Blogging is such a solipsistic pastime. Or maybe it's just narcissistic. Tomayto, tomahto - it's all about me.
I'm going to go out on a limb here to illustrate my limitless ingratitude to say that I sometimes complain about having a cleaner. Pre-cohabitation, I would have had one on my life wishlist. Now, and pay attention because this part is important, now that I have one, I don't like it as much as I thought I would. Yes, it is great to have a clean house and not have to clean it myself, but I am such a curmudgeon about having people in my home or having to leave when I would rather stay in, it's all laden with resentment. No, I don't expect anyone to feel for me and yes, I am an ingrate, and probably a bit spoiled and lazy too. Enchanté.
For the last four or five weeks, I have gladly accepted cleaning duties. Due to scheduling conflicts, birthdays and illness, there has been no cleaner and I was happy to have those Fridays to myself. In my slovenly terms, maintaining the house week to week in between actual professional cleanings just means changing sheets, sweeping a little and bleaching the toilet. What a joy to not have to pitch about the house tipsy and demented Thursday at midnight, only just having remembered that I need to find clean pillowcases, or hide things I don't want her to find/move/throw away/clean.
Don't worry though, I get my ingratitude comeuppance in this week's episode, in which I reluctantly arrive at the conclusion that I will be cleaning for a series of events involving actual other people who don't live here. There is a big, important and much anticipated dinner party. There are sleepers-over. I haven't heard from the cleaner in a couple of weeks. She was ill one week, then the next week she needed to go back home to Poland for a clinic appointment. Then, nothing. I have tried ringing and texting but I haven't had a reply. I am genuinely worried about her. I am also worried about people coming to my house which hasn't been cleaned properly in weeks.
My mother, in the feminine tradition of mothers everywhere, instilled in me a deep fear of being exposed as an earthly being with feet of horn and chipped varnish clay. Domestic imperfection behind closed doors was shameful enough, but should these conditions ever be revealed to others, well, the embarrassment would be unbearable. Keep a suicide note and cyanide capsule handy in case paramedics or firefighters are ever called to your boudoir and find an unmade bed. Never mind that you are in it! No point in living, traitor to your sex, scarlet 'S' for Slattern, Unclean! etc..
Yesterday I decided to tackle the kitchen floor, which is cleaned regularly yet is always dirty. I actually got on my hands and knees - such a great phrase, with the suggestion of supplication, reverence, unworthiness and martyrdom in equal measures - and scrubbed the floor with a brush. It was great. I felt like Marie Antoinette in a shepherdess costume. Just kidding.
I am actually a fan of extreme cleaning, by which I mean cleaning those things which are rarely cleaned and doing it very thoroughly. You at least have the hope of seeing a difference between the before and after. My cocksucking floors, which never ever ever look clean, are now cleaner than they have ever been and will ever be. They don't look very clean. My back? Not so good. She is, how you say? Broken.
Lucy would have had a plan. She would have hired Ethel, or spent the money Ricky left for the cleaner and done it herself with a disguise and a funny accent and it would all come to a hilarious conclusion. (Was that an actual episode? It sounds plausible.) I could try that, but it's probably not as funny in real life.
Prisoner of my own device
3 months ago