Her: Who’s coming over. Is someone coming over? Someone’s coming over, right?? Someone’s coming over!!
Me: (sigh) No. I’m just vacuuming.
Her: You’re being weird, Mom.
Me: (sighing, plopping down on couch next to her) There used to be a time when I was a clean freak, you know. I vacuumed a couple times a week, I dusted daily, I cleaned the---
Her: (interrupting) so, no one is coming over? Really? You’re just vacuuming for no reason?
Me: Um…hello? I just want things to be clean??
Me: Like I said, I used to be a clean frea---
Her: (interrupting) Was this before we were born?
So it might be safe to say I’m not the best house-keeper in the entire universe. Although I am very tidy and organized (my sock drawer is second to none, I line them up like little sausages in there). My clothes in the closet are organized by colour so that I'm greeted by a lovely rainbow each morning and know instantly when I'm buying too many green tops. But tidy and organized doesn't not necessarily mean clean.
I definitely clean anything that might get disgusting if I didn’t. I have limits. The toilets. Anything the dog has come in proximity of with her tongue or any other orifice. I am fastidious about this. Sort of. Fastidious might not be a word I should be allowed to use to describe myself. And anyway, my "fastidiousness" does not extend to cleaning things that aren't even dirty. Like, you know. Visible dirt.
I’m not big on vacuuming. It’s the allergies, you know. The ones that mysteriously surface when anyone has the nerve to point out the amount of lint on the rug. Just kidding. No one around here has that much nerve. I’m definitely lazy in the dusting arena. But I wouldn’t want to miss out on the artwork my daughters draw in the dust in that particular arena – it’s spectacular.
So then out of the blue, I will have had enough of it all and I will do a guerrilla-style cleaning rampage until everything is sparkling and shiny and smelling faintly of lemons. Bleachy lemons. On this day people tend to sense something is up and flatten out against the wall when I march by, rubber gloves on, safety goggles and dust mask strapped to my face. The fact that this day happens to always coincide with someone announcing they are going to come visit us…is totally unrelated.
The people announcing this are not always totally unrelated. They are, in fact…related. My mother. Or my sisters. But that is not relevant. My mother is not judgmental at all, I promise. I’m simply saying that she probably wouldn’t draw me nice pictures in the dust. She’s just not artsy that way. She had us dust once a week when we were young, and I was always upset that it was a waste of time - you couldn’t even see progress! Nothing was even remotely dusty. I always make sure there is the potential for seeing your progress around here. Feeling like you’ve made a difference (hey, I do what I can).
I can’t lie, I do walk through the house after this cleaning rampage, just breathing deeply and smiling, surveying the beauty all around me. I feel at one with this house. The world. The universe.
This is when I vow I will do this once a week. No…twice a week. Okay, at least once. A month? For sure, once a month. Hmmm. Every other month? No, NO! Once a week. Thursdays. No excuses. Wait, maybe I should do it twice a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays. But Tuesdays is piano. Thursdays is…okay, so just Thursdays then. Every other Thursday. For sure Thursday. DAILY!! I should really do it daily. But baby steps. I'll start with Thursdays.
After which, a significant number of days, many of them being a Thursday, pass by without my carefully scheduled cleaning day. Then something will inspire me out of nowhere. A flower. A beautiful painting. A call from my sister saying their family will be in town in the weekend…
I figure that as long as I maintain a good relationship with my friends and relatives, my house will always be passably clean. Do not lift that rug.