Housework, tidy home tidy mind, barf.
Housework. Necessary evil or badge of honor?
Okay, for me, I'll freely admit, it's a necessary evil. I do it because I don't want to live in a total pig sty. I do just enough to prevent this from happening. I hoover once a week, I wash the kitchen and bathroom floor once a week, sometimes surfaces will be polished and now and then a window might get the same treatment. Twice a year the books get dusted. I recycle daily.
Both the ladies I spoke with seemed to view this as not a whole lot. Then they both looked proud of the amount of shit they do in their house. Like it was a oneupmanship thing.
'Ohh my floors are always filthy no matter how many times I wash them.' On gal said, rather happily it seemed for someone with such a problem.
'How many times do you wash them?'
'Oh every day, I have too. They get so filthy.'
I snarfed, ordered another glass of wine and changed the conversation. But it stuck with me, how smug they were about their housework, how eeeeeeever so slightly patronizing they were when I didn't subscribe to their views that a twinkling sparkling home is a happy one.
I hate hoovering, I hate the sound of the hoover and after a while it grates on my nerves so badly that I feel like flinging the Hoover out the window.( I did this once, in a rage I tossed an old hoover half way down the street) However, have cats, will hoover. But once a week is plenty.
And clothes. I don't iron. Period.
I mentioned this to the girl I had lunch with last week and if I had said, 'Say darling, I"m considering slaughtering nine male newborns on June bank holiday weekend to appease the Godess of Shoes, wanna come?' her reaction could not have been more OTT.
'You don't iron?' My gal pal said, spluttering her Britvic 55.
She cast a quick glance over me. Was I any more crumpled than she? Also Nope.
'But how do you get your clothes so unwrinkled?'
'I fold or hang them properly when I take them off the line.'
'Have you ever ironed?'
'I may have ironed the sleeves of a shit a few years ago.' I said, pushing a piece of limp salad about, 'but to perfectly honest I"m not even sure I know where the iron is in our house. I think it's under the sink.'
She shook her head. 'I can't believe you don't iron.'
'I iron everything, duvets, underwear, everything.'
She shrugged, 'I don't know I just do.'
'Okay, I don't.'
She laughed then and shook her head,'You were never one for the housework.'
'I do housework, I just don't iron.'
'What about the paramour?"
'What about him?'
'Does he never need anything ironed?'
'Sure, he does it himself.'
This too caused a head shake. Apparently the idea that a grown man might iron his own fucking shirts is still something of a novel idea in 2007.
All this head shaking and unspoken disapproval bring me neatly to this morning and another of my mother's impromptu visits. Before second coffee I might add.
Another thing I don't do is clean the house before I start work. Because I work from home folk seem to think I"m just sitting around here watching day time tv eating Malteasers or some shit. Well I'm not. I'm at work. I may not have physically left the house but I'm at work nonetheless. That means I'm not doing house work or taking personal calls or making coffee for my mother who just happens to be in the neighbourhood and is looking for a few minutes entertainment.
My attitude is thus, I don't give a shit if the house is falling down about my ears, I'm not doing anything about it until I"m finished whatever I happen to be working on right at that moment. This too is something of a shock to other folk.
'How can you work knowing there are dishes in the sink.' My mother might say, peering disapprovingly at the breakfast things.
'Uhundddo' I will reply, waiting for her to leave.
'Doesn't it bother you?'
'No, I can't hear them from the other room.'
'I wouldn't be able to leave them like that.'
'You can wash them up if you like.'
This is something of a challenge. Naturally she won't wash them, but my refusal to get bothered by two cups, a bowl and a side plate sitting minding their own business in a sink will trouble her all day and she will tell one of my sisters about it later on. She will have no choice, if she doesn't she will die of poisoning or a brain freeze or something.
It took me a long time to self motivate myself to work from home and not spend all day reading or staring out the window. It appears it might take longer to get 'ME AT DESK, ME WORKING NOW' into the heads of others.
Housework and people who think it is the be all and fucking end all. People who iron socks for Christ's sakes! I"m against it!