My version of clean
This picture always makes me feel depressed. When I think about my ideal situation in life of how I’d like to live and things I’d like to see, it’s the epitome of happiness and freshness, that just plain clean feeling.
The photo was taken during the few precious days I was able to spend in the Denali area of Alaska. Every morning, I would wake up to this exact site.
One day, I looked around my home in good old Indiana and became irrationally angry.
I saw all the stupid wooden baskets strategically placed in different rooms of the house in an attempt to corral; nail clippers, pocket knives and miniature flashlights, things I will most likely never use because I don’t know which basket they’re in.
I looked at the dusty bookcases in the dining room and thought, someone needs to clean those.
The inevitable pit in my stomach was tugging on my bowels, telling me I had better start cleaning something before I get too comfortable on my day off and actually enjoy myself.
I went to the kitchen, opened a cabinet and found a rag, stuffed inside a mixing bowl, because, yeah, that’s where my rags go and by rags, I mean kitchen/gym towels.
I walked back into the dining room and stood in front of the four-tiered bookcase, the bright yellow polish can at the ready, it’s tiny sprayer already foaming at the mouth.
I stared at all the other crap lining the shelves besides books and squinted.
A blue and white shiny glass dolphin statue stood out against the books.
Now, I digress, but it is a well-known fact around my family that dolphins and orcas make me cry when I see them in person, which thankfully, isn’t very often. It’s embarrassing as a 30 year-old woman to sit in the stands at SeaWorld. I usually start off okay, just happy to be witnessing such creatures. Then they start doing the show and I completely lose my shit, my face crumples, my hands start clapping, eyes well up and I’m a mess. I’m telling you, the music they play during the performance doesn’t make matters any better. It’s so GD’d American and inspirational, I can’t help sobbing, while the dolphins twirl in the air.
(side note, calm down people, I’ve seen Blackfish and no longer support SeaWorld’s practices…and I suggest you do the same to see why you shouldn’t either)
I kept the dolphin mostly because it reminds me of the look on mom’s face whenever I open gifts from her. I don’t particularly collect the things or anything.
Also on the bookshelf, were a hat, (which I have never worn) some Mickey Mouse ears from Disneyland, as well as blank cds and an array of other knickknacks.
I froze there for another minute, dropped my hand with the polish in it, turned on my heel and walked back into the kitchen to put my dusting supplies away.
I wasn’t prepared to clean half-assed.
I know you’ve been there, you just swipe around the things, fully aware of the film covering the crannies in the back and over and under things that you didn’t quite reach.
If I wasn’t willing to take everything off the shelves to get down and dirty, I wasn’t going to clean at all. This theory applies to every room and thing in my possession. I hate clutter, but when it comes to deep cleanliness, I’m kind of gross.
I don’t mop every week, and a lot of my cleanup consists of pointing things out for the dog to eat so I don’t have to bend over, including gum wrappers.
Did you know there are supposedly real life people, who take everything out of the refrigerator, and I shit you not, they use soap and water to clean the inside of it. At least, that’s what the writers from most magazines want you to believe.
Supposedly, you have to take everything out, spray every inch down with a mixture of……I dunno’, um baby tears and lemon juice . You then let the cleaner do its job, while you wipe down the crisper drawers and jars of 5 year-old olives and vegan mayonnaise.
Next, you wipe every surface of the fridge down and then put everything back in, in an organized manner.
Easy, only takes a few minutes, the magazine writers say. I mean they are experts on how to do things simply in the home.
I’m pretty sure that’s the antitheses of simple. I myself, choose to “simply”, NOT clean it mostly, unless something explodes or whatnot, but even then, the chance of it getting wiped down is iffy.
This same magazine advised women to NOT sweat the small stuff. For instance, when my crystal stem wear has spots on it, I shouldn’t worry.
Really, Living Simple magazine… crystal stemware? Who the fuck has crystal stem wear under the age of 70?
My glassware comes from Walmart, or Kohl’s if I’m feeling frisky. I do have a particular pint glass I’m pretty fond of that I “acquired” from a bar during college.
I see it on TV, movies and in magazines all the time; women trying to look like Julia Roberts on the red carpet, while working an oven in the kitchen like Julia Childs. And it all makes me feel like a dirt bag because I don’t own any skirt suits for my nonexistent businesswoman job.
Right then, after I put my rag away, I decided I was done with taking advice from people who worked in skyscrapers and had maids clean the blood off their walls and toilets. These writers and editors live in some delusional magical land called New York, or wherever else that smut is published.
These people don’t offer advice for the real world.
They’re the same people that tell you to add grated truffles to recipes they swear are easy… what the shit is a truffle anyways, I always thought it was a special chocolate, but I have also been led to believe it’s a fungus of some sort.
Now, instead of learning how to get wine stains out of my carpet, here’s a few things these so-called “life” magazines need to cover instead of that perfect brunch setup.
Is it safe to keep my period panties with the rest of my underwear?
How do I clean dog eyeboogers off my painted cream walls?
If I wash a glass with the same sponge I use to clean the toilet seat, will rinsing the glass with mouthwash negate the grossness of that situation
How many days can I realistically go, wearing the same pair of socks, without getting a foot fungus?
How does one look graceful while picking up their dog’s shit on walks…also, how do I get him to refrain from doing it on thee busiest street in my neighborhood where everyone can drive by and watch me with a baggie on my hand, barely able to pick up the horse sized load in only one hand?
If I leave a pork tenderloin out to thaw, but forget to put it back in the fridge before bed, and when I wake up, it’s kind of sort of warm…can I just cook it anyways and hope for the best as long as the smell doesn’t make me gag?
Should I worry about the dog’s dingleberries getting on the leather couch, and if said berries do get on it, are Lysol wipes adequate enough to wipe it off?
I could go on for a while with these questions, but I think I’ve made my point.
I’ve always known I was falling completely short when it came to society’s views on how my home should look…but now, I also genuinely feel like I’m falling short of what me, myself and I truly think a home should look like…but more so, how it feels to me.
I don’t want a pristine house anymore, I just want one I can’t wait to get home to, not to clean, but to laugh in, to cry in, to love in, to LIVE in.
So it’s got to be more than just going through the closet. Size 2 pants I will never be able to wear again have no place in my life, along with every other thing that doesn’t serve a purpose in making me smile.
Marie Kondo, a professional organizer, I guess you could call her states in her book, which I mentioned in a previous post, one of the ways to decide on how to get rid of something, is if, when you hold it in your hands, it causes a spark in your heart.
Now, I’ve got a long ways to go, but I can rest easy knowing that, for now, the dolphin is going to stay.