Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

In one of life's questionable ironies - questionable in terms of itself, and whether in fact it's ironic at all - I find myself cleaning up both before and after my cleaning ladies visit.

Yes, I pay someone to clean my house.

Two reasons: 1. I don't clean bathrooms. Ick. 2. I think cleaning is a job best handled by professionals, in terms of hygiene, actual cleaning, etc.

OK, three reasons: 3. Laziness.

In my (weak) defense, I do actually enjoy doing many household chores, including vacuuming. I just don't have the time, energy or real desire. Plus, like I said, there's something vaguely comforting about the thought that professionals are cleaning the house.

But that's not the point. The point is, I clean. Right before they arrive, and right after they leave. Which strikes me as odd.

Why before? Well, I am this sort of schizophrenic/bipolar slob/OCD person. Half my house has everything EXACTLY - and I mean EXACTLY - where I want it, and the other half is a raging mess.

So I clean up the messy part. Two reasons: 1. It's kind of embarrassing. Bad enough strangers see the bathroom - which is not disgusting or anything, but hardly a model of sparkly clean. But I don't need to be reminded of the pile of dishes in the sink, the empty cans/bottles on the counter instead of the recycling bin, etc. 2. I do this sort of sweep-and-clean mission about once a week anyway. No time like the present.

Why after? Well, that's the half for the OCD person, rather than the slob. Like I said, for some reason, I want some things right where they should be.

Part of me suspects it's because I'm generally depressingly disorganized, so I keep some stuff just so, so I can find it.

But I'm like this with everything. My day planner is a wild mass of lines, stuff scratched out, arrows, etc. On the other hand, I have a day planner I write so much crap in, I need lines, arrows and scratches to fit it all.

At work, when I book the section (lay it out), I've got a ton of papers scattered all over my desk. On the other hand, that's how I can tell what stories are in, what stories I need and what goes where.

I have three bookshelves' worth of books crammed full of paperbacks, hardbacks, trades, borrowed, owned (maybe even stolen?) in one room. And my LE hardbacks displayed lovingly between my monkey bookshelves on the coffee table. Big monkey sit. Little monkeys puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllll!

Mind you, I also have one bookshelf full of Civil War books organized by subject, chronologically. See what I'm getting at?

Back a little closer to point, when the cleaning ladies leave (no, I don't really know their names. I know, that's terrible. But they're here once a month, very early in the morning, and they don't speak English very well and I don't speak Spanish, and I know that's not really an excuse, but the point is, we don't talk much other than "hi!" and "bye!" and "thanks!" and I'm sure they've told me and I've just forgotten - it used to be a different group every month, which didn't help, but these two have been my regular crew for a while now. I don't know if they know my name, either, except that it's probably on the appointment book, and on my check)... well, that really roamed far afield from cleaning into guilt.

When they leave, I clean. Because they move stuff around. I mean, they have to, it's not like it's their fault. But it's not quite where I want it, and sometimes it's not even close to where it was before they cleaned. It's not like I want my toothbrush exactly six centimeters from the sink in the master bathroom. But it would help if it's actually somewhere in the vague vicinity of the sink, since that's where I brush my teeth. Or you know, if they knock a piece off one of my various decorative toys, I put it back, so I don't lose it or it doesn't get vaccuumed next month.

On the other hand, I really have no excuse for why I move all the picture frames around and stuff after they go. I think it's just part of my chemical imbalance or something. Not that chemical imbalance, the other one.

Well, off to straighten up downstairs. And then, nap time. Did I mention they get here WAY too early in the morning?

"Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness?," an article from
Maid For You, Bridgewater, N.J.

I've sat here for six minutes trying to think of something witty to write here. But I just keep yawning. Sorry.


Freak Magnet said...

See, you and me are opposites - my ex and I fought over getting a maid. He wanted one and I told him we were two people in a 2 bedroom condo with one job each and no kids, and he was almost 30 and if he couldn't pick up after himself, there was something wrong with him.

Ironically, he ended up marrying the maid. I guess maids do more than clean.

Aric Blue said...

A good friend of mine owns a cleaning agency. The stories she'd tell! She had one girl who would go out to clean at this older guy's house, and one day she found out the girl was actually cleaning his pipes, and not the house.

Stewie said...

I'm gonna get a maid.