June 14, 2009



So I try to keep things livable and then I call my ladies and THEY clean.
Man, they work so hard!

When I didn't have my cleaning ladies, when I had to clean the house, I yelled and fussed and grouched loudly and bossed children around. I had no clue about being a cleaning role model. I just wanted them to already KNOW how to clean.

No one except Jewel and Annabelle role modelled for me. And that was no good, because they were cleaning while I was messing around.


Well my mom cleaned sometimes, but she only hit the surface stuff. When she stopped having a cleaning lady I was appalled. Maybe she didn't know how to clean either. Her folks had in-house maids and cooks. Later she had the latest, greatest, up and coming cleaners, THE GUYS! Three or four guys would storm the place with buckets and tool belts. Brushes and scrubbers and rags. Whoosh, in and out in 2 hours:

House Immaculate.

One thing I didn't know about cleaning is that you have to clean up before you clean. I hate that part. I hate to neaten. Piles don't look great, but the laundry is CLEAN for heaven's sake and the books, mail, newspapers and notices are thrown in ONE PLACE!

The New Yorker had a wonderful article about organization. Cleanliness and neatness had nothing to do with it. If one office worker needed alphabetized files and in & out boxes to find things, that worked for them. A messy desk on which another worker can just as easily find things was fine for them.
That's the ticket, being efficient at finding things.

I can find things in my piles of stuff.
Just ask and I'll find it for you.

But some cleaning is not optional. Laundry. Bathrooms; don't let the bathrooms go. GROSS. And the kitchen, too, you must keep the kitchen CLEAN, not necessarily neat, but clean for good health. GROSS.

Today I discovered something new that SHOULD be cleaned.
The front door.

Man, it was a mess. Dog nose prints and slime. Bird poop. Snail trails. Old tape stuck stickily, unidentifiable drips. And Dirty Mud from some gardener that rushes in and out at whim, with no sense of the muddy wreck she's leaving in her wake. All she knows in some idea popped like a light bulb over her head and she jumps to it.
She dashes to the door, wipes her hands on her pants, drys them in her pockets and hopes to God she remembers to clean the muddy fingerprints off the camera, after the shoot.

Irresponsible? Or creative? Lord knows.

So I cleaned the front door, humphing the whole time. It's not gleaming. I couldn't stay at it for more than the most infinitesimal moments possible.

Work or Play?

I like to eat chocolate first, before the task at hand.
Reward first, work second, or third if there's a bird outside.
Is that tiny plant a weed or a flower?

Forget about the stupid door!
It's the weirdest thing to clean of all,


1 comment:

baffle said...

you are so right about cleaning a front door being the weirdest thing. i've done it a few times - just a few. the front door of our current house is the worst. layers upon layers of forest dust, pollen and dirt. at the bottom, some territorial cat sprayed.

waste of time - and it never does get clean. i think the front door dirt is stained in stuff. why bother then?

if i had house cleaners, though - you better believe i'd clean before they arrived. silly.