As a single parent, I foolishly thought that my house was the only one on the entire planet that was an absolute pit. My dust bunnies were so huge my kids named them and kept them as pets.
I’m really choosy about who I invite through my front door. For one thing they have to be up-to-date on all their inoculations. My next door neighbor makes life even more difficult. She’s an absolute “clean freak.” How do I know this? She sweeps her driveway and sidewalks every day. After that she takes a turn around her front yard.
I TRY to shovel the snow off my Chicago driveway once a winter, whether it needs it or not. Another neighbor who?s been in her house tells me she even cleans her spice jars inside and out once a month. This makes me feel like a pitiful housekeeper. I don’t even OWN spice jars.
I was relieved to find out that I’m not alone in hiding my filthy house. Black and Decker, a reputable company in the cleaning department, just released a full-fledged look at that dirty little secret about what really happens in Americans’ homes. I was relieved to find out that 20 percent of women and 24 percent of men are “anti-cleaners.” They’re the type who’d do almost anything to avoid cleaning the house. Put me in that category right away!
Had Black and Decker asked me, I would have voted at least a hundred times under that question. Don’t blame me. I lived in Chicago for twenty years. Voting a hundred times is normal there, even after you’re dead. What really surprised me about the survey was that most Americans own two vacuum cleaners. I use mine so rarely; it’s practically new. But hey, I DO own one. Two I think is a little compulsive.
Just my luck, most of my friends, fall into that compulsive category. I have a dear friend who, seriously, has a cleaning chore on her calendar every day of her life. She recited her schedule once: Monday-wash day, Tuesday-dusting and trash day, Wednesday-floor day, Thursday-bathroom day, Friday is kitchen day, and Saturday is outdoors chores day. Boy, oh boy, I just couldn’t wait to get up on Thursdays if I knew I’d get to clean bathrooms that day!
I have a house cleaning strategy. I’m not a total cleaning idiot. I call it “stream of consciousness” cleaning. When it enters my consciousness that I sticks to the kitchen floor like flypaper, I wash it. If mutant leftovers start crawling out of my refrigerator, I throw them away. It works for me. I haven’t lost a kid to mutant leftovers yet. And I have a specific plan for cleaning the fridge. When it gets really dirty, I buy a new one.
Janice, one of my best friends, said, “I never cleaned my house until I turned forty.” I believe her since she’s not the lying type. You won’t believe what profession she chose after her husband left her. She cleans OTHER people’s houses for money. I guess they don’t do background checks on the people they hire or they would have discovered her lack of housecleaning experience. I know how much she needs the money, so I’m not going to turn her in. In fact, if she’s got any extra time, I may bribe her with some of my “Death by Chocolate Cake.”
At least Janice isn’t like my friend, Alana, who came for a weekend stay. She obviously didn’t know that she’s dealing with a seriously domestically challenged individual who doesn’t even own a vegetable scraper. Alana asked me for an iron to touch up her skirt wrinkles. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I never did find that critter. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d seen it, much less used it. I think it was somewhere back in the ’80s when I was attempting to be “SuperMom.”
I sure am glad I outgrew that phase!