The guilty pleasures of domesticity

Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf Books Literature


Since I have a nine-month-old baby, and since my husband has nine aunts and two uncles, people are still coming over to “meet the baby.” 

Every time people come over, I can’t help but feel like a younger Mrs. Dalloway, from Virginia Woolf’s novel by the same name. There are indeed things that just require attention. Flowers, drinks, food, cleanliness.

Even if one has no glorious dreams of becoming a perfect hostess, getting the house ready is oddly exciting. But at the same time, this excitement, based on the supposedly superficial, is also embarrassing. Mrs Dalloway cried when her young love Peter Walsh called her a perfect hostess:

She would marry a Prime Minister and stand at the top of a staircase; the perfect hostess he called her (she cried over it in her bedroom), she had the makings of a perfect hostess, he said.

But, the truth is that Mrs. Dalloway also loved being the perfect hostess. I have to admit, I kind of like it, too.

This post is part of my second collaboration with Zeteo is Reading. To see more, please click here.

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