Well, gosh darn it, Duh. Don't you think we'd all be darling at it? Really I would. About ninety percent of the people I know'd be darling at it. It's being darling at the hard stuff that counts.
Like being a good mom. Or a homemaker. Or a cook. Or a wife. Or a coworker. Or a daughter. Or a sister. Or a skier. Or a skater. Or a seamstress. Or a whatever the hell you want to be.
You see I tried to be darling this morning. I woke up early to get my son ready for the Klondike derby for Boy Scouts. I went in his room and quietly whispered to him that it was 6:20 and what would he most like for breakfast? Anything. Pancakes? Waffles? (Even though the waffle iron is down the basement and the basement is really cold this morning.) A bagel and egg sandwich? Anything. So he placed his order for a bagel with "the egg and sausage on the plate." As in, not-a-sand-wich. Got it. Here comes the darling mom part. I didn't even wake up my husband. I was going to drive Matt to the church for his ride to the Derby so he didn't have to go out into the falling snow. Darling wife too.
I cooked without making any noise. Darling co-habitator. I made eggs over-hard and over-easy. I made my coffee and poured my cream. I was perfectly darling. It was still before 6:30. And then I realized there was no noise. But then I heard it. He was up. We were fine. I was darling. And then my husband came downstairs. Hmmm. Do you want eggs? No. He reached for the cereal. Not so darling. Still no other noise. Is Matt up? NO. Wake him up. Ask him ten million questions. Where is this? Where is that? Do you have this? YES. YES. YES. Not so darling. Comes downstairs. Here are your eggs. No time for that. Not so darling. Where are your underarmour liner pants? Couldn't find them. Not so darling. It's now 6:55. Late. Not so darling. Out the door with "Dad will drive me" and a Sandwich. No to the hot- chocolate-I-made-so-you-can-stay-warm-on-the-drive? Not so darling.
It lasted all of ten minutes. I was darling at it.
I'd also be darling at having a clean house, if I didn't have children.
I'd be darling at having children, if I didn't have a house to keep clean.
I'd be darling at being a daughter, if I wasn't preparing a chicken pot pie at the same time my mother was sitting at the kitchen table telling me her story and sipping tea. Why didn't I sit down and listen? CPP be damned.
I'd be darling at cooking, if I didn't get sucked into a movie with my daughter and didn't keep saying, "Did we take the biscotti out of the oven?" Yes. (But you forgot, darling, that you put the Chicken Pot Pie in the oven when the biscotti were done.)
I'd be darling at sitting down to play games with my kids, if there wasn't a
I'd be darling at running, if I wasn't so tired.
I'd be darling at ALL OF IT, if I wasn't doing all of it.
The part to navigate is how to seem semi-darling at all of it. My darling moments today included answering the phone when one of my son's friends called and I didn't want to talk to him. I was trying to be darling by using all the left overs to make a CPP. And maybe lighting the candles for dinner. That was darling. Does that count? I was trying to be darling when we sat at dinner and asked Matt 8 million more questions about the Derby that he did.not.want.to.answer. because a.) he was exhausted, and b.) he was hungry. And then I was darling when I tried to apologize but he rolled his eyes at me and I wasn't darling then.
So, how to be darling: I picture Doris Day, or Eva Gabor, or Marilyn Monroe or Dorothy Parker. What did they do?
Sit on couches with long cigarettes and watch and laugh. I'd be darling if I could get away with wearing that dress all day.
So in this era - Clear your house of all expectations. Forget the jobs you have to do. Forget the house and the cooking and the movie you're watching. Don't pick up a book. Don't get sucked into anything. Don't have any expectations that your kids will answer questions, or wear warm clothes, or clean up their toys. Just sit and watch and wait and laugh. You'll be darling at it.