Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014 -

Never Too Late...

for love and domestic discipline
by Steve Rayer
Published: Oct 07, 2014
Words: 20,249
Category: domestic discipline
Orientation: M/F
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Hilda was completing her morning household routine. The washing-up had been done, the dining room and hall carpet swept, the kitchen floor mopped, the tea towels hung up to dry and now it was the turn of the bedroom; nothing much to do here but make the bed, ensuring the blankets were straightened with military precision and the counterpane turned down by the exact distance on either side of the bed, all under the watchful gaze of her husband from his photograph on the dressing table: confident, appraising, commanding.

As always, she was doing her duty. All through her married life with Hubert she had done her duty, from the first night of their honeymoon, afterwards as a stalwart support on the canvassing trail when he had first entered local politics, then as his private secretary (unpaid), coping meanwhile with the bringing-up of two children, bearing the brunt of domestic activity so as to leave Hubert free to advance his career. She had sat through interminable dinners and after-dinner speeches, attended coffee mornings and local bazaars - being seen everywhere as the wife of the rising young counsellor, later alderman, then mayor, chairman of the district council, always at the side of the man with his confident, appraising, commanding manner which stood him so well in politics and who insisted everything should be just so and correct, a quality he did not hesitate to bring to his domestic life.

As befitted a man of Hubert's status, their children had done well at school, going on to university and good careers, then good marriages and settlement in good residential areas, doing no damage whatever to their father's self esteem since it enabled him to speak loudly of their achievements whenever an occasion presented itself which not surprisingly he was able to discover so often. His cup was full to the brim when both pounced on highly paid jobs in the financial world of the United States, one in New York, one in Boston.

Hilda quietly put up with all this. She had long since given up the attempt to keep abreast of whatever it was the children she once adored did to earn their enormous salaries, and it pained her to think of the direction their lives had taken compared to her own: the daily round of long hours and decisions taken under high pressure, whereas she liked nothing better than to be left alone with her box of paints, her sketch pad and the garden with its never-ending chores. Of what use was their old mum to them now? she thought. Better to stay away, not to interfere.

It accorded with her upbringing, the way she coped, the sense of duty instilled in her by her father, the Methodist minister. She had learnt from an early age the power and satisfaction of private contemplation and cherished over the years a dream world to which she would escape when the world outside became too demanding, or rather too boring, although she would never admit to such an extreme as she felt sure the fault lay with her.