"Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?" . . . Phyllis Diller

And having endured all manner of physical trials in the past 6 weeks or so, I have to ask myself that question quite seriously...

But when I came upstairs the other day and my husband had not only cleaned the bathrooms but dusted EVERYTHING, I had to wonder why. 

"Was it that bad?" I asked, trying my best combination
of sheepish/coquettish/completely innocent.

He just gave me a look. 
The look said a lot, including:
"I have not been able to actually 
see the television in several weeks."

So yesterday I took a good look around, and it wasn't pretty.  I mean, it STILL wasn't pretty, despite his well-intentioned good works.  

It's amazing what you don't see when you don't care to.

"When it comes to housework 
the one thing no book of 
household management 
can ever tell you is how to begin. 
Or maybe I mean why.

--Katharine Whitehorn

I decided the floors were most worthy of my immediate efforts, but in doing the preparatory work for that herculean job, I noticed this:

I felt bad. Now, I really need a haircut myself, so it's not as if I've been lolling around a salon while the rest of the family is forced to walk around holding their bangs up out of their eyes, but REALLY.

I went through a topiary phase that lasted most of the 90's -- this is the sole relic of those years.  For one thing, ivy doesn't grow well in Minnesota -- our houses are too dry.  But this one refuses to die.  It started life as a 4" houseplant from Target, when Hannah was in elementary school.  It lived on the lanai in Florida, which is probably where all houseplants should begin life, because it has been happy ever since.  When we moved from Florida, we had to drive the van up just so we could bring it with us.  It rode in the back next to our cocker spaniel, who, incidentally, was so scared he stood up for the entire drive.  (The ivy wasn't nervous in the least.  Even when the two of them rode out a tornado in Tennessee while we sought shelter in an Outback Steakhouse and calmed our nerves with cheese fries.  But I digress.)

"I hate housework!  
You make the beds, you do the dishes, 
and six months later, 
you have to start all over again."  

--Joan Rivers

Exactly.  And this darn ivy just keeps growing.  We've put it outside for the summer and hoped the sprinklers reached it.  We've put it in the basement for the winter and pretty much forgotten to water it for 6 months.  We've potted and re-potted.  This last time, we vowed that the next time it outgrows the pot, it is just going to be too bad.  It is in its final resting place.  But I suppose I should reward its spunk and loyalty with a little more dignity in its old age.

30 minutes and a full garbage bag later, we both felt much better about ourselves. 

Two+ hours and the dirtiest mop water I've ever personally been exposed to later,  the kitchen looked quite improved as well. 

"Housework is work directly opposed 
to the possibility of 
human self-actualization."  

--Anne Oakley

So I'm not sure whether this last bit is true or not.  It's difficult to feel terribly self-actualized when you can't find whatever you need to get that way under the layers of dust and/or clutter and/or grime.

Right now I think  I'm going to go drop my sandwich on the kitchen floor, and then eat it anyway.  Because I can, and there's a fair amount of satisfaction in that.  It doesn't happen often.  

But I'd better hurry... 24 hour rule...

Happy Weekend! 



Allie said...

ROFL - thank you for writing this post - you say it so well, much better than I ever could! Those quotes are fabulous!!

You know, if you don't dust for a year, the dust never gets deeper - the top layer compresses the bottom layers, and it looks like the same amount. Just sayin'.

Leenie said...

What GREAT quotes! It's good to know you're feeling well enough to run out of excuses to do household maintenance. Hooray for the super clean floor and the 24 hour rule. I also think it's good for the rest of the family to pamper you and pick up the slack when you're down.

My guys were real troopers and helped out LOTS when I was out of commission for six weeks---which frustrated the compassionate service ladies.

Leenie said...

LOL about dust compressing itself over the years. I wonder when it reaches critical mass?

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