i wanna wife

world's cleanest, well used vacuum

Back in school one day we read excerpts from an essay entitled “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Syfers, which first appeared in the 1971 premier issue of Ms. Magazine.  As I was cleaning the house today I kept thinking about that essay.  Not because I think women should be the primary caretakers of the house {I first read the piece in the early 80s when ‘political correctness’ was nary a common thought} but because I realized, yet again, that I should not be cleaning my own house, or any other house for that matter.  I don’t dislike it, and I’m not bad at it – 98% of the time.  But it does border craziness and it literally takes me all day to do it. Why?  Well, let me tell you.

Perfectionist is not quite the word that comes to mind if I were to describe my housekeeping regimen.  Compulsive? Yes. Obsessive? Yes. Detailed? Oh, you wouldn’t even begin to understand.   I do the usuals: vacuuming, dusting {actually dusting + polishing}, mirrors, etc.  But then, I do the ‘others’.  Not just the toilet bowl and tank, the bottom, the stem, the back.  Cabinet fronts, the baseboards, the sills, the drapes, the blinds, the room doors + hinges, the can lights.  I clean the floor the old fashioned way – on hands and knees with a rag.  But then I do the obsessive.  I run a 2″ brush along the baseboards to pick up all the dog hair.  I wash the washing machine. Vacuum the vacuum {see!  but I’m pretty sure I have the cleanest 11 year old vacuum on the planet}. And I have been known to use Qtips and the vacuum to clean my stove top.  It’s a little insane. Okay, maybe it’s beyond ‘a little’.   Goldfarb would call it ‘certifiable’.

For the life of me, can’t think of why I ever told my mom when I was little I wanted to be a housekeeper when I grew up.  It is way, WAY too much work.  And that 2% of the time when I’m bad at it? Well, I’m pretty bad.  For instance, today I spilled water on the carpet. A lot.  Soaked most of it up but then decided to try and dry it faster with the blowdryer. Bad, bad idea.  Melted said carpet.  A few months ago, in an attempt to clean some sticky spots on the fridge, grabbed the wrong sponge in haste and…well, let’s just say I left my mark.  My swirl mark, to be precise.  So really, don’t you think I need a wife? If for no other reason than to save me from myself.  I’d tell you about my favorite cleaning products, there are a specific handful, but that will have to wait until later.  Right nowI have dryer vents to vacuum.

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