Is there a Bree Van de Kamp in you?
I have recently come to the realization that in every girl lies the tendency to be Bree Van de Kamp (currently Bree Hodge, of Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross in real life). Though not every girl out there will fill her shoes, quite a few, like me, will have moments of “cleaning binges” followed by working marathons and topped with a display of handywoman or crafts-maven-extraordinaire handiwork somersaults.
I had slammed into this epiphany after reading Realistically Ever After by Christina Ferrare then starting an entire day of cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, mothering friends, and even polishing off some blog posts in between. I could not believe it, but this girl, who was once the princess of topsy-turvry rooms, now cringes when the dishes in the sink pile up.
Yes, I think I’m turning into Bree Van de Kamp.
I have a pink sprayer filled with my own mix of all-purpose cleaner: baking soda, filtered water, ethyl alcohol, caribbean lemon, and a bit of cologne for a stronger scent. If that alone does not scream “Bree Van de Kamp,” I don’t know what does.
I still need to keep cleaning my room on a daily basis, because 23 years’ worth of bad habits isn’t so hard to shake off. Especially if those bad habits include being a serial mess, wherever I go.
And yet, every day that I see myself washing the dishes, needing to wipe the oily stove after every use, feeling the need to just scrub the scum from my bathroom away, I can’t help thinking that as a girl matures, it seems that she grows more and more obsessive-compulsive with the cleaning habits and the domestic chores. It seems as if most of us women can’t stand not being perfect.
I work at home, and I sometimes think it’s a little harder, because I need to do both the chores and to balance my work schedules too.
I haven’t gotten the hang of it fully yet, and in Bree Van de Kamp fashion, whenever I fall short of the perfection I strive for, I go into figurative self-flagellation.
There are days when a girl has to crucify the Bree Van de Kamp in her too, and happily tolerate living in a chaotic room, just so she can focus.
But there’s more to my believing I’m turning into Bree. When I cook, it seems I’m competing against myself in making the best dishes from scratch. I take extreme pride when I can come up with beautifully delicious recipes from vegetables that would otherwise have been considered inedible. I take pride when people exclaim that my dishes taste great. And yet when I go back to my room, I keep thinking how it would have been better had I not kept the heat on too high, had I not used this, had I not.. Had I not.. Had I.. Had I..
That is the female perfectionistic mantra for you, up close and highly unbearable. There are days when I wish I could turn off that virtual phonograph that seems to be stuck on loop in my mind, but noo. It’s something I have to burn at the stake daily.
And now you see that even women get exasperated with themselves! For being Bree Van de Kamps in disguise!