My blog hop prompt for blog hop #4 was, of course, provoked by some crazy random person who assumed to know everything about everyone.
When I asked of the group …
Do you experience this same assumption from society in general that just because you’re being crafty you’re also driven by some unseen force to be in constant 1950s housewife mode? and then…. Who actually does the cooking and the cleaning in the household? I’d also really like to hear some words from the men in the crowd who stitch on this topic. What sort of societal reactions do you get and what ridiculously wrong assumptions do people make towards you when they see you working on needlework?
… a certain incident was weighing on my mind.
When I know I’m going to have a lot of waiting around to do I usually pull out a small cross stitch project or my Kindle. I didn’t have my Kindle with me because it was at home charging, so I pulled out my cross stitch and started working on stitching up an ornament. Some person walks by and looks for a moment, which I usually don’t mind at all – I enjoy sharing my hobby with those who are curious and I’ll be the first to offer to show you how to stitch and lend you a needle and some supplies if you want.
However, this random person decides that for some reason my cross stitching while I’m out and about must somehow make me an excellent cook with a spotlessly clean house worthy of magazine covers. So those weren’t their exact words, but you get the general idea of the conversation we were having.
At first I didn’t say anything, because I really needed to gather my thoughts and my son was sitting with me so I was determined to mind my manners. I thought for a moment and I decided the most polite thing I could do was to just smile and nod a bit, and then change the subject. So that’s what I did. I nodded and said, “You have no idea. Everyone needs a hobby right?” and then I exited the conversation as quickly as I could without being horribly rude.
Had my son not been sitting next to me that conversation probably would have gone a lot differently. The truth of the matter is that my house is a disaster area most days, I’m a horrible housekeeper and I’m an even worse cook. My husband does 99% of the cooking in our household – and he’s quite good at it. Clean house? I have four boys and two dogs – anything that does manage to get cleaned in a day is likely to be a cruddy mess again in about five seconds flat.
I still can’t figure out what being able to do needlework has to do with a person’s ability to clean or cook – or why people connect them in that way. I keep seeing retro food advertisements in my head of women smiling and canning jam or pulling steamy pies from the oven and then spending their evening working on some needlework or sewing buttons on a shirt after fixing their husband a drink.
Do people still think life works that way? Does life work that way in some alternate plane of existence? I don’t know. The gentlemen that made the comments to me about how clean my house must be and how good my cooking must be wasn’t really all that much older, I would estimate he was in his mid to late 40s. So why the retro attitude? Who knows what makes people think the way they think.
It’s not the first time I’ve encountered such an assumption when I have my cross stitch out in public and I’m sure it won’t be the last time, but I always wonder what leads people to believe the things they do and how I can enlighten them without blasting their tiny little universe of dreamland into oblivion.