In today’s fast paced society, everyone is always out to build a better mousetrap. We once had cell phones solely for making phone calls in an emergency, now our phones catch Pokemon, snap pictures of our most private moments and run most facets of our lives. We are so busy moving forward, do we ever take a minute to remember what was left behind?
This past Sunday I was attempting (against my better judgment) to make homemade Belgian waffles. I had the batter mixed and I purchased a waffle iron that is supposed to virtually do all the work.
I imagined it would be easy, add batter, wait for the light to turn green and poof!
Instead, it took me seven attempts to make 1 semi-edible waffle. My kitchen looked like the Keebler Elves had a rave and I ended up grabbing a toaster and an Eggo. My grandmother once said to me that cooking, sewing, ironing and cleaning are the four things every woman needs to know in order to be wife material.
What I have come to accept is that I am a modern woman and am apparently failing at 1950’s wifery. I can cook to an extent, (just not these damn waffles). I can’t sew to save my life, if something needs to be hemmed, I just don’t buy it. If something needs to be ironed, I throw it in the dryer and while my house is clean, it definitely looks lived in. Am I losing at womanhood because I am teetering on the bare minimums of old time standards?
We have changed with the times, evolved like the Pokemon residing in our phones. We haven’t left the old times behind, just grew them into something better. The days of baking pies and starching linens have been replaced by building spreadsheets and running to a 6 a.m. spin class.
Instead of spending money on fancy dishes, we are using it on student loan debt and tattoos.
Sure there are things that modern women could learn from the generations before us. I think we could all use a lesson in making love last, my grandparents have been together almost 60 years and yet I still can’t commit to an internet provider or lipstick color.
I would also love to take the time to learn how to make food from scratch (nothing beats my great grandmother’s homemade pierogi recipe). Instead, I flip casually through the food network to see what ingredients they are using on Chopped while eating a salad made for me from Panera.
My grandmother never leaves the house looking less than perfect. Her hair, make up and outfit is always flawless and on Sundays she goes the extra mile to be dressed for church. Most days I am lucky if my shirt compliments my leggings and I hope there are no bumps in my ponytail.
While I accept that we can learn from them, what can future generations learn from us? Perhaps we can teach them how to be independent and chase their dreams. We can teach them how to use both power tools and ovens. We can teach them how to parallel park and wing their eyeliner. Today’s woman wears so many hats that the old standards just aren’t enough to get by. A homemade apple pie is delightful, but it’s not going to pay your electric bill.
So while it is true I will take my Eggo waffle over this Belgian disaster, I think today’s woman and yesterday’s woman could mold themselves together to make a better woman for tomorrow. We can take the generation that is coming and teach them the tricks of the trade by taking the lessons of new and old and combining them to make life better. Learn a recipe from your grandmother, get comfortable with the permanent press cycle on your dryer and use your Swiffer mop, the rest will come together.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.