In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Help Wanted: 1950s-style wife. Cheery, hardworking individual needed immediately to take over domestic duties for hardworking couple and one teenager. Must be disciplined, focused and highly organized. The sight of overflowing closets, drawers and baskets will thrill you. You can eyeball a pantry with one can of soup, a bag of noodles, a piece of stale bread and whip up a hearty casserole — all while humming a tune.
Control chaos and clutter. Organize household maneuvers. Schedule annual physicals, dental appointments and regular haircuts. Take the cars in for oil changes and tire rotations, and get snow tires on before January.
Details do not derail you. Return movies and library books before they are overdue. Recycling? Piece of cake. Sort paper, aluminum and cardboard into the appropriate containers. Composting optional, And while we’re on the subject of cake, if you could bake one of those old fashioned angel food cakes with canned frosting, perfect!
Coupon clipping appreciated.
You can unload a dishwasher in record speed while making breakfast, packing one school lunch and two adult lunches. Can sort mail, pay bills and keep the dining room table free of clutter. Must be adept at cooking casseroles with cream of mushroom soup, chauffeuring, entertaining, creating and keeping master calendar, master budget, and masterminding birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and finding gifts for these occasions.
One annual garage sale required.
Attitude comes first. You will love to hear about our day at work and will be sympathetic to homework loads.
Basic first-aid knowledge required. Must maintain first-aid kit and be able to find a working thermometer in less than 30 minutes. Create two emergency car kits with blankets, water and something to eat for a week that won’t get stale or boring, and make sure they are in the car along with all the magazines and newspapers we haven’t had time to read in the last 30 days. Ditto for emergency household supplies such as extra water, canned goods and batteries. While on the subject of batteries, please find all flashlights (look under beds) and make sure they work. Oh, and another emergency kit for hiking, which should include those reflective blankets and waterproof matches, reading material and whatever else we would need to survive in the great outdoors. I think safety pins and toothpicks are on the list. If chocolate bars aren’t on the list, please pack in all emergency kits anyway.
Household hardware: Please check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they don’t screech and shriek in the middle of the night. Schedule routine checks of refrigerator, washer and dryer so they don’t break down on weekends or during the holidays.
Sporting equipment: Make sure skis are tuned before opening day arrives. Pick up season passes before there is a line and make sure to put the old passes away so we don’t take the wrong one.
Schedule: 24/7, 365 days of the year. No days off. However, we are happy for you to take two 15-minute breaks and one hour for lunch every day. You must function fully on six hours of sleep, except during holiday periods, when you must get by on four hours.
Compensation: Our undying love and devotion. We will worship the ground you walk on and the air you breath.