I am now convinced that time works against me whenever
I have anything pressing that needs to be done.
If the laundry needs to be done, I can be sure to find
five more loads on top of the six I had already
planned on doing.
If I vacuum, I can be sure that kids will walk through
the house with dirt caked on their sneakers. If I
dust, the cats will shed even more. If I mop the
floor, somebody will spill juice. If I clean the
bathroom, within twenty minutes it will look as if a
hurricane blew through there, leaving towels in piles
on the floor, water pooled on the counter and a mirror
splattered with droplets. You don’t even want to know
what condition the toilet is in.
Phyllis Diller said, “Cleaning your house while your
kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk
before it stops snowing.” Boy was she ever on the
So my strategy is to do nothing until thirty minutes
before my husband arrives home. Then I delegate.
Children run everywhere working feverishly as if a
bomb is about to explode. This allows me to 1) teach
the children the importance of being the eldest and in
charge and 2) comb my hair and freshen up to look
bright and beautiful for my husband.
Yeah, right. Half the time I look like I just
survived World War II. Dinner is smoking on the
stove, cats are following me around singing the supper
song, at least two kids are moaning pitifully from
their rooms because they failed to clean their
assigned corner of the house and the other three are
sucking up to me for dessert.
The husband comes home and gingerly steps over the
chaos. He only has two real needs that need to be
fulfilled that can be printed in a g-rated column and
that is a hot supper and clean underwear.
This is why I think women can use a chill pill when it
comes to domestic duty. We are the only ones that
care whether or not there are dust bunnies behind the
refrigerator or film on the blinds or lint on the back
of the sofa. We’re the ones that invented spring and
fall cleaning. We don’t need to harass ourselves with
these things. And our husbands would probably enjoy
not having a psychotic woman with a feather duster and
a Hoover running feverishly from room to room.
Especially on Saturdays.
Guys want the weekend off. Women do, too. We just
don’t give ourselves permission. In the back of our
mind we hear our mother, the frazzled career woman or
harried housewife of the former generation.
Is it genetic or learned? The state of your house
depends on your answer. Today my house is a wreck and
I am decidedly ignorant.