Thursday, May 19, 2011

This Stuff is Mine

The image at left says:  Housewife: The best job in the world.

I keep waiting for my inner hausfrau to burst forth from within, someone with good knees who keeps an immaculate house. Why is the archetype German? Surely there are other ethnic archetypes of the person I am not. I'm 50/50 Irish and Mexican. Both these ethnic groups fall to the negative on the good housekeeping continuum. I think (vows to do internet search to disprove point).

I’d rather do the research than dustbust the dirt that dripped from the burro’s tail I transplanted. Not cleaning is as obsessive as cleaning too much or thinking about cleaning, or in my case — thinking and writing about not cleaning. It’s also a form of self-hate, because who likes dirt? I don’t. And this dirty floor and dusty stuff is mine, and even though I’m a lousy housekeeper (distracted is more descriptive) I don’t really respect other lousy housekeepers, and I hate that about myself because it goes against my promise to love all things Sandra.

It’s all here, people: inner turmoil, angst.

Some of you are feeling smug, and maybe even vaguely nauseated because cleaning and straightening, picking up and putting away require no thinking on your part. It’s your innate quality, what you were born to do. It’s like you’re programmed, preset and predetermined. On the other hand, you probably have no injuries. I’m an actuarial nightmare.

Yesterday I was dusting in my little area. Not dusting dusting because I usually wait until I need a damp cloth. I highly recommend this method; the dust comes off in a satisfying sludge on the white face cloths that I use. They get recycled into dust rags after one of my dusting sessions. Nothing gets them white again. These preordained dust rags are never nearby when I decide to dust, so I use another face cloth. The pile is growing. Soon, I will venture forth and purchase more white face cloths.

I’ll probably end up an old lady with a room full of dust rags. They’ll fall on me in my hospital bed and I’ll suffocate. Unless I manage to raise one arthritic paw and create a pocket of air. Or maybe the cat laying next to me will tunnel us out.

That was exciting. Even under spectacularly ridiculous circumstances I imagine the angles for survival. I love that about myself. Which reminds me of the flaw that brought me to this self-examination.

While I was dusting I knocked down this teeny perfume bottle and it cracked on the tile floor. My only thought was to pick up the top half quickly to save some of the essence. I picked up a few pieces of glass, but didn’t examine the floor very closely. Through sheer luck I didn’t step on the littlest shards. Just dustbusted those babies. Decided to let the perfume soak into the tiles. Strong, but not unpleasant scent the first night. Today — very nice, sensual, like your mom’s favorite cocktail dress hanging in the closet, evocative even years after she last wore it.