Confronting My Inner Aunt Petunia
One of My Stories / August 18, 2016

Petunia as played by Fiona Shaw I do not like to keep house. While other girls grabbed 4H badges for their sewing and cooking skills, I got Ds in Home Economics. When I realized my husband wasn’t looking for a wife with a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, I was overjoyed.  But after 30 years of loathing laundry and hiding the dirty dishes, I’ve developed something worse than a bout of HouseFrau tidiness.  I have a latent streak of Aunt Petunia. For anyone who’s spent the last 20 years under a rock, Aunt Petunia is a minor villain in the Harry Potter series. She’s an unpleasant woman who devotes a lot of energy to forcing her narrow worldview down everyone’s throat.  She scrubs her house so thoroughly, all sense of “home” is rubbed right out. In my own defense, I’m not a complete Aunt Petunia. I adore my sister and nephews; I think they’re some of the greatest people ever made.  I believe in tolerance and diversity.  But I’ve joined Petunia’s obsession and quest to keep some surfaces squeaky-clean. Oh God, is that a scratch? At one time, oven surfaces heated things and tables held cooler ones. Spills were regrettable,…

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