There’s a lovely feeling you get when you know your house is clean, isn’t there? All the floors are swept or vacuumed, the dusting’s done, the loo & bath sparkling and the washing put away.
Then there’s that gloomy feeling that washes over you when you know you’ve got the whole dreary process ahead of you. Stinks, doesn’t it? It’s just such a complete and utter waste of time. I’m not a Stepford Wife and I get no joy from brandishing my feather duster, flitting from room to room spreading light and happiness in my spotty pinny and high heels.
So the long and the short of it is, I hate housework! In fact when I told my husband I was blogging about cleaning today he, rather cuttingly I thought, said “You’ve got a good memory!”
Now I don’t live in a pig-sty, so don’t start coming up with cruddy mental images of manky cooker tops and crusty loo seats, but I have to say I do the bare minimum. There’s always something more interesting to do and cleaning just isn’t top of my agenda. As my ex-boyfriend’s French mother told me, “Show me a clean house and I’ll show you a boring housewife.”
When I go to the Pearly Gates, will I be judged on the amount of cleaning products I’ve sprayed into the ozone? Or whether I dusted the top of my door frames weekly? No, I’ll (hopefully) be summed up as a good and decent person who always (tried) to do her best by people.
So what’s the alternative to escaping the dreaded tasks? Well, there’s letting it get so bad that you end up on, ‘How Clean is Your House?’ Not an option for me, as I’m terrified of Kim & Aggie and there’s no way I want them growing part of my filth on a petri dish in some far-flung lab and then threatening me with all sorts of flesh eating bugs that are going to get me in the night.
Or you can employ someone to do it for you. Also a no-go for me. I was even offered a friend’s cleaner for a fortnight a while back (paid for) and I turned it down. The Hyacinth Bouquet in me emerged and I found myself planning when I’d get the house in order before the lovely lady arrived. I’d be far too ashamed to let someone know that I hadn’t washed the nooks and crannies at the back of my fridge or cleaned my drawers. What would she think of me?
Years ago, when I used to spend school holidays with my Godmother, every day of the week was allocated to different chores. Monday was cleaning, Tuesday, baking etc. At the time, I didn’t question it - if Wednesday was for washing, then so be it. But now I look back and think, ‘Wow, how boring! To get up every day of the week for the rest of your life and know that you’ve planned drudgery for yourself.’
I have to get out of bed and ‘creep up on myself’. I don’t even think, ‘Today I’ll do some cleaning.’ I just kind of start and hope that I finish before I realise I’m doing it! Slightly odd mental behaviour, I know, but it works for me.
As you all are now aware, I have the most wonderful husband, so I’m not totally alone in the household chores and we now follow the daft rules of above mentioned friend and partake in ‘Blue Jobs’ and ‘Pink Jobs’. Not nearly as twee as it sounds, (or as exciting as our gay neighbour believed it to be!), it’s just the daft way we label the stereotypical tasks that we undertake. ‘Blue Jobs’ are things like bins, windows, cat puke. ‘Pink Jobs’ are washing etc. (Never trust a man with your silk undies).
We also have an imaginary cleaning lady called Juanita. She’s been with us for twenty years (or not) and we always blame the gathering dust on her. Conversations in our household can go as follows; Me to husband, “Did you pay Juanita this week, because she’s done sod all?” Or husband to me, “Is Juanita considering doing the washing soon? My danglies are sick of going commando.”
Sometimes we question why we keep her on! Hubbie says it’s so she can support her 1,300 family members living in straw huts but I question his motives. I’ve never seen her so she could be totally gorgeous - hubby (and I think he’s lying) says she only has one tooth, hence her name! (‘One-eater’ … geddit?).
Anyway, enough of this nonsense. I now feel so guilty, I really am going to go and grab some domestic doo-da’s and do the dirty. I might even don a pinny and my stilettos to see if it helps me approach things in a different frame of mind.
On a final note, when I was setting up house with hubbie, I was out shopping for bits and bobs with my mum and she pointed out some dusters to add to my stash of goods. I can still see the look of embarrassment on her face when the shop assistant over heard me saying, “Oooh no, I don’t dust, I blow!”
Even if you don’t have a Kindle you can still enjoy my book “Diary of a Mummy Misfit”. Download the free app at the Kindle store and read happily on your PC or Smartphone.
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.