Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cleanliness is next to cleanout. Go look in the dictionary.

Good morgen! As they would sort of say in Germany!! It is Sunday and it is CLEANING DAY. WHOOOOOOO! WHOO!

Okay, trying to get excited about stupid cleaning day.

I know I have mentioned this to you before, but the last time I mentioned it was January, and perhaps you have -- I don't know -- lived your life since then and you have forgotten, so I will reiterate.

Because I can no longer just call the cleaning lady, I have been doing the Martha Stewart cleaning technique from her Homekeeping Handbook. Go get this book if you want to know how to do anything in your house. Need to know how to have a lovely entryway? Which just sounded dirty but I meant your vestibule? Look at the Martha Stewart Homekeeping book! How long to keep your cosmetics? I think you know where to look.

So I am going to do each step of her Weekly Cleaning techniques and report back to you, so that (a) I have someone reading this and keeping track of me and (2) (...I never cease to think it's funny to say "a" then "2." When does my hilarity stop?) you can see what a fine, not-at-all never-ending time it is.

First, old Mart has six things you are supposed to do every day, like make the bed. I usually do none of those six things. Then she has these weekly tasks, then monthly, seasonal, SPRING (I am not kidding), then specific fall jobs. You know that heifer is doing none of these. Her staff has to do them, and they all want to bitch slap her.

Today I am only doing the weekly tasks. And I promise it'll take all dang day. Here we go:

10:29 a.m. I am starting with wiping everything in the kitchen.

10:31 a.m. I cannot find ANY rags. I find 8,945 towels, but no rags. Marvin is in there eating a watermelon while standing over the sink, and he says towels and cleaning rags are the same thing. I am already annoyed with him because he is getting pits everywhere. I am using an old t-shirt as a rag.

11:06 a.m. Seriously. That's how long that took me. I wiped cupboards, appliances, the oven, the furniture, you name it. My only distraction was when I cut the t-shirt into more manageable pieces and also when I was wiping an old mason jar and thought, "Wouldn't it be pretty if I gathered up all the sea glass and put it in this jar" which I did. Okay. Next I have to wipe the INSIDES (geez) of everything and flush the drain with boiling water.

11:39 a.m. Waiting for the STUPID water to boil, I managed the next three steps, including (yes) washing inside and outside the trash can.

[Two cleaning tips from June -- and yes, it is frightening that you would take cleaning tips from June -- if you boil your water in the microwave, it's then easier to clean inside said microwave. Also, a way to clean the trash can? Take the bag out and use it as the pail for washing the floor.]

11:57 a.m. The kitchen? It is done. Only 78 rooms to go.

12:21 p.m. Floors everywhere? Swept. Used the Swiffer-type thing (which my mother always. always calls a "Swifter" no matter how many times I correct her) AND the vacuum. Am disgusted at size of dust bunnies given that we have only lived here five weeks and that I have "Swiftered" before. Also increasingly annoyed that Marvin G. has apparently become centipede, as he has left 12 pairs of shoes in each room.

12:37 p.m. Have managed to take perfectly lovely, shiny tiles in kitchen and hallway and by washing them with Dawn dishwashing liquid, turn then into the dullest floors imaginable. It is like your 8th grade algebra teacher were the floor. The floors are comparable to a statistics book, advanced edition. I mean dull.

I am going to eat something, because I feel weak and shaky and realized all I have consumed today is black coffee.

12:54 p.m. Feeling emboldened by lasagna and a peach grown right here in our town, I soldier on to dust and to vacuum living room furniture.

1:24 p.m. Enter living room to find Marvin and our cat Francis luxuriating on couch. Both scatter, horrified, when I come stomping in with my Old English. Why, whyyyyyyyy do we own so much wood? In that room there are two bookshelves, an old chest used as coffee table, a Victrola, a PIANO, and an old radio that is four feet tall, which Winston hangs out in (see visual aid). Next up? Bathroom.

2:23 p.m. Have cleaned toilet, bathtub, sink, mirror and floor. I have dusted the light fixture and am laundering all throw rugs and blankets in house. Am beginning to detest Martha Stewart. Am beginning to wonder if this book is why she went to prison. Would love 10 minutes in prison with Martha and a shiv.

2:51 p.m. Dusted in dining room. If you think I moved the 4,756 knickknacks to dust under them, you would be wrong. Upon entering guest room to write in blog, find Marvin napping on guest bed. Think again of shiv.

3:06 p.m. Fluffed sofa pillows, threw away old catalogs and sorted the mail. Began putting away clean throw rugs and pillows, if they are dry. Swept front porch and walkway. Begin thinking of great-grandmother, who had a cleaning problem. She used to scrub the sidewalks, and my grandfather said if you got up to pee in the night, when you came back she had already made the bed. Wonder if she was this miserable. Wonder why I didn't inherit her need to clean.

Wonder why I was ever born.

3:21 p.m. Dusted spines and tops of all books, all ceiling fans and electronic equipment. Remember, this bitch expects you to do all this EVERY WEEK. What the hell is WRONG with this Nazi? If I were an Indian goddess with eight arms AND I was on speed, I could not do all of this. As I am dusting the phone, it rings. Marvin, taking his microwave popcorn out, yells, "PHONE!"

I being wondering if any of my old boyfriends are still single.

3:36 p.m. She STILL expects me to change and launder sheets and pillowcases in each bedroom, DUST in each bedroom and clean all the windows. Oh, and vacuum all the vents. I have been working for FIVE HOURS. I am sweaty, and decidedly cranky. I am giving up on this stupid woman and her stupid, stupid book. After all, tomorrow is another day.


MJ Frog said...

Hmmm....I must get that book. Please tell me that MG does NOT say "PHONE" everytime the phone rings? And why? Why? Why wasn't he helping you? Geez...the tadpole over here dusts, vacuums, washes the floor, washes the dishes and brushes the dog's teeth. She would probably do more but I dont' want her messing with the bleachy products.

Kellie said...

Whew! Even I am tired.

Actually, I love that book!

I have been accused of having a "cleaning problem" sometimes myself....only not quite to that extreme!

MJ Frog said...

When my mother would come and stay with me, she would say "PHONE" when the phone rang. I guess that isn't so bad. It is a lot better than smelly pee or someone wearing my socks. I really hate it when boyfriends/husbands wear my socks. Maybe just an only child thing.

I think you can get that floor shiny again with some good 'ol Mop and Glow.

dcrmom said...

I like your tips on the micro and trash can.

And me oh my what a day. Does ANYONE do that every week? What is wrong with people?

Kelly Garrett said...

Are you trying to build support for spending money on a maid?

Megan said...

Just had to tell you I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and even brought my husband in to hear this post (yes, I read your entire day of cleaning OUT LOUD to my husband) and we cracked up! I am slightly
motivated to tackle my house after reading that (only slightly!) Love your blog!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Oh, this was just too funny. Husbands most definitely deserve a shiv (or at least a poke with one) when you're doing all that cleaning and you find them sleeping.

LOVED the story about the grandmother making the bed when grandfather got up to pee in the night. TOO funny.

June Cutoff Cash said...

Megan, was your husband glad he wasn't married to me? I have to hand it to you both for getting through that tome!

Thanks for reading my blog! And for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Whats with MG? We raised him better than that...or did we?

Bronwyn said...

good grief. I need a nap just reading that. Oh wait. The PHONE.

Anonymous said...

As a homeowner who currently has 6 kids creating havoc in the house, I think I'd even welcome uninterrupted cleaning all day! I'm lucky if the dishes get done. But that does sound like a lot of work and there is really nothing worse than working and having hubby asleep instead of helping!!!

Only you could make the day sound so funny!


Anonymous said...

Ya, F Martha Stewart. I can't believe you cleaned for 5 HOURS straight! Holy crap! I haven't done that since I was going through post-partum depression!

Jamie :)

Mrs. N said...

UHhh! I was under the impression that weekly cleaning was to be broken up into 5,6,or 7 parts and parcelled out during the week. like wipe the outside of everything on monday and the inside of everything on tuesday & dust on wednesday etc.. you get the point.
PS if MG sits around like a lump of furniture while you clean, try using the endust or whatever on him.
Mrs N

Emily said...

Oh my. Since I am lame and just now reading your 2007 blog (well, I did have a baby in 2007 so maybe that can be my excuse) I am scrolling up through each post, then reading it from the top down. As I scrolled up through this one I just quickly saw the picture (my stepdad would have said "image") of the cat with its head coming out the radio hole. For just a quick second, I thought it was a head of a cat mounted, and for even a quicker second, I thought, "wow, they really did get into the North Carolina lifestyle". Not that I think NC people hang cat heads on their walls.

Emily said...

Ok, so after that last disturbing comment I also have to say that I got up and cleaned for - hold on to your hat, Bessie - FIFTEEN MINUTES!! You could kind of call it a whole hour since I made my three biggest kids help me too.