Today it transpired that instead of working on problems on English retail websites, I had to troubleshoot problems on German-language websites. (This is not in itself either unusual or problematic.)
And there were these lamps for children’s rooms. And they were in the kitchen and household section. This seemed logical enough.
And so it was that I happened to glance down at my screen and see the words “Kinder” and “Küche”, and immediately start wondering:
a) Where did “Kirche” go?*
b) What on earth am I reading?
As it turned out, the URL in question had nothing to do with either women’s roles or religion. Nonetheless, it was an odd moment. The juxtaposition of traditional women’s roles in my mind and the reality of my job as–of all un-feminine jobs–a software developer caused a moment of cognitive dissonance. I’m surprised an alternate universe didn’t split off then and there.
I stand in front of a spotless counter, wearing a frilly apron. As I stir up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies I sing softly to myself, smiling a little because the curtains I just finished for the windows over the sink brighten up the room so perfectly. My ears prick up. The baby cooing to herself in the nursery? As I turn to go up the stairs, the camera pans slowly down, revealing my perfect pedicure.
* It was surprisingly difficult to find a good overview of this saying online. The wikipedia article covers is briefly, but is disputed and gives few citations. The abstract of this paper treats it a little more professionally. And this is where NTS would point out the my academic is showing.