Susan's Blog

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cleanliness is Next To…?

I am no domestic goddess. I would rather be waited on hand and foot, but being the mother of three very active boys, that is not to be.

And yes, in my use of the term “domestic goddess,” you can see that I’ve linked to Real Simple rather than the expected Martha Stewart. That is because I see Real Simple as being more of a scourge on the housewife’s horizon than Martha ever was. Martha has taken enough garbage, for one thing. She did her time, so to speak. But even more important here, Martha has been misconstrued for decades and I want to set that straight. Martha is the realm of domestic fantasy, where you can gaze upon spun sugar snow fairies and country houses slathered with just the right paint colors and filled with perfectly aged furnishings. Martha was never to be taken seriously! Martha is the dream, like being waited on hand and foot.

But Real Simple; that’s another thing altogether. First, the misleading name. The magazine should be called “Real Hard,” or “Real Nudgy.” It claims to be all about simplifying one’s life, taking pleasure in simple things, etc., but it is really about mind-numbing chores that would drive even the most enthusiastic housekeeper to drinking Pine Sol. Anything that has a full-color photo spread on labelling boxes of household mail, or a two-page rundown of what house chores one should do when, and how many times a year (like dusting, vaccuuming couch cushions, getting rugs shampooed, for instance) should not be claiming to be about anything simple, but rather, is about the Really Simply The Most Boring Drudgery One Can Ever Do.

I’d much rather spend my time picking out a great sweater than picking up the throw pillows and rotating them every so often. Or, of course, buffing an opening hook on an essay than buffing the floors. But sometimes writer’s block hits and then what can you do?

All the stuff you neglected while you were on a roll. But I am not talking about getting out that special tool for dusting Venetian blinds. Let me explain where this rant is coming from:

Ever since we bought a big, messed-up Victorian house,
we became “house poor,” and so, I am the house cleaner. Oh, sure I get my sons to vaccuum a bit, but that takes a lot of oversight and that makes me tired. Sometimes, let’s face it, it is a lot easier to vaccuum three dusty floors myself than to scream, “No, Nat, you can’t just vaccuum one spot for three hours,” or “No, Ben, you have to do more than just clunk the vaccuum against the floor and then run out of the room,” or “No, Max, do it now!”

So, I hate house cleaning because I have to yell at my boys to get it done or get really tired and really dirty doing it myself. But the thing I always forget is how satisfying it is to look at the house after I’m done cleaning it. Especially when you use good products, did you know, green cleaning is good for your home and for your health, it’s not just a matter of saving all the money. There is nothing like the pleasure of doing one’s best work by oneself, and in one’s own way. Althought the regular cleaning Gold Coast service might be of a great use saving a lot of your time, too. So if I skip dusting for a month but wash the floors every week because I love the shine on them, then so be it. And nothing beats sinking down into a soft clean couch with a good book when all is done! Experience Maid Easy today!


Hi Susan,
You left a comment on my blog awhile back and I have been looking at your site today–well done. I am happy to report Kraig was funded today. Yippee. I am leaving some news things by reading your works.

— added by Teresa on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 7:44 pm

I mean learning. I can’t type. 🙂

— added by Teresa on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 7:45 pm