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Time is money (06/03/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns
It's a matter of time - all those handy household devices and gadgets. What does everybody do with all this time they supposedly save using these technological wonders? First of all, someone in the house has to figure out how to program, assemble, and/or return the thing, which didn't look this chintzy on T.V.

Time saved is money (to buy more of those high-tech helpers). The working woman depends on time saved to work out at Curves, between Yoga sessions and doing scrap booking parties, weekly dog obedience classes, manicures (to fix fingernails with button-pushing damage), and to scan grocery store aisles for the best buy on those meals in boxes (just add Rolaids). So easy even a caveman can do it?

One will seldom hear the remark from today's young wife and mother that, if it was good enough for Grandma it's good enough for me." With all the trendy conveniences and services folks are using in an innovative global society, it's a wonder anybody gets anything else done!

I consider most of those kitchen doohickeys more bother than they're worth. I'm not sold on apples corers, shredders, food processors, or clumsy, heavy-duty mixers. I wouldn't bother to dig them out of a bottom cupboard, put them together and then wash them when the job is done.

I can just imagine Pat's mother, with her clan of twelve children out on the Wyattville farm, if someone would have tried to sell any of these time saving features to her. She could work circles around the "domestic engineers" of this day and age.

Could the automatic bread-maker and power mixer have been any more efficient than her two busy hands. And the love? It was in there. Dishwasher? Well, no, she had an abundance of those around. I never heard her complain or speak a cross word.

You know you might be a little ridiculous when you get the eye rolls from certain family members. I was so thrilled to find, in the $ store, those bowl covers with the snug elastic to fit every size bowl, like Mother used. I call them my shower bonnets for the leftovers. They think it's bad enough that I use a rolling pin with only one handle and wash zip-lock bags to use over. What can I say? I have the time.

Here's one I can't believe: self-cleaning clothes! Cutting the cost of detergent in half doesn't get it for me! I would classify them under P-U, clothes made of a high-tech fabric that repels water, resists stains, and is anti-bacterial.

Another recent innovative idea is Home Chic Home for the latest in stylish household helpers. In flowery, colorful motifs, the lady or guy of the house can order fashion-friendly feather dusters, rubber gloves, brooms, and collapsible hampers and no longer worry about getting caught clashing with their "Martha Stewart Everyday" dΓ©cor.

Design your own original dress. Too busy with all your state-of-the-art gadgets to go clothes shopping? You can simply punch a style, neckline, fabric, and length into your computer for a made-to-order frock for around $200. In about four weeks you'll be all decked out for a nephew's bar mitzvah, your divorce hearing, or whatever requires that "knock ‘em dead" look.

Ladies (or whoever), wouldn't you want versatile shoes to go with that personally designed dress, as well as the fashionable cleaning accessories? It's a shoe-in. You can comfortably wear 4-inch stilettos with hidden sneaker-style cushioning. You'll literally "wow" the pool man and the "pets meds" delivery guy.

Here we are in the 21st century and some housewives are still: housewives, canning garden vegetables, yelling at the kids for dragging mud onto her freshly scrubbed floor, not complaining, baking cookies and casseroles from scratch, ironing dress shirts, actually sewing their own clothes, and don't know or give a darn who Martha Stewart is.

Think of all the time and money saved when leisure, rest, and simple pleasures were just an accepted part of everyday life. Carpe diem!

Janet Burns is a housewife in Lewiston. She can be reached at patandjanburns@earthlink.net 


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