16 May 2008

My pity party: What did you bring me?

Let me start off by winning you over to my side: I cleaned the toilet the other day. Voluntarily. Just because it needed to be done.

I believe this deserves some kind of formal recognition, and I'm sure you agree. Granted, for most people, this might not be especially remarkable, but J- and I got married at (barely) 21 and 22, respectively, so we started out living like carefree college kids, which we actually were until a few big Cares entered the picture (then we were just college kids).

We've never really had time since those days to make conscious changes to our lifestyle, beyond those forced on us by life's meandering path. Our normal cleaning strategy has long been just to not to, as they say. So doing something as significant as this makes me feel like we might soon have a real household, like real people, all because of me. I think that's worth at least an hour of videogames, an extra day to sleep in, and a week's worth of free lecture notes, don't you, dudes?

Actually, since J- is going to have to take some extra courses to complete her Illinois teaching certification (Maine doesn't require as much special ed coursework), she'll temporarily be a college kid once again. Maybe I can offer to write a term paper for her if she dusts something or washes the bathtub. There's got to be a first time for everything, right?*

Now that I'm sure you're almost fully in favor of my position, I'll add that I also have recently taken up making sure the kids vacuum pretty regularly, along with personally sweeping the kitchen and dining room. On one or more occasions, I've even mopped and wiped our counters and stove. I mean, did you hear that? Mopped!! I will admit that I had little choice, what with all the cereal, milk, and urine, but still-- let's give credit where credit is due, please!

And now that I no doubt have much sympathy and support from across the country and indeed across the world**, I shall prepare to present my case to my wife. Wish me luck!

* In rereading this, I realized a footnote was in order to barely keep me out of potential trouble: I mean to say not that J- has never cleaned things, but specifically that neither of us has actually scrubbed our tub since we moved in last summer (there's a window in the shower that seems to keep things at bay), and we don't even own any type of dusting apparatus, technically, beyond some washcloths that might be employed for such a purpose. Does this make us bad people?

** Some of you regular visitors are from at least 6 different countries, and we have occasional guests from 23 total so far-- isn't that fun? Who knew that they had The Internets in other countries now? I should alert "our president" to this potential excuse to raise the Terror Alert Level!


Mama Dawg said...

I brought you whine and cheese and a dustbuster and furniture polish and a bucket and lysol and..and..and..beer!

Does that grant me an invite to the party?

Anonymous said...

Why does a man need a medal of honor for cleaning? Let me dust mine off and you can wear it for a while.

Anonymous said...

Okay, let me just say I am in love with you AND your wife for NOT cleaning! Now I can walk around with a smile on my face every day and the knowledge that I am not a lone stay-at-home soul out there who doesn't spend enormous amounts of time cleaning (or any, really.)

DeeDee said...

So you don't clean...eww! ;P Just kidding. I usually spot clean until I feel like the dust bunnies are about thisclose to launching an all out attack on my ankles and then I'll do an all out cleanfest.

Now the toilets are another thing. I HAVE to clean those at least a couple times a week. Just because I live with three males and that's just gross!

Good for you for scrubbing yours though. I'm pretty sure my husband would have no clue on how to clean one if something ever happened to me. Not that he would even care if it got cleaned!!

TerriRainer said...

I am so jealous. My husband is ex-military...enough said!

I pick up every day, vacuume every other day, and have a wonderful teenage daughter who cleans the kitchen each night. However, the toilet in our bedroom (he uses the most) was cleaned by HIM, because I went on strike!

I HATE IT! I want to live in filth...I want to be messy messy messy....it's an illness! And don't even get me started on laundry!!!

Adult ADD makes it so hard to organize and finish a task...Lists are a lifesaver...I make detailed lists of everything I want/need to clean.

:) Terri

Natalie said...

as one of the visitors from a different country i must make a confession. i have a househelper. i say helper instead of cleaner because she has been known to do lots over the 5 years we have had her employed. she watched the kids while i was in endless language lessons. she cooks, she cleans, she even does laundry. she will pretty much do whatever i want her to do. she comes once a week and stays all day for about $45. i can't not afford her! she makes me happy. when we move back to america i am so screwed!

family affairs said...

Thanks for voting, I will do the same for you and I think we've got to keep this up until JUNE 2ND!!! Which is going to give me a heart attack! Good luck Lx

family affairs said...

PS You're so right up there with 32%!!! Nobody even comes close...

LiteralDan said...

Mama Dawg: Throw in a dessert and maybe a super-cheap househelper (see Natalie's comment below), and it's a deal!

Mary: I don't NEED one... I've EARNED one. Can I have yours, in case J- doesn't give me one? I'm sure you can get another.

Christy: Power to the people! We must stand (or sit, in our case) in solidarity!

DeeDee: That sounds about like us. Though the dust bunnies under the bed and such may soon develop nuclear capabilities. Our toilets aren't ridiculously bad, because we're a neat bunch (I'm sure that'll go out the window once D- gets bigger), but we (generally "I") frequently wipe the seat and such-- it's the full-on cleaning that requires a Congressional medal.

Tell your husband I said to stay strong, and to hang on to that ignorance! It's his most important ally in The Resistance.

TerriRainer: It must be awful to do it against your will/nature. Were you made to clean a lot as a kid? That's J-'s hurdle as an adult, lists or no. The question is, how much of your house is spit-shined? lol

Natalie: I want a househelper!! I can't even let J- read your comment-- it would just crush her with jealousy. I agree you are screwed whenever you get back. Enjoy it while you can!

family affairs: June 2nd?!? My god, I'm with you on that one. And thanks-- it would be fun if that lead continues, but I don't know that I could maintain such a high number until JUNE 2ND!! (seconding your capitalization on that one)

Andrea said...

I am insane. I actually like to clean. The part I don't like is where other follow behind me and make a mess!?!

I don't think you deserve a medal, but I do admire you for making the household effort. My DH does some household chores, but not as much as I would like. We have had a housecleaner in the past (two) and it was money well spent.

LiteralDan said...

I like things being clean more than I like to clean specifically myself. I definitely prefer maintaining a clean space than I like having to go spend hours at a time Cleaning. This is a pretty big disconnect between J- and I, and leaves us with a pretty messy house.

Apparently I need to go live overseas so I can hire a cheap housecleaner-- you're in Germany, right? (see Natalie's comment above, regarding Turkey)

Andrea said...

I have heard that in some countries like Turkey, Greece, Korea,etc. it is cheap to get a housekeeper. In the UK we had a lady who cleaned for the morning (bi-monthly) and I paid her about $25.00. In Abilene, TX we had a lady who cleaned most of the day (sheets, dust, mop, bathrooms, vac, etc) for $35.00. I guess it depends on where you live.

No house-cleaner here in Germany. The Euro is not on our side at the moment. This house is ginormous and it's hard to keep up with-if I let it go the dust bunnies attack. They lie waiting and drag the kids under the beds. Ugh.

LiteralDan said...

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't give up on the dream, and go price it out!