Thursday, January 27, 2005

Martha Stewart, I am not

"I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again."
-Joan Rivers


I might be having company tonight, so I cleaned the house. Hear that everybody? I CLEANED THE HOUSE. I vacuumed, emptied the dishwasher, filled the dishwasher, dusted the mantle and tables (even the little ones in the bedroom), cleared the countertops (no small feat in our house), cleaned the countertops, watched the dog track dirty paws all over the freshly vacuumed carpet, and mopped the kitchen floor...well, at least the part you walk on.

It's really not the cleaning part of housework I hate so much. It's not really the fact that it takes forever to accomplish such temporary results. It's not even the fact that dirty bathrooms are icky and I can't stand to clean them (I solve that by putting Jens in charge of bathroom cleaning).

It's the fact that when I'm finished, YOU CAN'T TELL I EVER DID ANYTHING.

We live in an ugly house. There's no getting around that. The walls are dark (except for the squares of swooshing pastel textured paper) and the carpet is dirty (and it's that burber stuff so you can't tell where you've vacuumed), and there simply isn't enough light in the house to escape notions of living in a cave. So when I'm done cleaning and I wipe my hands and look around...I can't tell the difference between when I started and when I've finished.

So why, you might ask, do I ever bother cleaning in the first place? The answer is quite simple, and it's the same reason I never cheated on tests and have dreams about assignments that aren't completed on time.

Guilt. I don't have enough to make me keep a clean house, but do have just enough to occasionally embark on a cleaning fit. (And yes, I am holding an experiment to see how many times I can use the word "clean" in a single post. Clean clean clean. So there.) I think it goes back to my theory about finding the meaning of life in balance. Some, yes, but not too much.

I dated a guy once who thought I would make a good Mormon wife. HA. He would have been sorely disappointed. I don't even make a good Baptist wife half the time. I live in constant bafflement at how I managed to secure such a wonderfully patient and laid-back husband. Who is willing to wait until I'm ready to have kids (we're pretending that he has a choice here).

So I have a (mostly) clean house now. There are still piles of laundry spewing out of the bathtub, which we use as a back-up laundry hamper because the drain doesn't work...and because it's one of the few places the dog doesn't sneak in to steal dirty socks...and yes, because we're dreadfully lazy people who hate to do laundry. Especially me.

So if you live in Dallas and get an invitation to come over for dinner, it's because the house is clean and we feel obligated to take advantage of it. Accept that invitation, because you won't get another one for 6 months.

PS: Please don't tell me I'm shallow because I'm annoyed that we own the ugliest house in the neighborhood. You would be very wrong. I'm annoyed that we rent the ugliest house in the neighborhood. Geesh.

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