When Virginia Woolf published A Room of One’s Own it was immediately considered a feminist text as Woolf was making the point that a woman needed money, access to education, and a room of one’s own to write fiction.
While many a dissertation has been written about these series of essays, I’m sorry to say that all of these scholarly interpretations are completely off the mark.
Could it be possible that Woolf wished for a laundry room of her own so she could keep her eye on the dryer and remove the clothes before they wrinkled at the same time she would write her novels?
During the great flood this past October, I needed a respite from the rain. I decided to dress up as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” (three crinolines!) and take myself out for a nice salad. As the water was rising in my basement, I walked into one of my favorite restaurants wearing a flouncy blue and white gingham dress, little white polka dot socks and the most adorable red patent leather shoes. Most people were dressed in predictable rain gear (snore). The food was divine (curried chicken on endive) and despite the rain, it was a most enjoyable afternoon.
Need I tell you that while I was dipping my sourdough roll in olive oil with crushed garlic, my entire block was suctioning out the water and the mud? The dress had been a great success and I was so pleased with my originality. By the time I arrived home, the water was almost to the top of the washing machine but did I bother to go downstairs and see what was going on? Of course not. I had to steam the dress so it would be ready for the next flood.
The basement was ruined, the floor had to be removed, all of the furniture was tossed…it was a disaster. Now I could have the laundry room of my dreams where I could write, meditate, and fold. I wanted a private world where I could write deep and important thoughts and iron the pillowcases on Sunday night. All I needed was Wi-Fi and solitude. The gentle rumble of the spin cycle and the rhythmic toss of the dryer would soothe my rattled nerves. Pre-spotting would undoubtedly unleash my creativity and since I’m the only one in the house who knows the difference between Gentle and Hand Wash, I’m on my own.
While Woolf was bristling about patriarchy and its deep-seeded fear of strong, confident women, I’m convinced that if she had had a Maytag, she would have been even more prolific and earned an entry not only in the annals of great literature but also in Heloise’s Hints.