Walking into a clean flat is almost an orgasmic experience.
The crisp smell of no smell (except a faint lemony after-taste of recently used Jik), sparkling counters, smooth floors and – best of all – a freshly made bed. Like a hot bun out of the oven, there’s something special about all of those things, especially if you’re like me and cleanliness (in a practical sense) is NOT next to godliness. Instead it is next to the TV remote and some I’ll-pick-it-up-in-a-minute once-worn clothes. To be quite frank with you, dear stranger and blog reader, cleaning is a reluctant activity I occasionally partake in.
Dirt is relentless and cleaning is monotonous – that’s my problem in a nutshell.
I wish I had a clean house. But no. Instead I have my house. My house, where it’s me versus the dirt all the live-long day. Scrubbing, wiping, sweeping, dusting, wiping and wiping all. The. Time.
All I’m doing all the time is picking up after myself. Dishes have to be cleaned, surfaces have to be wiped, clothes have to be put into cupboards. It’s so monotonous and repetitive and continual and cyclical. Like a continuous, monotonous, repetitive circle of repetition.
That’s exactly how it is.
And the dishes… oh, the dishes! I hate them – no, I loathe them; like I loathe scorpions and baby killers and eTV news. I don’t know why I hate them so much. There’s not much to it: hot water, dishwashing liquid and a little rubbing. And yet, and yet, dishes are the bane of my mediocre existence. After every meal there are more of them, staring at me in their mute, porcelain way – begging for a bath. Euch.
I respect domestic houseworkers who continually clean, clean, clean up after other people. If I was a domestic houseworker my home would be a mess. But hey, I’m not a domestic houseworker and my home is still a mess.
There’s no magical Mister Min that sweeps in with advertising excellence and makes everything shine. Oh no. It’s just me and flatmate, drearily wiping after work.
And the floors. I hate feeling things crunch under my toes; but I hate sweeping. They’re different kinds of hate: crunchy floors I hate like I hate knowing the kilojoules of my favourite cheesy meal (it’s never a nice revelation). Sweeping I merely dislike, like awkwardly discussing the weather in the elevator with a colleague. In a magical world I would never sweep and floors would sparkle with cleanliness. Also in a magical world I’d be able to sing, interpret men’s actions with unerring accuracy and dig diamonds out of my ears (come on, you know that’s awesome.)
There’s something else. Something worse than everything else. It’s gross. It’s a little disgusting, and under the Sister Code I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to talk about it. But with this, as with everything else, I am an innovator. Here it goes.
There is hair everywhere.
The sheer volume of hair I moult is impressive. I should be bald. Why am I not bald? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! (That’s another ‘Pro’ in the ‘Shaving it all off’ list).
That’s just the cleaning! The tidying gets a whole rant of its own. Clothes packed away, earrings hung up, shoes filed into the cupboard, magazines stacked (may I recommend the June issue of Fairlady, hint hint; yes, I’m plugging myself) – the mess is relentless. Like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great (they were pretty relentless too). Messiness drives me crazy, and yet I continually create situations in which my room is messy. (Through inaction.) It doesn’t make sense! It’s self-sabotage. It’s stupid.
To tie this baby up with annoying neatness (in contrast to the rest of my life) let me just say: I wish I had a clean house.