I recently received an invitation to a book presentation with the title “The Invention of the Housewife – Story of Devaluation” from an author named Evke Rulffes, who was unknown to me until now. I find that interesting, because although today the housewife’s job is ridiculed and even viewed as unproductive and retrograde, many families in better-off parts of the city focus on activities like those from the housewives textbook of the 19th century.
Househusband and housewife rolled into one
They cooked down enthusiastically, flattened the linen with the iron and crocheted decorative items themselves. The youngsters are brought to the day care center in hand-waxed box vans, where Frieda-Luise and Karl Rüdiger Leon are fed with fairly produced food from the region. All of this usually goes hand in hand with a classic distribution of roles: Mum stays at home and the master of the house goes to work. At home, he only cares about the maintenance of the electronics, because Dad thinks Mutti is too stupid for that. Which brings us to the actual topic.
There are no women living in my home, so I am a housewife and a housewife in one. The electrical devices also fall into my care. Because they want, and many people do not know that, also to be cleaned. Surprisingly, it’s not moisture that ruins electronic devices over the long term, but dust. Dust is the mortal enemy of every household, regardless of the gender of the household. For example, I wipe the bathroom floor with a rag after the morning toilet, because some shady figure has worshiped white floor tiles on which you can see every hair. Two hours later the booth is full of dust again and no one, I repeat: no one, has entered the bathroom during this time.
The keyboard just rinsed off
Unfortunately, the classic house dust not only settles on the floors and furniture, but also in electronic devices. My significant other, for example, has an uncomfortable habit of putting his mobile phone in his pocket. This not only looks disadvantageous, but also leads to pocket dust settling in the opening for the charging cable, which means that the cable can no longer be plugged in properly, wobbles and does not charge properly. My friend denied it until I pulled a little dust mouse out of the charging socket with tweezers. Out of spite, he still carries his phone in every tight pocket. I regularly clean electronic devices such as the amplifier on my turntable by unscrewing the ventilation grille and gently vacuuming the fine house dust without touching the electronics.
The house dust, mostly a combination of skin flakes, hair, fibers, lint and, as I had to read with a shudder, remains of the cobwebs of the quivering spider and its prey, also settles in all keyboards. I therefore vacuum them regularly or knock them out carefully. I spilled coffee on it the other day and just rinsed the keyboard off. After two days of drying in an upright position, it worked as before. But please don’t put all your electronic devices in the sink, I don’t take any responsibility for that. Vacuuming regularly helps a lot, even if you don’t see the dust as thick as a finger. He’s there anyway. And he is waiting to take over the world. Now I have to wipe the bathroom. Bye, see you next week.
This text appeared in the weekend edition of the Berliner Zeitung – every Saturday at the kiosk or here as a subscription.