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Monday
Jan052009

Scrubs

Other women dream of  red carpet romances, NASCAR sugardrivers, Italian-accented brooders, or at the very least a one night stand with a person who wears a baseball cap pointing in the proper direction.  My ultimate fantasy is for someone to clean my house.  Not naked or anything, although I would appreciate it greatly if he would not yell.  He doesn't even have to be a he.  This person will arrive through the front door and scrub out the toilets and dust the shelves and shake out the rugs and mop the stupid kitchen and then... leave.

Cleaning is not beneath me.  My parents saw to it that my sister and I were scrubbing hairspray residue out of sinks as the '80's escalated, and for one summer (okay, six weeks or so of one summer) I got down on my hands and knees in Colorado cabins and scrubbed other people's bathroom leavings on other people's property.

It's not as if most people spring out of bed all, "AWESOME.  Today we scrape the caked toothpaste off the bathroom mirror!"  Nobody likes cleaning, but I didn't develop the all-consuming vibrant hhhhhhhhhhhhatred I now experience until I moved from a reasonable, square shaped one-bedroom apartment to a skinny, corner-y, base board-intensive three story townhouse.  That'll knock your Swiffer right out from under you.  The cleaning takes all day, and when I'm finished, I can't even be happy about it, because I'm just going to have to do it again no matter how carefully everybody aims in the morning.  Cleaning is such a colossal waste of time that I'm perfectly willing to give up certain luxuries, like eating, to pay other people to do it.

I know.  I know.  I should be extremely grateful to have a home to clean, let alone one with three floors, no matter how skinny.  And I am.  When I'm not actually cleaning it.  Then?  Homelessness is lookin' good.  Flick a few dead leaves off the top of the cardboard box and you're ready to receive company.

Technically I only have two floors to clean, as the bottom level is consumed by the garage and Josh The Pilot's man cave.  "It's your space," I told him when we moved in, "so you're in charge of cleaning it."

You can imagine how often this happens.  Our pull-out couch is down there, as is the house's sole DVR, so when relatively sober sleepover company shows up, we both endure the Battle of the Man Cave Bathroom.

ME:  Please clean down there.

JOSH:  It's clean.

ME:  It is not.

JOSH:  Baby, I just used the blue toilet stuff, and it's fine.

ME:  It is not fine.  There are spider webs on the floor and mirror and hanging from the ceiling.  What's Sara going to think when she walks in there to pee and discovers she's in the Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion?

JOSH:  ...Oh.  You didn't say it had to be girl clean.

And so forth.

Last week, a solicitor delivered the equivalent of cleaning porn right to my doorstep:  A brochure advertising maid service.  I unrolled it from the railing and took it inside and sat down and stared at it for a while.  Mini-blinds... not cleaned by me.  Oven burners... not cleaned by me.  Each individual blade of the ceiling fan... actually cleaned.

The brochure listed the various surfaces the staff would shine up, breaking them down according to location in the house.  The bathroom included "countertops... light fixtures... ashtrays."  What th-- First of all, if you're smoking while on the pot, you've got bigger problems that falling behind on your housework.

The idea so intriged me that I visited the company's website, where I was horrified to find the following:  capture1

Okay, if this place is sending me people with snowbrushes growing out of their hinders to address my kitchen floor's reception of my constant tendency to overflour...?

You know what, on further reflection, sweep away. I don't care how you do  it, as long as I don't have to do it.

shamwow at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

tip the bartender

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Reader Comments (11)

For many years my husband's grandmother came to visit every Thursday evening. So the house (or at least the downstairs) had to be NANA clean. The kids groan if I say "It has to be NANA clean."

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

A word of advise: take out your old 'Dímelo Tú!" Spanish schoolbook. I'd be EXTREMELY surprised if the person that shows up is not named María or Lupe.

When the American economy started to fall apart, everybody predicted that all the Mexican immigrants—legal & illegal alike—would flee back to their home towns. Guess what? they prefer to stay in the US, not only because there are no jobs down here too, but also because Mexico's becoming the Wild West and even a lower-class worker can be kidnapped by the drug cartels—specially if they know the worker has relatives in 'el otro lado'.

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

Ugh! I hate cleaning too! Add two leaf/twig/dirt/snow/everything carrying long haired dogs to the mix and even the BED gets grass and twigs in it.
Sigh.

I will someday invent the self cleaning house. Too bad Rosie the Maid from the Jetsons hasn't been perfected yet.

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKris

Please send any and all housecleaners my way when you are done with them.

Perhaps we could get a group rate?????

I absolutely hate cleaning too. The part that absolutely kills me now is that I have no immune system in order to keep the lupus at bay so clean is good as becteria and germs are bad. I know this and still can't bring myself to clean. I'd give my right arm for a maid.

The only perk to letting my bro move in is that he has to vacuum since I have a Dr's note saying I can't. (really with my heart condition I can't, if only that extened to bathrooms and laundry) I know it is totally sick and twisted but sometimes i wish the lupus would flare and make me sick enough that my health insurance had to cover maid service.

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

"JOSH: …Oh. You didn’t say it had to be girl clean."

Hysterical and oh-so similar to conversations in our home!! We have two bathrooms - his is the smaller one off our bedroom, mine is the larger 'guest" bathroom. Guess whose is cleaner? I. Don't. Enter. His. Wetsuits and "surfing towels" and... Ugh. Shudder. Every once in a while we'll have guests and I make him clean to "girl clean" but I can't bear to watch....

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCA Sailing Lady

I had to go through a 12-step program after we "downsized" and had to give up the cleaning lady. After three years, I still have cravings. Just remember...cleaning lady/man = crack.

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBB

Tile every surface in the house, furnish with outdoor furniture and power wash as needed. Problem solved. It has also been my experience that there is frequently a cleaning frenzy shortly before the cleaning team arrives to get it ready to be cleaned. What is up with that?

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLurker

I had a maid for one summer when we had money. The first time, after she left, I cried. "The WHOLE HOUSE," I sobbed, "is CLEAN," I wept, "at the SAME TIME!"
I have three little boys of whom aiming is entirely too much to ask. Or picking up. Or putting spoons in the sink after eating cereal and spilling milk everywhere.
I hate cleaning with a mad, personal, seething hatred. But I hate living in a dirty house, too!
Ugh.

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

Reminds me of a book I heard about a while back. Sounds like just what you need!

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSavannah

I think the hate for cleaning is embedded in our very genes. That's why we became nomads and got out of Africa 100,000 years ago: to flee from the mess we made and start over somewhere else.

So, if you have a nutty friend who actually LOVES to clean, She/He is probably a Neanderthal ;-)

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

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