Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Dog Ate My Homework, Enjoli and Other Life Issues

Why no post from the Rockville 8 before now? Because the dog ate my homework.

The very same dog I can’t get to eat her own food. The only dog I’ve ever had to refuse meat—good, fresh-cooked meat.

I’m sensing you’re not buying this. I wouldn’t, either. The truth is that I lost track of the fact that it was my turn to blog amidst the day job, the volunteer positions on two different boards, a family, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, and being sick. We all have these things. We all have times when we drop the ball.

So, why do I feel like such a failure when one of the balls drops out of the air? I guess because I think I should be able to do it all. Bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and oh, yes, never ever let you forget you’re a man. Why? Because I’m a woman. Enjoli told me throughout my formative years that I should be able to do all this and more. For those of you who don’t remember what I’m talking about Google “VINTAGE 1980 80'S ENJOLI PERFUME COMMERCIAL CAUSE I'M A WOMAN.” It’s all there in infamous glory on YouTube.

 If I were an Enjoli woman, I’d never wake up late and have to rush around like a lunatic. My child would always be perfectly groomed, read to, and in bed on time with no complaints. When she said “Mom” it would sound like a loving caress not a desperate shriek from the laundry room when she can’t find two clean matching socks.

 My husband would always be attentive, not overworked. I’d be able lavish attention on him even after a full day of office politics, horrific commutes and last minute book reports. We’d never have daycare issues. We’d always have time for each other.

I can’t really address the part of the commercial where the man says, “I’ll cook” because he does actually do a lot of cooking. So I guess I have a tiny whisper of an Enjoli moment. But I’m not getting vamped up while he’s cooking. It just gives me more time for other chores. Besides, if I put that much perfume on, I’d cough until I choked. And that’s just not sexy on any day.

Writing? Well, that has to come between a full-time job, loads of laundry, driving to practices, volunteer work and a thousand other things. And yet I do. It surprises me how much I’m able to do it and how much it energizes me when I do, even after an exhausting day. That’s why I keep writing because it’s one of the things I love about my life.  And I do love my life, despite its sometimes breakneck speed.

By the way, if I was a real Enjoli woman I’d be able to create a link to the YouTube commercial just like that. To all you Enjoli women out there, get over it. I’m off to put my ratty robe and bunny slippers on.


  1. LOL, Lisa! I read the title of this post and thought "Enjoli. Why does that name sound soooo familiar?"

    I remember those commercials.

    I am definitely not an Enjoli woman. :-)

    Loved the post.

  2. Do you think Enjoli was created by the same evil consortium that brought us Stepford wives? Scary!

    Lisa - I like your prospective. We need to be realistic about our expectations - and when a ball drops, it's not the end of the world. We just pick up the ball (or not, if we so choose) and get back to work. Or play. Or writing.

    You go, my friend. You are awesome!

  3. Evie - Thank you! I don't usually pay attention to commercials but this one definitely has stayed with me over the years. What's so funny about it is that it's supposed to be feminist but all it does is send the message that women are supposed to do everything perfectly.

  4. Keely - Thank you. That's a good point about the Stepford wives. There is a similarity.

    I think it's often not what you do when things are going well but what you do when things are going badly. In other words, can you learn from it and move on?

  5. Girl, I can hear you throwing off the shackles of Enjoli right now. They are ringing loud and clear all over my computer screen!

    Being able to do it all! Those damn 70s and 80s feminists who thought it was a good idea to work outside of the home. Too bad they didn't realize that we'd STILL have to work in the home too.

    Yes, my hubby cooks and he can clean the kitchen like a pro. But does he know my good friend Mr. Hoover? No! and my living room rug has the detritus to prove it.

    You are so right. We can not do it all. We'd need a staff to do it all (I want Jeeves and a wife).
    This is an excellent illusion to get rid of and to not pass along to our children.

    But, it begs the question: how do we do some part of it all? Because it is all important -- a home where you can find your socks, intimacy with spouse, time for creativity, exercise, spiritual fulfilment and time with friends.

    Sigh. I don't know. I'm sure maxed out and was just wondering about this while walking my dog this morning--who will eat whatever your dog doesn't want. Just send it over on your way to where ever you're headed next-- work,volunteer, school...

  6. Shellie - Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    I think it's possible to do everything, just not all at once. The Enjoli message is that you should be able to do it all, at the same at time and perfectly. That's just not realistic. Or sane.

    And there are times when I do give this insanity a try.

  7. Lisa ~ LOL! You're hilarious. Great post. Yes, it is a struggle trying to be the "perfect" woman who has it all, isn't it? And, then, we beat ourselves up when we don't live up to the image in our own heads. There's something wrong with that picture.

    Whether you're coming or going, enjoy where you're headed. ;0) Love your writing in the first person . . . and when your humor comes out in such a lovely way. I think there's truly a contemporary romance writer in there trying to get out.

  8. What a great post! I remember the Enjoli commercials on TV, and i also remember when the world was reading "Having it All" by Helen Gurley Brown. I've never managed to be an Enjoli woman, but I admit that I've wanted to be. Thanks for the insightful words and the reminder that I'm not the only person who worries about living up to some standard of perfection.

  9. Love seeing the old ad for Enjoli! Now, don't tell anyone, but sometimes Mr Christoff will hum that jingle at me. He means it as a wake-up call. Like, "What are you thinking? Go sit down, have a cocktail, and we'll order a pizza!" And boy, some days I do need that wake-up call. Promptly followed by a nap!

  10. Thank you, Candy! Now I'm off to find this contemporary writer lurking inside me. Maybe she can knock out a couple loads of laundry while I clean the bathroom.

  11. Marceline, you are most definitely not the only woman worried about it. Being honest with each other and ourselves about impossible standards are the first steps toward shattering them. Thank you for commenting.

  12. Nicole, glad to hear that you have a "Voice of Reason" to help you sort this out.

    Does Mr. Christoff do the whole dance that goes with it, too? That would definitely be attention-getting...