Random Acts of Kindness for the Domestically Challenged

I dig Nigella Lawson. I really do. She’s my kind of domestic goddess.

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Saima’s photostream

Firstly, Nigella has a Master’s degree and secondly, she has had a succesful career as a journo, freelance writer and now cookbook author and television star. Most importantly, she seems real. If you ever watch her cooking shows, there’s something about them that makes you think you can do what Nigella does – you can raise children, have a meaningful career, cook interesting and nutritious food, be a real woman with body flaws and still laugh at life. I’m not sure whether it’s the real close, fast moving camera angles or the way Nigella throws in the ingredients with such aplomb and generally without measurement or much genteel preparation, but I think I could do a Nigella… but only just.

You may remember that about a month ago I wrote of my reluctance inability to co-ordinate colour, furniture and furnishings in my home. I’m afraid that nothing has changed in my abilities since.

What has changed though is that in the last couple of weeks I have become the proud owner of a new planter and new bathroom storage accessories in the form of a glass liquid soap dispenser and matching toothbrush holder. The planter appeared whilst I was on my recent road trip and now proudly holds a plant that has since produced two flowers. The bathroom accessories were given to me by an acquaintance who has been in my home many times to replace my plastic objects d’bath.

Two random acts of kindness to help me overcome my domestic challenges. Even the flowering plant seems happy!

I am now wondering whether my domestic happlessnes is so evident for all to see. Seriously, do these wonderful and kind people who gave me these gifts see a need that I haven’t fulfilled? Do they know what my house requires before even I have anticipated its needs? Am I that domestically inadequate that I need people to buy me practical gifts? What’s the message here?

The plastic thingies in the bathroom have worked perfectly fine until now. OK, the container that held the toothbrushes was a little cracked from the time when one son or other used the vessel for soccer practice and the plastic soap dispenser was off the shelf supermarket, circa 2009, but really…what was wrong with them? As for the planter, it has elevated the poor plant off the floor and I am told it catches the water from watering. It does look good and suited to the room it is in.

To these wonderful people who bought me these gifts I thank you. However, I never know how to take practical gifts. Also, it wasn’t my birthday or any special occasion. I don’t mean to be ungrateful but is it just my paranoia and domestic goddess insecurity that thinks there’s a double meaning here?

Whilst I ponder this question, I think I’ll whip up a quick batch of Nigella’s Instant Chocolate Mouse and go contemplate my antidomestic goddess afterlife.

I have to ask …. how do you feel about practical gifts?

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

19 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kindness for the Domestically Challenged

  1. You are not alone is your suspicions, I would feel the same way. People don’t purchase random practical gifts for their friends….do they? I never did. Oh, how these wheels would be spinning.

    • I don’t think I have ever given a practical gift except where someone has expressly said they would like a particular thing. The wheels sure are spinning, now how to make them stop…

  2. What a fun post! My favorite kind of gift is the practical kind and I don’t read anything into it at all, except that I am grateful that my friends know me so well! I once received toilet paper as part of my birthday gift and nearly cried. I am a practical gift giver myself and prefer to do it at random times when I see something that reminds me of a friend.

  3. I love this! As a domestically challenged person myself, I say why look a gift horse in the mouth? Just thank the kind people who gave you the gifts and then gracefully escort them into the next room that needs their spiffing up! 🙂

  4. My mother used to buy me house plants, but what she failed to understand was that my lack of real plants was because they always died. I have no green thumb whatsoever, nor do I desire one. She finally gave up on her “subtle” botanic hints.

  5. I love Nigella also! But, as for the gifts, you are loved and people want to bless you… if they are generous, let them know I, too, have old plastic things in my baths and I agree with you, they work fine. Isn’t it fun to have something new though to enjoy? Thanks for the post! DAF

  6. I hate practical gifts. Unless I can wear it, drink it or experience it lying down, the gift is best left in the box. Thank you for asking.

    • Yes, I’m with you. To me presents are all about whimsy. My hubby gave his grandmother a doorbell once for her birthday, as in just a garden variety battery operated chimer. That was my first taste of what was to come.

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