For the better part of the last 18 months I have been living with some friends in London counting down the days, with mixed emotion, until I would move out of the city and into my very own house with my fiancé. That was to be the beginning of my new identity. In the space of days I went from big, bustling, suffocating metropolis to mainstream, sluggish large county town. Perhaps sluggish isn't the most fair description, but the difference from the rush of London was distinctive. More to the point, I am not trying to be unfavourable to life out of the city, I was excited to be away from the momentum and invisibility of London.
One afternoon during the first week of my new life there was a knock at the door. Unsuspectingly I answered the rapping and was faced with a smiling face asking me to take part in a consumer survey for the local council. Of course i was more than happy to answer a series of questions about local services, banking institutions and my personal data. The surveyor was more than happy to have found me at home; "You are the only person at home on the street!" she told me...which didn't surprise me too much as we live close enough to London that most people commute anyway. As we went through the personal questions at the beginning she inquired "Would you consider yourself the main earner in your household?" to which I answered a resounding "No!", and which was followed by "...and are you a housewife madam?" I found myself immediately answering "Yes I am."
Without even debating the label in my head I was happy to classify myself, for the purpose of the local council, as a housewife. Not that I was married, but I was unemployed and obviously caring for the house. And since that unexpected classification I have come to embrace my new role as housewife. The daily routine of cleaning, cooking, shopping and general housekeeping keeps me busy, but with the liberty of 21st century convenience and appliances I do have moments to relax with a book or turn on the telly.
And so in a split second I have, strangely enough, become a very willing 21st century housewife!