Domestication: Friend or Foe?

Is it better to be an undomestic diva or a domestic door-mat?

I’ve been discussing this disturbing trend with one of my new co-workers, a 20 something full-time office chick/part time student whom I’ve be-friended. We’re both on the look-out for new wing-girls, you know, the girl friends who are always up for a night out dancing, boy-hunting and just plain fun. Not to say that our current girlfriends aren’t fun anymore: quite the contrary, when we DO see them they are a blast. But herein lies the rub; we hardly ever see them anymore and when we do, they seem to have permanently attached themselves to their boyfriends hips.

On one hand, who can blame them? Being attached to someone’s hip has its obvious benefits. As one of my girlfriends often says in her quest for a significant other, “Coupled people do not go out clubbing; they stay in and fuck.” And when they do emerge from the bedroom, they are so immersed with each other they may have well just stayed in there. Other perks included in domesticdom are semi-permanent dinner dates, movie dates, someone to stay in with when the weather gets bad, and someone to accompany you on all those boring mudane tasks us single and fabulous (!) girls must do alone. So, from the outside looking in, domestication doesn’t sound so awful.

However, and there is always a however, freedom-loving Manolo lites, including yours truly, can and have fallen into the domesticdom-trap. Anyone who has been in a relatively serious long-term monogamous relationship can attest to this: after a while you start to act, think and believe as an entirely different person, and from the inside looking out, things can get a bit foggy.

Last summer I found myself in a semi-serious relationship with a guy, lets call him “Phillipe”, and sure as hell I found myself domesticated. I would sleep at this guys place almost every night, even though my apartment was on the street where I worked and his was across a bridge and often required 2 buses to get where I was going, not to mention losing the 45 extra minutes of beauty sleep I so thoroughly enjoy. And if that wasn’t enough, after spending the night and morning with him he would meet me for lunch when clearly I should have been socializing with my girl friends, or at the very least a co-worker whom I’ve now developed full blown crush-affair with… hey, a girl’s gotta have her priorities! And even after spending the morning with him, having lunch with him and talking to him on the phone, “Philippe’ still managed to convince me to either spend the night as his aparment again or crash at mine, although his preference was obviously his place, despite the geographic proximity of our work-places to my apartment. If my behaviour was any indication, my girl friends must have been driven crazy! “Philippe” had managed to go from being my summer boyfriend to being my summer. Only now do I realize just how much I missed out on after falling into what I call the domestic-trap.

Looking back on this as I enter my summer in singledom, I can see the ups and downs of domestication. Sure, domesticdom has its perks, but myself and anyone else who has been in a long-term monogamous relationship has to be careful not to become a “domestic doormat”, women (and men) who freely give up their individual lives to become one with another. As a freedom-loving Manolo-lite, I thought myself immune to such trickery, but “Philippe” and countless other men I know have successfully tamed some of the wildest women I know, including myself. I am talking about girls who under normal circumstances would hit on bars and boys for drinks and dances who now drop similar plans for a movie night pour deux… in other words, sans moi. The worst part is, I often find myself losing touch with these ‘domestic doormats’ in hopes to salvage what little social life I have left.

Not to say that their social lives are completely void, oh no. Their calendars are always free for ‘couples nights’, implying that if I want to see them I’d best get myself a boyfriend or at least someone I am casually dating to tag along for the ride… I guess I am simply not a fan of needing a boyfriend to hang out with my girlfriends.

Now, I know it is not fair or correct to couple all taken-girls into that one awful category. On the contrary; I know some pretty fabulous halves, women I like to call “domestic darlings”. These girls are in monogamous relationships and spend quality time with their boyfriends/lovers/significant others. However, they have also mastered the art of having a life outside of their relationship.

Some of my girl friends, the very lucky ones, have boyfriends/lovers/significant others who encourage these girls to keep their social lives and their girlfriends, and when they join us for a night out they are never overbearing or controlling; in fact they are quite fun. One particular girl friend, lets call her “Angelica” and her fiance, let’s call him “Joe” have perfected the art of having a lover AND having a life. I would even go as far as to say, it is the type of domestication a Manolo-lite like me wouldn’t mind having. But as I said, this summer I’ve found myself a happy resident of singledom, meaning I’m a bit cynical… I’m hopefully enough to keep looking for a relationship like that, but I’m smart enough to realize that “Angelica” and “Joe” are the exception to the rule.

So what’s a single (and fabulous!) gal to do when she’s stuck between the singledom haven and domesticdom wonderland? I am not about to give up the freedom and spontaneity of singledom for the pleasures and stability of domestication… I just hate the fact that so many of us have to chose between one or the other.

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~ by Carrie on June 22, 2006.

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