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Filling in the Blanks...

Tom walks in the door, briefcase hanging from one arm, suit jacket thrown over the other. ‘The house smells so good, did the housekeeper come?’ I hear, ‘You’re a failure as a wife.’ My hotel executive husband and I have spent the better part of our 27 year marriage living in five star hotels.

Housekeepers, valet parkers, room service, dry cleaning…the lifestyle amenities people envied us for, are the very things we relish our newly-found freedom from.

One person’s privilege is another person’s intrusion, but the fact remains that I’ve never been good at cooking or cleaning. After all, if a wife should be ‘good’ in one room, why make it the kitchen?

Despite my sexual prowess, my cooking skills aka burning skills make me feel inferior and less than. My half-hearted attempts at tidying up don’t come close to making the house smell squeaky clean.

Our whites are mostly pinks, and I could outfit a squad of dwarfs with the clothes I have shrunken.

Housewife-ing will never be my strong suit, so I’ll just have to rise above it.

In Rising Strong, Brene Brown writes about how our brains are wired for story. All my life, I have been filling in the blanks and finishing everyone's sentences, consistently led by my insecurities and fear. When I have the courage to chronicle the stories I tell myself, I shine the light on my ego and diminish its power.

Maybe my mother didn’t really think I was ugly, maybe my husband loves my writing, maybe it doesn’t matter if I’m a failure at Stepford Wife chores.

My fear hides behind the dark shadows of insecurity, and the promise of freedom exists just outside of its narrow boundaries.

From now on, I vow to stand firm in my awareness, to claim the power to do what I love, to be my own kind of beautiful, and embrace the messiness of our lives.

In ‘outing’ myself, I create an inroad to self love.


Barbara Anne Klein

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