Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Mrs. Of Sisyphus

Albert Camus should write a novel about me.

Not that I pissed off Zeus, or think that the only solution to an absurd life is suicide or anything, but this housework gig is really making me channel "Groundhog Day."

Keeping a house clean is an act of absurdity in and of itself. I have long since come to grips with the self-filling laundry basket and dishwasher. I remember long ago thinking the only way my laundry would ever be truly "done" is if I spent the majority of my life naked.

No one wants that, believe me.

But having recently moved into a house that is largely decorated in tones of white, off-white, ercu and cream, I am learning just how much cleaning is required of me. Specifically the floors, countertops and walls. Somedays I wonder if it's really worth it to even haul out the vacuum at all.

I fall pretty squarely between slob and neat-freak. I like a nice vacuumed rug, a clean, germ-free countertop, and floors free from piles of dirty clothing/toys/dog hair. I do not, however, get down and scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush or even regularly rid the ceilings of cobwebs. Sorry if you're grossed out, but it's not worth it to me.

But once I opened the door to a cleaner, hairless world, there was no turning back. We moved in and I vowed to scrub, dust, and disinfect every last square inch of this place. Har, har har.

Every time I thought the (white vinyl) kitchen floor was clean, I'd turn around and . . . "Where the hell did that paw print come from!?" Or I'd vacuum the (off-white) carpet within an inch of its life and . . . "Goddamnit there's another hair ball." Ugh, forget it. I see fingerprints on my cupboards in my sleep, and I have long since ceded the windows to hand and noseprints forever.

Ultimately, who cares, right? I know I shouldn't. As long as the house is clean for company, and I clean enough to keep us from turning into a House of Squalor, that's good enough. But sometimes that damn pawprint makes me feel like the crappiest housekeeper--which spirals into mother--in the world.

But then I think to myself, "Even if I clean it up, it will be back again." So sometimes, I just leave it.

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