Three cheers to the BBC for resurrecting Butterflies for a Christmas special. Those of us who wouldn’t recognise hollandaise if it came ready-made need the hapless Ria (played by Wendy Craig) as an icon to reassure ourselves that we don’t all have to be a Domestic Goddess, à la Nigella Lawson.
If it’s not bad enough that those of us who flunked out of Home Economics at the age of 13 with Grade E and a half burnt school kitchen have had to suffer male chefs (Ainsley, Jamie, Anthony et al) wittering on at us for the past few years, along comes the divine Nigella to make us all feel completely inadequate.
Ria, our star slut, on the other hand is a woman who not only can’t cook but couldn’t care less that she can’t cook and that the family are (or were when last seen on TV) all as thin as rakes due to the scarcity of non-burnt offerings.
Ria’s sluttishness doesn’t merely contain itself to gastronomic disasters. Oh no! True domestic devil-may-care that she is – she doesn’t give two hoots about hoovering, ironing or dusting either. In fact, despite being a housewife without a (noticeable) vocation, she manages to convince her long-suffering husband Ben of the necessity of employing a domestic helper, a “lady who does”! Way to go sister!
For those of you who aren’t convinced (and, deary me, where have you been for the past few years if you haven’t noticed the advantages of this lifestyle choice yet? – slaving away in the kitchen or something?) here are a few handy pointers on how to perfect your domestic slut skills and get away with it.
Completely unnecessary. A microwave and a stash of pot noodles will be all you will ever need. If you want to pretend you’re not a slut, boil several pots and serve on plates and say you made the noodle supreme yourself.
Two choices: (1) expensive caterers; (2) the patron saint of all sluts, St Michael (aka Marks & Spencer ready meals).
Dishwasher. Enough said. Teach the family how to load it themselves.
Your launderette’s service wash prices will seem very reasonable when you no longer have to touch washing powder and you notice the benefit in your beautiful hands. Inform your family that laundry will be a weekly event in future and that it may be wise to buy extra pairs of socks, pants, ties, etc.
At only 50p a shirt (or thereabouts) you may want to use your launderette’s services again for smaller items. Larger items: tumble dry slowly until creaseless or get your husband/boyfriend to put them in his trouser press (this is called equal division of chores).
Dusting & Hoovering
Out of bounds, unless you employ a “domestic”. Other tricks: use lots of table cloths and covers – send to the laundry when dusty. Have wooden floors with a selection of rugs – to be sent for professional cleaning when dirty. Never demean yourself by picking up a vacuum cleaner: you know your bad back won’t forgive you.