Never Leave an Ironing Board up Overnight in the Kitchen and other Musings by X, formerly Xanthe

(6 pm. – promoted by DDadmin)

If a young bride were to come to me and ask for homemaking advice (unlikely since I’ve never been married) – my maxim would be “Never Leave an Ironing Board up Overnight in the Kitchen.”  You can leave it up in the dining or living room because when company comes – you are sure to clean it off and parcel it off to the basement or nearest closet.  But in the kitchen, it becomes counter space, and one morning with a cab honking outside waiting to take you to the airport, you will be ironing your white cotton blouse on the real granite counter space and wondering where your luggage tags are, the ones you bought last year.  They are on the ironing board where you put them about six months ago, now covered by unfinished crossword puzzles, Spanish grammar books (unopened), several items of clothing needing new zippers and buttons and three cats sitting with their paws folded watching you with interest.  (Where is she going do you think?  Who will feed us?)  A minor advisory warning, but certainly worth thinking about.

Social Security and Self-Esteem – Self-Worth – Self-Confidence (you know that kind of stuff)

If SS is cut in a real meaningful way, older women will be in the center pathway of that oncoming truck crash. I am a member of the Silent Generation – raised by children of the depression.  I watched my father especially trying to navigate in this money equals worth world with a kind of timidity and lack of self-esteem as closely as only girl children observe their fathers – with a mixture of anger and pity.  It certainly was a marker to my future choice of men – I am a rescuer and then I get angry.  ‘Nuff said.  That would require a novel so I won’t elucidate.  My mother was feisty but looking back I think women are allowed a leeway that men aren’t as far as rebellion against an unjust society – just enough, mind you – but women just aren’t threatening the way men are.  Or maybe it was just a reaction to the husband she married.  My father was a good and gentle man.  He was very smart – could have been an engineer had he been born a few years later or had some meaningful help.  But I am pretty much what I am due to the scars of that 30s depression – it defined him and I have to fight for other definition markers.  My son, having been raised by me alone, has exactly the opposite tendencies.  He needs to worry more, not less.  He may be learning these hard lessons now (another diary) but that is also a legacy of that ’30s political and economic landscape – these damages are handed down one, two generations.  And they are costly, in oh so many ways, financially and damming up a creativity and spirituality and generosity of spirit because we are afraid.  As to self-sacrifice, in my experience we are good at that.  Dick Durben, in his exhortation to us older ladies to stop whining and face the reality of self-sacrifice needs to observe his constitutency (or should I say prior constituency) – and honor us, not slap us around.  But what the heck – he’s a member of Congress.  What can we expect?

Self worth, self confidence translates into a productive society with enough for everyone, happiness included.  These financial breakdowns managed by thieves and murderers and aided by sissy lawmakers make sure there will be monumental breaks in society every so often.  Count on it.


Best to like yourself a lot when you hit your seventies – for you will find yourself alone a great deal.  It just happens – no one to blame really and it’s easy to get tired of putting yourself out there.  Frankly, I am volunteering/goodworks punchdrunk and have taken to more solitary pursuits – studying Italian again and buying Spanish grammar books.  I still get out there – but somehow wonder if any of it means anything.  Still, there is a quiet and deeper pool of solitude and peace that comes along as well.  Well worth it.   Fight to remember you are worth a hell of a lot, even though the airwaves filled by wealthy, unthinking, plastic-attractive fools will make you feel as though you should not only put your dance shoes away ladies – but hang yourself with their shoelaces.  You will hear consistently about the generations just born or about to be born and how your very existence (all of this is implied) is damaging the young and unborn Americans.  Just as you hit the age you must fight for thinking yourself a useful member of community, you will be hit by these morons mouthing their obscenely wealthy owners dicta – it’s all about keeping their wealth intact for their future generations, not my dears – yours.

These chilling psychological and spiritually draining themes out there – given credibility and a huge platform by the thieves and murderers that constitute our governing and shadow-governing non-betters must be met with anger, not a stoic acceptance.  Frak that.  Love yourself to death ladies – and do so with style.  


On a lighter note, I have decided to give up my crush on Vlad Putin.  It’s all so one-sided.  He has a huge following of women on Facebook though.  Recently he made a remark about “babushkas” (that’s the Russian version of me) and it was a bit condescending.  So I’m through with him.  Good bye Vlad.

My new crush is Jeremy Grantham who runs some huge money fund.  You would like him too – watch on You Tube his interview with Maria Bartolromo (yeah I know); he is smart and nice.  He reminds me of my father, though he is successful financially.  He talks with a liberal bent – really.


Recently, I tuned into Morning Joe as the Russian news channel I usually watch was repeating segements and heard Joe say something along these lines.  Why weren’t Americans pushing back against the Iraq War?  Really, I can barely bring myself to write this.  But – here in Chicago we got about 13 seconds of coverage and we had huge marches.  We were on street corners with candles at night.  We were passing out pamphlets.  We were begging for local coverage.  We were right about everything – and get no credit and now have a plastic bobble head lecturing us.  It truly is unbearable.  Did we really think there would be no kharma for the Iraq War?  Really?

Happy New Year everyone.  Be tough and fight the drek that is daily handed to us by wealthy know-nothings.  Turn off most of what’s on tv.  We’re all better off with Sonny Corinthos (a “connected” alpha male but ya know honorable in a way) of the soap opera General Hospital as a role model than some of our governing ninnies.  



Skip to comment form

    • Xanthe on January 5, 2011 at 12:31

    today – a clean slate so to speak.

    • RiaD on January 5, 2011 at 17:57

    & thank you for this delightful essay!

    simply Brilliant!

    (you should write more…please?)


  1. A good one to start the year and the day. I don’t own an ironing board, I like the rumbled Italian look as I call it. My husband is a dapper dandy type and takes his shirts out to be pressed with light starch, no less. He works for himself and has a strict dress code.  My piles accumulate on the top of an old drawing board desk in my studio office, a constant reminder of my lapsed artist self.  

    It’s not just the old ladies their gunning for it’s a scatter spray and the oldsters are easy picken’s. My grand daughter and I share the same strange view. Her’s is a longer road but we both know that there is no map and and that were being herded to no place we want to go. My kids are plugged in and say it will come back. My grandaughter is going to college and her parents want her to take business classes, so she can get ahead in the ‘productive’ cappie world. She wants go to culinary school and create giant cakes for the rich or open her own bakery.

    No matter where you stand ‘the world as we find it’ is going to require us all to make our own way. Community that offers the space for a young cupcake baker extraordinaire and an old artist that wants to come out of her closet and create some beauty. None of them know what any of it’s really worth.

    Happy New Year, x.  I’m cleaning off my board as soon as I unglue myself from teh blogs.                

  2. …. starts up.  Tweetie and Mrs. Greenspan are plaintively whining that there is resentment in the Democratic Party because Pelosi is minority leader, when it should have been Steny Hoyer.   Tweetie keeps asking over and over again, why is she there, does she really think she’s going to get the Speaker’s gavel back after the next election?

    They’re so excited at the thought of Cantor scheduling that health care law repeal, and describing how the Republicans are going to “pick off” the 18 Dems who voted against her as ML, as they vote on other budget cuts, they must be sitting there in Depends.  This must be the end of the Democratic Party they’ve been wishing for, for a long, long time.

    Joe Scarborough is running around on the House floor gladhanding everyone. They kept pointing this out.  Hey, look, there goes Joe down on the House floor!  You could scarcely swipe a credit card between the space that remains between the talking heads and the new Republican majority.  

  3. in my liberal urban community are learning/creating their own definition of liberal. My granddaughter lives in a upper middle class conservative burb which is unraveling at the seams. She is basically an outcast in HS and is considered a hippy. She will find once she no longer lives there a community is alive and she can participate in. She spends a lot of time in our neighborhood and may live with us when she goes to either culinary school or community college if that’s where she ends up.

    Even though they tout the educational reform/ accomplishments of this administration it’s still unaffordable unless your willing to become an indentured servant with no way to get a job in a cubicle and pay off your debt. She is trying to navigate through this and her options are limited.  She’s spunky and a hard worker so I think she will make it with her liberalism and her dreams intact. I read where young un’s in the burbs are leaving as they are searching for just that, community and a real life that offers more then a meaningless ‘a race to the top’..I’m learning from her flexibility and fearlessness as she says were all only human and we do what we can, where we can.        

  4. …and maybe the most targeted is also the most abused.

    I know you grannies feel disrespected, but upon the 18-29 demographic incredible life-destroying pressure is constantly exerted by all media.

    Consume! Try to look like a runway model! Try harder! You can’t be too skinny! You are your gadgets!

    Meanwhile they forget you, and aren’t you lucky! So what if you aren’t “useful” to this fucked-up society? Who said you had to be? For the kids it really “uses,” life ain’t so pleasant!    

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