Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boring Boring Boring

It is keeping me sort of accountable, but I'm boring myself. I will write about something else soon. Soon.

Exercise: 40 minute walk outside (skipped yoga to take a nap)
Cleaning: nothing that counts
Studying: Read more of study guide, probably an hour
Employment: nothing except checking email


Exercise: 30 minute treadmill, 30 minute weights (1 1/2 rotations)
Cleaning: nothing that counts
Studying: Plugging away on study guide and taking online practice quizzes
Employment: scheduled a sort-of-interview for Monday--she may think it's more of an internship inquiry, but at least I'm in the door giving them my resume.

Here's the thing that ticks me off about cleaning, in addition to the fact that I hate it. I do a lot of things on a daily basis that I can't suddenly stop doing, but I also don't feel it's fair to count them. You know, things like laundry, scooping the cat box, making breakfast, packing lunches, making dinner, putting away dishes, scooping the cat box, wiping the table, folding laundry. It's the big things that I want to get more disciplined about doing. Big things that, to some people, are likely daily, weekly things that THEY can't count. Things like vacuuming and dusting and cleaning the bathroom.

I have a whole rant about how, as women, we can say we hate to clean, but we still have to do it (or at least arrange for someone else to do it). Whereas for men, it's weird when they do clean or, even more weird, when they say they like to clean. I have run into several women lately who actually say they like to clean. I haven't drilled them on the intricacies of what part gives them satisfaction (that woman in the grocery store might have found me a little intense, especially since she wasn't even talking to me). I mean, I like the feeling of having had cleaned. That is, the pleasure of having a relatively sparkling bathroom. I just don't like it enough to compensate for the utter and complete loathing I feel toward scrubbing the tub.

Here's the rant part. I think we put a lot of burdens on ourselves unnecessarily when it comes to cleaning. Or maybe it's just me. I'm self-conscious about my usually-neat-but-decidedly dusty/somewhat grimy house. So much so that I rarely have anyone over besides my family. Even though I've been to houses which are just as dirty as mine. And I really don't mind other people's dirty houses. I breathe a small sigh of relief that I am not as horribly incompetent as I always, somehow, come back to believing that I am. (I only exaggerate slightly.) But I do really really notice when someone's house is immaculate and wonder how much time she spends cleaning each day or week.

Do you think thoughts like these EVER cross the minds of men? And, for once, I am not asserting the superiority of women here. I think we need to be more like men. Who the fuck cares about the dust on the baseboards? Who even acknowledges the existence of baseboards? Let's use our college degrees and our creative impulses toward higher things. But not toward the dust on the fan blades. That's too literal. I mean, things like reading novels and writing blog posts.

Still, I acknowledge that these tasks have to be tackled by someone at some point. Like when my mother-in-law is coming for a visit. I kind of like doing them in big chunks. Like, really thoroughly cleaning a whole room or two every three months or so. And if that seems icky to you, well, I'm probably not inviting you over anyway.

So, I want to be more industrious, but not more neurotic. The state of my house/dust is irrelevant to who I am as a person. Of course it is, but I wonder how many of us otherwise intelligent women really feel that way. That some part of our worth, no matter how many other things we do, is tied to how clean and presentable our houses are. That this is still our responsibility or our burden because we're women. (Ugh) Wives.

Note: my husband is VERY helpful. He almost exclusively does the dishes, both loading and unloading. He does about 50% of the laundry, both the loading and the folding. He sweeps. He swiffers. He has never proudly announced that he changes poopy diapers; he just does it. But, he doesn't really think about any of the other things. Those big things that I don't do regularly, but feel bad about not doing. He doesn't notice the dusty baseboards or the tub mildew or the dirty linoleum. Should he? I say, No! If I ask him to do something, he will do it, so it's all good.

I will still post my large cleaning tasks, just because I like seeing them there. Like crossing something off a list. But I will (try to) stop tying them to my self-worth.

Time to make pizza. Yum.


Carlyle said...

Still waiting on the pizza, woman.

Karen said...

Yeah, yeah, we had leftovers. Which we would have eaten faster if you hadn't gotten Checkers for lunch. For yourself. I don't eat Checkers. I eat leftovers.

Carlyle said...

Get a job.

Karen said...

You get a job!

P.S. Am I going to have to restrict drunk commenting?

JG said...

Ha ha ha! You guys are cracking me up.

I want pizza too.

Oh, and the answer to the house thing is Roomba. At least for vacuuming and dusting sideboards. Extra bonus feature: good exercise for cats.

Another answer is: weekly timed cleaning of bathrooms. Get your materials together. Set a timer for five minutes. Squirt and spread Soft Scrub with bleach onto tub. Let sit. Spray down toilet, sink, etc. Wipe clean. Clean these things until timer dings/beeps, then rinse/wipe softscrub away in tub (give sides of tub some swipes too). Use bath towel that's ready for laundry and very slightly damp to give floor a quick swipe, then dump in laundry. Ta-da! Approximately ten minutes total for assembling materials, cleaning, and removing self from bathroom, and your bathroom will feel lovely and clean. For many of us, this is all a bathroom will need for a month or two. Not for, say, my mom, but for many of us.