because there is an implement for everything and they just keep getting better, at least according to the adverts anyway. The pressure of a spotless house and cleanly pressed school uniforms are always under a spotlight. A bright white ridiculously shiny light.

Windows are a bug bear of mine, I found out that the word window just meant hole in a wall or roof, not the covering of said hole.  So why did we evolve to need windows? I assume it was because of noise, rain and wind, warmth etc. But I wonder if they regretted putting them in during the summer, before they were able to be opened? Romans were the first to use glass but it was opaque, not a great idea because you can’t look out to see if it’s someone you’d rather not speak to or couldn’t afford to pay that week. China used paper which was a better Idea as it was so economical if the kids kicked a ‘ball’ through the window you just grabbed a new sheet from the ream. But once again someone decided they had to see out of the window and a millennium later they got it and now we have to bloody clean it. Not just because it is annoying to see kids hand prints on there, you may also get scornful looks from your neighbours. My Nan told me that even during world war two, when houses were falling and burning around them she would still have to sweep the doorstep and clean the windows.   

Socks. I have a love hate relationship with socks in the spring and summer month I never wear them, they are like prisons for my feet. But in the winter I generally sleep in them, only the big fluffy ones though. I can understand the evolution of socks, from tying animal hide to your feet, to something a little more like what we would wear today. But who felt the need to take the giant leap of giving them, colours, patterns, different materials and thicknesses all adding up to us having to find pairs. Did they know that socks would be the most elusive of clothing ever made? How could they have known that we’d be left holding four odd socks after the laundry has all been put away? Why make just another extra thing for us to have to do when the laundry process is so horrible and dull in the first place. 

What really doesn’t help the laundry process is the iron. Would you believe the first type of iron, was invented before Jesus was born. What the fuck? It was basically a metal pan filled with hot coals but still an iron all the same. The only reason I would Iron my clothes is to go to church, but before Jesus, who was there to impress?  Once again who decided that creases, in whatever they were wearing, were so bad that there had to be something invented to destroying them. Whoever it was should be posthumously lambasted by the world and their name be stricken from history.

It seems to me that a lot of these things are there to create extra work. It seems that just as you think you’ve got all your housework done. Just as you think “That’s it, I know what I’m doing now!” Some prick comes out of the woodwork with a set of new chores, something new to add to the ever increasing pile of shit that you have to deal with on a daily basis. Anyone for a good old fashioned rug beating?

Thanks for Reading.

Emma.

 

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