Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Jurl

Ah! It's Friday and today is one of my days off! And by off I mean a day when I work my ass off at home. One of the concessions I made in brokering this part-time gig with Husband was going sans maid. Dramatic sigh! We'd only had a maid for a couple of years, but I fought like a dog to get her.

I'd never really minded house work because I grew up in a family where every woman cleaned her own house so the concept of paying a stranger to clean my mess was totally foreign. But when my jurlfriends' jaws dropped at the realization I was still cleaning my own toilets while working and caring for a toddler I decided maybe it was time to broaden my horizons.

Husband struggled to understand why on Earth we needed a maid since we had all these magical house-keeping fairies that loaded the dishwasher, unloaded the dishwasher, washed the clothes, cleaned the high chair, swept the floors everyday, etc., etc. etc.

First thing I did was scream in his face, "I do all of those chores, you blind-ass bastard!" The second was going on strike. For two weeks I took care of only myself and Sam (this was pre-Jakey) even going so far as to buy groceries only she and I would eat, leaving his Majesty to grab bananas at 7-11. It was a long two weeks, but I reigned victorious. (Husband's recollection of these events differs because he cannot live in a universe where he was ever defeated.)

It's been a good run, but now I'm on my own with toilet brushes and stinky mops. At first I felt free because I no longer had to have the junk picked up before cleaning day and I didn't have to worry about vacating the premises while the cleaning ensued, since I could never get comfortable being in the house when someone else was having to clean it because of middle class guilt and embarrassment of our filth.

When the part-time negotiations started Taz told me, "whatever you do, don't give up your maid." Taz is always right about this kind of stuff and I quickly realized that if one day off is spent doing laundry, getting groceries, and other miscellaneous errands and the other day off is spent cleaning house then there is little free time left to do what prompted me to push for part-time to begin with!! Crazy. Taz, why do I ever doubt you?

One dear friend even suggested that my time was too valuable to spend it sweeping and mopping floors, but I don't really see it that way (though I appreciate the compliment). I don't see house cleaning as something menial or beneath me. In fact, I would charge double what my hourly billing rate is to clean anyone else's house because it's hard work and, to do it right, requires skill.

Still, cleaning house isn't that bad. Some of my fondest childhood memories of my mother and grandmother involve cleaning house. For instance, Mom cleaned naked because she didn't want to dirty up a clean outfit and because she's CRAZY. So while innocently trying to watch cartoons a giant boob would swing into my view, blocking the television and scarring my retinas, as she dusted the coffee table with ten gallons of Endust and a grody t-shirt. Nothing says Saturday morning to me like the smell of industrial lemon-scented cleaning products and a big bosomed eclipse of the T.V.

My grandmother cleaned with clothes on, but she had chores for everyday of the week since she didn't work outside the home. She'd have laundry going by 6:30 a.m. and a cobbler cooking by 8:00 a.m. I must confess that part of the draw of doing my own house work is experiencing those sounds and smells of childhood (minus the pendulum tee-tas). This morning I had a load of laundry going by 7:00 a.m. and the kitchen was clean by 8:00 a.m. and something in me was soothed by the swish-swish of the washer in the quiet early morning and the smell of my sparkling clean counters wafting through the house. Love it.

I can't say I love every domestic chore, but I can say that I derive a deep satisfaction from doing things the way my mom and my Gim did back in the day. What can I say? You can take a girl out of the toilet, but not the toilet out of the girl?? Or something like that.


I totally look this good when cleaning house. Though, I did drop my pearsl down the toilet last week by accident.....

1 comment:

Liss said...

Reading that gave me flash backs!!! It also made me think of her nighty with the flap down, her ninnies were always falling out of! How well I remember the nudity of Aunt Val and how it scarred me for life!!! No wonder I get that urge to remove clothing when I come in the door from work, I must get that from her! My husband thanks Aunt Val for passing on the glory of nudity!