Yesterday morning, I attempted to create a pseudo-Italian masterpiece I like to call a prosciutto grilled cheese sandwich.
I added my basil leaves neatly over a slice of bread. Then I laid three thin slices of provolone cheese over my herbs. Next I took eight slices of salty prosciutto and blanketed my cheese.
Perfect. No time for the red pepper flakes and coarse black pepper to season.
I heated the olive oil on medium heat then gently placed the buttered side of the sandwich on the pot.
Not five seconds after I put my meal on the heat, I left to check my email and argue about something irrelevant.
Then I smelled smoke. I rushed over to the pan, and of course, I had burned the sandwich.
It was terrible.
Not only did I burn one side to an unimaginable black crisp, my prosciutto was soggy, and my basil slipped from between the sandwich with every bite, completely overpowering every other ingredient I had so carefully thrown together.
The project wasn't a complete failure, however. I did manage to salvage a couple of good bites of melted provolone, and I mustered up enough confidence to retry the recipe again later in the evening.
As I lamented with my co-workers about my inability to create a decent meal, one of the interns smirked and stated that we were experiencing "the fall of domesticity as we know it."
Now, I'm not a stark feminist, but I do attempt to remain vigilant when I feel certain stereotypes are being laid upon women or there's inequality regarding our opportunities.
I tried not to take her comment personally — the statement was merely a meaningless addition to the conversation. Simply put, it was something to add before we were forced to scatter to our separate ends of the newsroom.
I pondered her statement several times while sitting at my desk. After my arbitrary search on the Psychology Today website, I eventually discovered an article titled, "We Need A Slow Domesticity Movement" by Pamela Haag, PhD. Though a few months old, it stated that we were in need of a domesticity movement — a type of "slow movement" (as the article stated) to combat our inability to produce decent, hearty meals and dust the mantels efficiently.
The article, however, was not a cry for bringing a traditional view of gender roles back into the household. It instead suggested people, both men and women, bring back the leisurely pleasures of cooking, cleaning, and maintain a balanced home back to the top of our priority list.
As I continued to read through the article I felt a bit guilty. I tried to visualize my room as a place of mediation and warmth — it was impossible. I thought about the pile of clothes I had left scattered on my bed in my desperate attempt to find a decent outfit for work. I thought about the heap of make-up accessories on my dresser — untouched and still fresh out of the package.
How had I become so disconnected with my home? Between working eight hours a day, then sacrificing more of my time checking frivolous Twitter and Facebook messages, my life had become so consumed by constantly being in motion that I forgot to actually rest and compile my thoughts for a few minutes a day.
The author said this was possible through domestic activities, which seems monotonous, but allows the person to actually rest and reflect on the daily grind of work and the rat race of life.
I can't promise that once I return home I will clean the kitchen or vacuum the living room. The opportunity to "zen out" house chores — the constant rhythmic motion of cleaning is calming; however, there are other methods of meditation to maintain a comfortable home. Spring cleaning may not appeal to me, but for those who are looking for an alternative to unleash their stress, this could be a good start.
— Victoria Wright is a junior in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.