Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keeping House

"Beneath her portrayal of domesticity as a satisfying and enjoyable pastime is what one Amazon.com reader calls 'a relentless paean to obsessive practices.' Menelson wants us to sanitize our sponges and disinfect our dish towels after every use, change the kitty litter ever other day, put on fresh pillowcases twice a week, vacuum our mattress pads wheneer we change the sheets and unplug and wash the refrigerator once a week! Taken seriously, this is domesticity as paranoia-oh, no, a germ! Takes in small doses, it's housekeeping as a hobby for busy professionals, like gourmet cooking, or (more likely) a fantasy: one more self-improvement project that lasts a week and makes you feel guility forever... Put Eve Engesser's story [almost lost her sons for a missed workfare appointment] story togher with Cheryl Mendelson, and what you have is domesticity and motherhood as class priviledges. For poor women, take a "job" or lose your shelter and your kids. For the well-off, running the house becomes a holy task, than which nothing of which the human spirit is capable could possibly be more important."Katha Pollitt

You know, I like a clean house as much as the next person. I'm usually also willing to work to get it that way. However, I am always intensely annoyed by the need to clean up messes created by others, especially if they aren't guests. I have, at times, actually cleaned my fridge out weekly - giving it a wiping down while figuring out what my grocery list should entail just seemed smart. I usually clean once a week - though I may dust or mop my floor a bit less often. I've been known to let the bathroom go for a bit and I have to admit that my dishes aren't always washed within 24 hours.

Cleaning seems much more satisfying when I'm doing it all for myself than I ever recall it being when I lived with roommates or my ex.

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