Do you want to hear my personal theory on why Sylvia Plath stuck her head in the gas oven? Because I bet Ted Hughes never did the washing up. Bet he was always wandering around in his chunky knit jumpers, thinking up eerie metaphors about hawks, putting out his fags in the butter, and one day she just went apeshit. You want some dinner, Ted? Want some fucking dinner? Here you go. If only she'd had cBeebies and £3.99 Pinot Grigio, she'd still be alive today.
But even if that wasn't the reason - and let's say, to avoid being sued by Ted Hughes' estate, that it wasn't - I'm definitely beginning to understand a little better why Sylv so pointedly chose a domestic labour-saving device to end it all. Surely her depression must have been exacerbated by what I like to call 'The Neverending Tidy'. The daily, grinding, eternal odyssey of crap jobs that need doing all the time, the picking up and straightening up, the mountain of washing, the fluff under the sofa, the jam on the telly, the perpetually full sink of jolly plastic dishes with congealed tomato-based shit on them. When a woman first embarks on the Neverending Tidy, fresh faced and wet behind the ears, she foolishly thinks that she is 'getting things done'. Ha! Then, she sets off on her long, lonely journey, which takes in such fantastical places as Cillit Mountain, Swiffer Island and The Scary Drawer of Doom. She grows older. Her faces gets vinegary and resentful. Her tights go baggy at the ankles like Nora Batty.
The strange thing is, throughout her lifelong trek, there are no men to be seen. Just odd socks, stray toys and spillage upon spillage. When she becomes weary she drinks from the Blossom Hill Waterfall and smokes the mysterious herb of Silk Cut. Occasionally, she may meet a wise old crone who will look after the kids for 5 minutes while she goes to the shops. But her bunioned feet will keep taking her on the pointless, circuitous route around the house, tidying and tidying until the carpet is as worn out as she is. After years of this, she may one day request that her husband takes the rubbish out and will attain official 'Nag' status, a position that will render her unlovable and the butt of 'her indoors' jokes for the rest of her life. The children will grow older and leave home, but still she'll carry on her endless quest, picking things up and wiping things off. Then, one day, she'll bend down to get some annoying crumbs just out of reach of her J-cloth and....DARKNESS.
Fucking hell, I need a cleaner. It's either that or Gas Mark 6.