Friday, October 29, 2010
Now you'll never want to visit me
I grew up in an apartment with piles of papers everywhere, a hall closet with shelves of hotel bar soaps, and dozens of shoeboxes filled with unworn men's shoes. Sometimes, my dad would sit on newspapers at the kitchen table because there was nowhere else to put them.
Pack rat sounds mean. So let's just say my dear dad is a pack man. And that my response was to grow up to be very neat. Friends described my room apartment I rented in my twenties as museum-like, because things were always in their place. Having kids and a husband who has Toss Everything Anywhere Syndrome loosened me up but still, our house is relatively neat. I need that for peace of mind.
Clean? Well, er, yeah. I am good about wiping down surfaces and the bathrooms. But otherwise, I feel no guilt if I don't clean regularly, unlike 80 percent of women ages 25 to 42 recently polled by Scrubbing Bubbles for their Dirty Work Index. Nor do I feel that how clean my home is "reflects upon me as an individual," unlike 79 percent of women surveyed. Nor do I worry what others think about the cleanliness of my home, unlike 64 percent of women they asked. Nor do I clean when my MIL visits, unlike 53 percent of women polled.
I am 100 percent glad I don't know the squeaky-clean women they surveyed, and I am sure they would not want to hang with me, either. Although if they wanted to come over and clean the house, they're welcome to and if they wanted my MIL to visit them, that would be fine too.
I found all of this out at a Scrubbing Bubbles event the other day at the Rock Center Cafe in New York. Colleen Padilla from Classy Mommy invited me (she talks as fast as I do, love that). The event did not feature cutesy drinks like The Cleantini or appetizers like Dust Bunny Meatballs, just good food, author and TV host Donna Erickson, and parting gifts of two cleaning products and two nice books, Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families and At Home With Friends.
I haven't yet put the cleaning stuff to use (though I checked out the Scrubbing Bubbles site and I liked that it listed the ingredients for products so people can make educated decisions). Here's the deal: I want the house to be clean enough to keep the kids healthy and not sneezing. But the things I take real pride in are my husband and the kids, my work and this blog. Also, I have really nice toes.
If our kitchen's chrome appliances are dull or there's dust on the TV, so be it. I'd much rather spend my time buffing and polishing and generally taking care of my family. However, if Max or Sabrina (or Dave) wanted to learn how to clean the house, I'd be all for it and come to think of it, wouldn't dusting be a nice occupational therapy exercise?
OK, tell: How neat is your house? How clean is your house? How much do you care? Would you maybe still come visit me? And if you are one of the ladies who took the Scrubbing Bubbles survey, when would you like to come over and clean? I'm free Wednesday mornings!
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 12:05 AM