Sunday, July 08, 2012

Domesticity ...

I had people coming over. So I had to clean my house.

Not that I don't clean my house. Sometimes. But I am not that person who dedicates one day a week to flitting around with a vacuum and dust cloth and caddy of cleaning supplies.

Mind you, my house is almost always neat. Occasionally, there are dishes in the sink. Occasionally, my bed is unmade. Like now. On both counts. But there are only a few dishes and I haven't been awake for very long. (Coughtwohourscough) But the dishes will get done and the bed will get made. And I'll hit the floor with a quick Swiffering, which I do most days.

The point is, though, that with people due over for the 4th of July, I cleaned my house. The kind of cleaning that involves moving furniture and getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the bathroom floor.

All of which brought to mind two thoughts:

1) "Wow, I really like it when my house is this clean."

and

2) "I should look into hiring a cleaning service."

It's not that I am incapable of cleaning, of course. I am quite capable of it. I am just not very fond of it. And my lack of fondness translates into procrastination which protracts the whole process. I once dated a guy who had cleaning women come in once a month to give his place a good scrub.

I thought that was rather evolved. By virtue of his guy-ness, he was already less likely to clean than we womenfolk. Cleaning, after all, is "women's work," still. But I admired the fact that he cared enough about not living in squalor that he'd dole out some bucks once a month to have someone clean up after him. I was there one day before the cleaning women arrived. Two of them appeared at his door, two very nice women with some kind of European accent. They took off their shoes, put on flip-flops, and proceeded to clean before we could even get out the door to leave them to their chores. Three hours later, we came back, and the place was spic-and-span.

Then again, I also know a woman who uses a cleaning woman. And a couple who uses a cleaning service. So it's not just a guy thing. It's a "I'd prefer to spend money instead of spending time" kind of thing.

Mind you, I will not be hiring a cleaning service. Partly because I have no business spending money on such a thing and partly because the idea of a stranger coming into my home to scour my bathtub feels a little skeevy and the idea of someone I know coming into my home to scour my bathtub feels skeevier still. Hiring someone to do something I am not capable of doing – like plumbing – makes perfect sense. But hiring someone to do something that I am fully capable of doing – like cleaning my house – feels weird.

Not that I'm judging those who do. It's just my own hang up.

And if I kept up with cleaning, it wouldn't be such a big job from week to week. I recently dusted my TV room while I watched President Obama give a speech. Instead of sitting on the couch, I moved things on my mantel and elsewhere around the room and gave everything a once-over and the result was nice.

Of course, I'd much rather "I Dream of Jeannie" it and just blink and have it be done.

But until I develop that power, I guess I'll have to stick to the old way like everybody else.

If you come by, though, leave your white gloves in the car. Just in case I haven't dusted.

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