Cleaning House

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

I’m a terrible housekeeper. Maybe it’s because I was the youngest of four with a stay-at-home mom so never had to clean much except for my own room. Maybe I missed that day in home economics class. Maybe I got lazy by being married to a complete anal retentive who literally vacuumed around houseguests. Whatever the reasons, I don’t like to clean house, and I don’t do it as often as I should.

I should have a cleaner come in every week or two and clean my place. I used to, then the last time that I moved, my cleaner was too tightly associated with my crotchety old landlord and I thought a change was due. Then my metrosexual male friend teased me about having a cleaner even though I worked only part of the time, and mostly worked from home, as if this somehow meant that I should be using my free time to do something that I hate. Ever since then — two years ago now — some weird Protestant work ethic has been at work in my subconscious, based on that comment from my friend, and I still don’t have a cleaner. When I was away in October, a friend stayed at my apartment, and she had a cleaner come in the day before she left. Was this a hint? Do I care?

A funny thing happens every week now, however. Damir ususally stays over the weekend, then we’re both busy during the week so we don’t see each other again until Friday or Saturday. Mondays, after he leaves, I find myself cleaning the place. Not a thorough cleaning, but laundering bedding, towels and any clothes that he left behind; cleaning the bathrooms; making a swipe at the kitchen; and straightening the living room and the inevitable debris on the coffee table left over from a lazy Sunday of reading and watching TV. It’s not like I’m trying to eradicate traces of him, there’s still lots of that around; it’s more a matter of setting things back to my “single” state such that whatever I touch is the way that I left it.

I love being with him, but I also love my time alone. As long as I don’t spend too much of that time cleaning.

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