Skip to main content

Keeping up appearances?



    Why does it take the prospect of company coming to motivate me to do some real housecleaning? I need a notarized copy of a trip itinerary before I get out the furniture polish. Until I see proof, I’m sticking with the Swiffer duster. 
   As soon as the goods are produced though, I’m on it. I’m talking moving furniture to vacuum underneath, running a cloth on a couple of window sills and sometimes even a few spritzes of air freshener. I go all out. Then when it’s all over, I’m wiped out and I sit in the living room and ask myself, “What just happened?”  I love the way a clean house looks and feels. I just don’t like getting it there.
   On an ordinary day without guests, which is pretty much every single day, I’m content to wash the dishes and do some laundry. Oh, I’ll pick up the empty cups around the house and straighten a cushion or two in the living room but then I call it quits. If my feet stick to the kitchen floor, I might break out the broom and mop. Or I might wait a day or two. Cleaning house just isn’t my cup of tea, or in my case, coffee.
   Cleaning for company though, that gives me satisfaction. Somehow I think that these visitors must walk into the house and think, “Wow! What a neat freak! Isn’t she amazing?” Now, most of these visitors are family so you know they know better. They’ve seen the real me. I still get a kick out of their initial reaction though. You’d think by their astonished response I’d realize maybe I ought to pick up the pace a little bit and keep the place looking good.
   Then, after the company has been here about a day and a half, everybody’s socks are turning gray from walking around the house, there are iced tea glass rings on the tables, I’m out of paper towels and we’re eating out of cans. In other words, everything returns to normal and we can all relax.
   I’m wondering now if I am the only person who lives this way or do other people live a double life too? And if not, how the heck do you stay interested enough to keep such a clean house? What’s your motivation? 
   Weekdays, there’s no way I’m spending more than 30 minutes on cleaning. I’ve got more important things to do like work on that path from the recliner to the refrigerator I’m wearing into the rug. I can get my son off to school and then go sit someplace and stare at the ocean for hours at a time. I can walk to the library and browse the books and movies. I can call my family, text my kids, annoy my husband and think about what to cook for dinner, and the next thing I know, it’s 5 o’clock. Why would I want to give all that up? It’s not going to happen. I gotta go now. I need another cup of coffee.

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
Erma Bombeck

Comments

Deb said…
Can you see the ocean from your actual HOUSE? I would certainly not waste time cleaning, either. Waves tend to hypnotize me and make me all mellow and happily paralyzed. Dust bunnies hold no such allure.
Connie Berry said…
nooooo not from the house. i drive a few minutes and THEN stare at the ocean. and dust bunnies rarely have sea shells.

Popular posts from this blog

Just sitting around doing jack

I think my blog may have been hijacked. I haven’t written in forever because I’ve been writing …for my job, which may mean I’m no longer a “jobless goddess.” I may just be a regular goddess.
I love the word jack. I could use that all day. Whatever, hopefully those who want to read the blog will read. Back to jack. It’s a cool freaking word. I had a brother-in-law named Jack who pretty much personified the word “cool.” He’s gone too soon and missed by everybody.
There’s Billy Jack, get back Jack, Jack Sprat, Jack Nicholson, Jack Berry, Jack in the Box, Jumping Jack Flash. And my favorite, a little ditty my sister introduced me to, “Jack Mother.” This is a something you say when someone cuts you off on the highway. “I’m sorry officer, I was cut off by that Jack Mother in the blue Subaru.”
My brother Steve has a friend named Jack. I thought he was about the greatest thing ever when I was 12. Who are we kidding? I probably still do. Jackie was hilariously funny and I loved to watch my brot…

Little women

I’m getting a real kick out of my co-workers these days. I’m working with about a half dozen young women — young being the operative word.
They’re all so freaking competent it kills me. They can write like it’s nobody’s business, they all take great photos to go with their stories, and they almost always laugh at my jokes. I call them ‘the girls.’
They’re either about to go to university, just leaving university, or all done with it and on their way. They do yoga and eat a lot of avocados. We live on Martha’s Vineyard and none of them know who John Belushi is but they all know they should keep using the same plastic cup for take out iced coffee over and over and over again. If they see a bug, they think twice before killing it. Actually they leave it for me to kill because they couldn’t possibly… and they know I won’t hesitate.
We get along just fine the girls and me. Oh, there’s a little trouble when I insist on running the window air conditioner up in our second floor office —ramsha…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…