Issue #31: The right to be boring (whatever your life stage)
Is 'domestic bliss' reserved for couples and/or families?
Last night, I came home and made a bagel. Not just any bagel; this baby was a tasty masterpiece, toasted and topped with Yarden houmous, sumac, Ancho chilli flakes, Maldon sea salt and chia seeds. On my way home, I’d popped by the big Morrisons on Chalk Farm Road and – joy of joys! – picked up my favourite Morrisons The Best Pea Shoots, Purple Radish & Garlic Chives salad mix. I added that to a spinach Soupologie pot that had been lying around in the fridge for, oh, five days past its sell-by date, plus a spring onion cut thickly on the bias. On the side of my soup n’ bagel combination, I added a pile of the sauerkraut from the jar I’d finally managed to wrestle the lid off of with the help of a knife, boiling water, a single rubber kitchen glove and WikiHow.
I realise that everything I just wrote there was, to paraphrase the character of Pam in Gavin & Stacey, really boring (‘I’m not being funny Stacey, but you wanna get a life’). The thing is, boring is what makes me happy right now. Having spent most of the past year travelling – living in AirBnBs and hotel rooms – coming home to my own fridge full of fresh produce and carefully-chosen condiments, eating on my favourite crockery in the comfortable surroundings of my flat is… bliss. It’s domestic bliss.
Domestic bliss: for one?
And yet, that little voice in my head tells me I have no right to call it this. Google ‘domesticity’, and you get definitions like, ‘life at home taking care of your house and family’ (Cambridge Dictionary), ‘home life; family life; devotion to home and family life’ (Collins). I’m a single person household, and right now I’m yearning for the same things, although I fall outside of the internet definition. It’s the stuff of Maslow’s hierarchy, right? I want to eat well; avoid weekend jet-lag; look after my body. I don’t want to spend most weekends shivering on the pavement outside of a Soho nightclub.
Is it an age thing? Have I finally graduated from what sociologists term ‘emerging adulthood’ and am now fated to covet my married friends’ glazed Denby crockery?
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial