Dear Mouthy Housewives,
When your flip flop comes off of your foot because it stuck to the kitchen floor, does that mean it’s time to mop? Can you tell me any other signs that scream someone needs to clean house? Like when the dust bunnies race to the vacuum cleaner, did I wait too long between vacuuming? I’m afraid I’m not very good at this.
Your question is leaving me a little misty-eyed, thinking back upon my days in college. I was infamous for leaving my dishes in the sink until they bonded to the stainless steel in a blanket of mold and decay.
Sometimes, if I felt the need to enter the kitchen, I’d spray some ammonia in the sink to cancel out the stench. A week or so later, I’d cave and just throw the dishes in the garbage. Cleanliness and domesticity weren’t exactly a strong point, I’m afraid.
Once I got married, however, and started introducing offspring to my toxic ecosystem, I realized I needed to get myself together. Overwhelmed, confused, and saddened by my incompetence, there was an especially dark moment when I considered buying a Martha Stewart book on how to clean your house.
But that was then, Pig-Pen, and this is now. Since my BC (Before Clorox) days, I’ve learned a few things about keeping my home sanitary, and I’m more than happy to share them with you here. So, keep in mind that it’s time to clean when you encounter the following:
1. Your children start naming the houseflies, field mice, and cockroaches.
2. There’s a ring around the bathtub. And the floorboards. And your boyfriend’s collar.
3. You’re considering calling your homeowner’s insurance and claiming a total loss due to “natural disaster”.
4. You start treating your bathroom like a public restroom, complete with squatting, hovering, and that thing where you use a paper towel to open the door.
5. Visitors think you’re jumping on the eco-friendly-home bandwagon with what appears to be a dirt floor.
6. If you’ve emptied your Fantastik bottle and replaced it with acetone before cleaning the countertops.
7. When you find the children/spouses/housemates/guests under the kitchen table declaring, “Snack time!”
8. Going camping in the mountains for some “fresh air” is more of a medical necessity than leisurely activity.
9. You find yourself kicking the laundry pile toward the washing machine because you don’t want to aggravate a previous back injury from that time you actually lifted the basket.
10. Have you seen that movie Pink Flamingos? (Yeah, me neither.) If you watch it and ever sigh with recognition…well…skip the cleaning and just move to another house, sister.
::powders face with Comet::
Now, I know this is a lot to take in, and I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. It’s taken me years to get to a place where my husband has stopped suggesting we apply for a spot on Hoarders. That said, if this all sounds like too much work, you could always just remodel your home with black paint, carpet, appliances, and furniture. Dark hides the dirt really well. Trust.
::dabs Pine Sol behind ears::