Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cleaning Rage

Hooooooo law, ya'll.

Spring is playing hard to get this year, which I don't find the least bit beguiling. I'm right now sitting in the living room in front of a crackling fire. It's crackling because all the wood is wet. Because we didn't cover it when it started raining. Because we didn't think we'd need any fires anymore, it being nearly April and all.

But the good news is the house is sort of clean. I don't know if I mentioned that while Audrey was here, she spring-cleaned our house like the Dickens, from top to bottom. She got all up in all the closets' business and removed the mildewing shoes. She washed the compost bucket by hand in the sink, which I usually do outside with the toilet brush and a hose. She folded every load of laundry that came down the pike. That woman, ya'll--I don't understand why she's not the Emperor of something.

But with the exception of a couple of times (like the time she was cleaning out the compost bucket and turned to me and said "This love I have for you, Jesslyn? It's big. Real big."), Audrey seemed to really like the cleaning. She cleaned our house because she wanted to, because if she lived back in caveman days, she would have swept out her cave every day and laid all her sticks and rocks in a line.

I, on the other hand, would have taken my opportunity as a caveman to let it all hang out. The grizzly remains of the mammoth I killed last month would have rotted into the cave floor before I would have lifted a finger to tidy them.

But unfortunately I'm not a caveman. I'm a woman who lives in the 21st century, who reads things that Martha Stewart has her people write and who is at this moment typing while wearing a green mud mask, the directions to which were in French, so I'm just assuming I put it on correctly. So, my point is, I can't let a mammoth carcass rot on our floor. I just can't--although I'd want to if it happened to find its way here.

Allow me to be completely frank. Cleaning sucks. I love a clean, breezy, fresh smelling house as much as the next girl, but the thing about cleaning is this: it's the worst ever and once it's done, it's so easily undone. So what's the point?

I do this thing when I have to clean. It's an activity I usually begin approximately 2 hours before guests are supposed to come over for dinner, because 2 hours is normally how long it takes me to make our house look like it's inhabited by anyone other than 7 or 8 filthy, meth-addicted squatters. So, I start cleaning, and about 3 minutes in this thing happens to me. It's like I'm not Jesslyn anymore. Have you ever seen Dr. Bruce Banner turn into the Incredible Hulk? That's kind of what it's like. I throw shit, I say unspeakable things to my husband, I yell at my daughter, I've probably cursed even you, Sweet Reader--whoever you are. Honestly, I'm thinking about trying hypnosis. It's that bad.

So, since Audrey left, I've been trying to keep up with the house. I've been folding laundry, making the beds, putting things away after I cook. And it hurts, you guys. But it's way better than a 2 hour cleaning rage. Anything's better than that.

UPDATE: Bryan would like me to tell you about what it's like to watch me in a cleaning rage:
"It's kind of like watching a rabid raccoon. It's sort of cute, but also terrifying because it could bite you or throw all your important stuff away."

And there you have it.


  1. Mom, Allison, have you seen my red top?

    "It's on the couch, where it's been for two weeks with the rest of the laundry, Jessie."

    Jessie, have you seen the cat?"

    It's on the couch under the laundry, where it's been for two weeks."

    Has anyone seen Jessie and Allison?

    They're under the laundry with the cat on the couch where they've been for two weeks"!

    You can't help it, madamdeer, and never will. You was born a cavechile. Don't fret about it.


  2. this is a bit of a revelation for me. because i feel the same way about cleaning, but i've never really understood why: it's because "it's the worst ever ... and so easily undone."
    stupid life making my house dirty! this is why i should live in a hotel.