Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dust Bunnies Are Perfect For Making Whimsical Table Centrepieces...

I am neither a slob nor a fanatic. Mr. Clean commercials do not cause me to rush to the nearest sink and start scrubbing. I do not need to wash the dishes three seconds after I've eaten off them. I don't walk around with a spray bottle and rag chasing down fingerprints, or in our case, dog nose prints. I use bleach when extra germ killing is required and own at least a half dozen tee shirts with lines on the midriff as proof. A few piled up newspapers or magazines do not offend me. I dust when I see a thin light layer on furniture and I clean the bathrooms and wash floors as necessary. There's the necessary!

I do not understand people, usually women, who are obsessed with cleaning. Life is far too short for me to understand a preference for any type of housework, given other alternatives.

I have often imagined one of these people responding as follows, while placing the back of her hand dramatically on her forehead and sighing. "Thanks so much for your offer of an all expense paid Caribbean cruise, but I just have far too much to do. Can you believe that today alone, I have to shop for toothpicks to clean out my window tracks and fridge crevices? And as if that isn't enough, I have to organize my underwear drawer by hue, make certain that the hangers in my closet are facing the same direction and let's not forget that this is my sock ironing week."

There was a woman on our street who regularly swept her driveway, then washed it on her hands and knees. Now please don't tell me that this is something that's on everyone's weekly "to do" list. I understand that there are some people who have mental issues like germaphobia or obsessive compulsive disorders. I'm not referring to them. In fact I had a neighbour who fell into this category. She purchased lysol spray by the gross and coated every counter top and door knob dozens of times a day. The haze wafted down the street and I personally witnessed the formation of a hole in the ozone layer above her roof.

Perhaps my attitude stems from having been a career woman rather than a "hausfrau". My personal satisfaction did not arise from coming home after work only to wash the floor and clean the toilets. I have never had an interest in eating off my floor. My preference was to relax for a short while then be refreshed enough to do something, anything. When the children were young, adventures were limited to driving kids to soccer games, scouts or music lessons. As the children grew, so did my opportunities.

I suppose there are some who would say, " Why would you go to to exhibits, shows, the library, sporting events, concerts, the gym or away for a weekend when you could spend that time creating a spotless, speckless, lintless house? "

Could it be that they actually enjoy housework more than doing any other activity? I sometimes wonder whether sublimating oneself in cleaning is similar to having any sort of habit. It's better than some, not as much fun as others. I am also curious to know if these meticulous housekeepers are the same people who always look perfect (see "So Many Questions" blog). It's not up to me to judge. It's all about what you value most in life.

As for me, I prefer to have a house cozy enough to be a home, simple enough to allow me to have fun and clean enough to keep me and my family healthy.


  1. Raising my glass of respectable, smooth as mother's milk scotch to toast a practical and prudent woman.

  2. I feel affirmed by the woman who wrote "Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets"...Lisa Quinn's tips for limiting housework.