Bad Housekeeping

When clean and filthy worlds collide...

Before: This isn't the way a '50s housewife folds towels.
Before: This isn't the way a '50s housewife folds towels.
JCC

I truly, occasionally, wish I was a housewife. As it is I'm pretty good at cooking, cleaning and masochism. The thought of waking up, cooking breakfast, cleaning the light fixtures (because everything else is ALREADY clean), tuning into "As The World Turns" at 11 a.m., doing some wash, meeting Barb from down the street for lunch, prepping for dinner, dreaming up my next big theme party and then just biding my time until cocktail hour rolls around at 4 p.m. sounds like heaven. Of course, it wouldn't really be like that. I'd inevitably feel regret for not pursuing a career, and get into fights with my husband after becoming a little too loose on Tom Collinses, or whatever they drank in the '50s. "What exactly were you doing with that floozy secretary of yours, Bob!?"

After: Better. Much better.
After: Better. Much better.
JCC

But some people, maybe most people, don't respect high-minded homemaking concepts like washing the washing machine. This became painfully clear to me over the weekend as I returned to my apartment which had been subletted to a film-maker woman from NYC for over two months. She seemed nice, but still, didn't have the courtesy to clean the apartment before she left. Along with dirt and dust, there were blue and pink pills all over the floor, and an incomprehensible coat of gross on everything. I don't know how she managed to create such filth. This apartment was never that dirty at it dirtiest. I'm concluding (in a slightly pretentious way, perhaps) that more people than not must just live with a certain standard of uncleanliness.

Me, I just can't. A dirty, unorganized environment makes me feel crazy (and dirty, unorganized). I'm not saying I enjoy cleaning house, I just can't see not doing it. Minutes after our disappointing return, despite having only a couple of hours before being picked up for a party, my boyfriend and I busted out the mop and scouring pads and cleaned up the mess. I guess the moral of the story is that if you ever sublet your place: 1.) Charge more than breaking even, 2.) Stipulate what happens if they don't leave when you'd previously agreed and, 3.) Take a goddamn cleaning deposit. Don't be too nice and presume you're dealing with tidy, considerate people.

Actually though, I think what I really want is a comfortable, clean space and ability to cook whatever I want inside of it--not a life of housewifery. And after some more scrubbing and a trip to the grocery store, I'll be there. Aww.