Friday, May 05, 2006


I realize why cleaning seems like such a chore. I mean, of course it is, literally a chore that one must do. But it feels like a chhhhhooooore. I just cannot embrace the domestic goddess within. Why? I blame women's lib. See, the gals who picketed, burned their bras and entered the workforce in force were brought up to believe that they would, with certainty, be housewives. Certainly then there was a certain level of acceptance about the tasks that would have to be undertaken and so they might have even been able to find a level of peace about it.

But blast it if I cannot even find a way to get good with this damned endless job. And I think I have it figured out. See, we were brought up to believe (us Gen Xers and after) that we would be career women! We have a sense of entitlement that we would not be lowered to 'that'. Kind of the same way that, oh MEN feel about housecleaning. Now I happen to be super lucky because my S.O. loves to wash dishes. In fact, I think he finds it soothing, he's almost offended sometimes if I have washed them first. But that's a whole 'nother story.

We look down on cleaning. We looked down on it when our mother's did it. Isn't "women's work" a disparaging remark? How can one feel good about doing something that almost everyone looks down on and thinks of as menial, unskilled and uneducated labor? And because everyone looks down on it, no one appreciates it. Because we don't look at it as a valuable task it never lasts! I can clean the floor and two hours later it's a mess again. I mean, that alone makes me want to throw up hands and give up. But housecleaning is the battle that is never won. Who is it that said "Housecleaning will expand to the time alloted to it"?

So, what is the solution? Martha Stewart hasn't helped much. Gone, mostly, are the commercials with women cleaning. Now we have cartoon characters and slender actresses in chinos and well pressed blouses in complexion accenting colors cleaning without sweating. There are too many products but not enough validation. The only collective goal is to get it done with the least amount of work possible. Time was when the woman jumped for joy because her floor cleaner worked exceptionally well, now we have the woman jumping for joy because the MAID did it for her! This does nothing to help those of us come to grips with it that have to do it every day.


1 comment:

demondoll said...

I detest housework, but hate squalor. Once a week, every week, I get a bug and clean like a crazy. Then the house is tidy for 2/3 more days. Then all he11 breaks loose, and we look like trailer trash again.