Since being in Korea, I have learned that to be considered an ideal female, or at least a house-trained one, doesn't mean losing the ability to think, but actually increasing thinking ability to include not only oneself, but the possible needs of everyone else. everyone being men.
The perfectly run house could probably be compared best to a model of the solar system. The male head of the house is like the sun or whatever, and every female is just a planet / piece of astro dust making revolutions around him. (if i want to keep going with the metaphor, I guess I could be pluto. The furthest one that was thought to be a planet but then actually just turned out to be... a dwarf planet / random spherical object and banished from that cool mnemonic about pizzas and eager mothers). haha eager mothers.
anyways, this means that sweaters are laid out on beds, pillows are fluffed, chairs are pulled out, shoes are straightened, water bottles are handed over uncapped, (having to make the wrist motion of turning a water bottle top is a strain I'd never realized before), tissues are kept on hand just in case sniffles are heard,
but all is done with the fluidity and ease of falling down.
My relatives used to brag that they were so progressive because in their family, the men preferred having daughters. Well now I know why, who wouldn't want more free help...
And so I've learned that the key to being a successful housewoman is anticipation. Which doesn't seem that amazing, but actually, it is a superpower:
An average person (a sane person?) wakes up in the morning and opens the window to see that it's a nice day and thinks: "yay, oh look it's sunny."
Successful house-trained female's monologue is slightly different (thought in the same amount of time that average person takes to go "yay oh look..."):
"oh look, it's sunny. which means he will probably want a glass of juice an hour than he usually does because he will be hot sooner, so I should probably take out the oranges now, and will he sweat because then I should probably switch the sofa pillowcase covers to the non-flowered ones because laundry isn't going to be for another few days and."
Super senses I tell you!
And scarily, given a few more weeks, it could be a less than foreign possibility.
Before, when setting the table I'd have innocently seen a fork, I will instead see the length of the stem and wonder at the angle that it would be held, and if that would hinder the time it would take to eat off a plate at lunch and so then would he be a few minutes late for his afternoon show, because then the pillow's fluff won't have held up by the end.
conclusion: fluff pillow again. or perhaps, switch fork.
Last sunday, singing a hymn, in the middle of the 2nd verse, my grandfather accidentally skipped to the 3rd. everyone else automatically followed. While, slow me, struggling to keep up in korean, just assumed what I was hearing was just my wrong reading. At the end I was left singing hesitantly for a few words by myself, until I swallowed them at everyone's confused stares. I felt like that boy in A Wrinkle in Time who couldn't bounce the ball or jump rope in sync with the other children.
ending with happy thoughts: i saw more funny t-shirts (^-^)
"I asked God for love and I got you. I asked God for a river and he gave me an ocean. let us swim. perhaps."
"make war. maybe love. someday."
"they are not looking at your face, they are staring at your queer glasses."
and my dark favorite:
"suicide hotline. please hold."