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Jul 11 2007

Doorknobs and broomsticks

I used to really keep a clean house. My college roommates loved me for it; I would actually scrub the floor. Hated to have my feet stick to it. Even in grad school, while Tom worked, I’d take study breaks and clean. After A was born, I’d get up early once a week and do a quick run through the condo, getting the place clean before all hell broke loose. My downstairs neighbors especially loved the sweeper running at 6:30 in the morning; I saved that until later after they complained.

My standards have lowered. I’ve given up. As long as the health department isn’t knocking at the door, it’s clean enough for now. I draw the line at dirty bathrooms; I decreed long ago that I’m not the one who has poor aim, therefore I’m not the one cleaning the bathrooms. Tom and the boys clean those. But there is dust on the tables, the kitchen floor is on a as-needed basis, and I’d rather flash the construction guys behind the house before I vacuum.

I think things must change.

I have found a sensation that is better than 1000 thread count sheets. Sweeter to the skin than silk undies. Does more for my psyche than a spa pedicure.

A clean doorknob.

A doorknob free of peanut butter mortar. Free of honey stickiness. Lacking “oh please be chocolate and only chocolate” smears. I touch a smooth, clean doorknob and I get a visceral thrill.

I sense that this isn’t right, that most people don’t live this way. I mean, a clean doorknob? If we have people coming over, I do run through the house with the Lysol wipes, but for the most part I don’t bother. It’s just going to get dirty again.

Yes, I’m familiar with FlyLady. Followed her for years, ’til I realized that my house was cleaner but my nerves were shot. Somewhere between cleaning at 6 am and “WTF is that on the doorknob?” there must be a happy medium.

How do you all keep the dirty house police at bay? Those who know me IRL think my house is clean and fairly orderly, but I know better. I keep the house “15 minutes to visitors” clean, but that’s about it. So, what’s the trick? I’m sure there must be one. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a doorknob to go fondle.

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