I divide the world into two groups. Those who wipe spills immediately and those who let them harden on the stove. Either you shrug at the pot boiling over or you cry out, obsess, remove the grate and unearth every last bit of gunk.
When a pot boils over something I gave no thought to before - pristine perfection - is now out of reach. Cleaning up the spill is my attempt at stalling the inevitable ruination of perfection. If this sounds overblown, think about the reasoning behind a “spotless” house which we are all exhorted to keep. At the root, it’s an attempt at forestalling deterioration (worse, it might be to forestall deterioration of reputation.)
Real Simple magazine devotes entire issues to help us avert cleaning remorse before it starts. If it’s not mentally healthy to keep a “spotless” house, which spots are considered okay to leave alone? Let’s say the kitchen is the room we most wish to be spotless because of the health advantage. To keep a kitchen spotless is to invite obsessive, compulsive behavior that will land us in a group home. Besides the obvious mess necessary to prepare food, there will always be something lurking behind the refrigerator or behind the stove.
There are two housekeeping maneuvers that cover my psyche with a cuddly blanket of “I’m so very okay.” 1. The look and promise of a freshly-made bed with clean sun-dried sheets and duvet. 2. A psychotically ordered linen closet where everything is folded to the same width and size the way they do the tees and jeans at the Gap.
And who was the scold that said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness?” No it wasn’t Martha Stewart. Some attribute it to Francis Bacon’s “Advancement of Learning” written in 1605 when there were no antibiotics and cleanliness gave people a shot at living past thirty. Today there is nothing next to godliness except maybe Amazon.
I thought I could extrapolate a deeper meaning out of this post but short of showcasing my slovenliness and digging into the reasons for it, I’m content to just make you feel better about the fossilized spills you may find here and there.
i just finished 100 open houses and didn't want it to end. you know how it is when you read something good, everything else falls short after that. so yeah, i googled you to find more and to figure out who this writer is behind the muy cool quirky voice driving the open house book.ReplyDelete
i totally agree about the psychic income you refer to in this blog's bio.
will be back for more. yep.
I just finished reading your comment and I didn't want it to end, you know how it is when you find someone who gets you the way you got me. Went to your website and was hogtied and held captive by the way you write and the things you write about. I, too, will return for more.Delete
Oh, thank God. I have a tendency to drop raw eggs behind the stove.ReplyDelete
Try to forget they are there, Diane. It might take a couple of days.ReplyDelete
i shrug at the pot boiling over and eventually d'd the man who thought i didn't care about anything because i chose humor over stress. the more we care, the more we laugh (an old irish saying i might have made up.)ReplyDelete
i haven't the linen closet (yet), but in my sock drawer all the smart-wool socks are paired.
This year, I'm going to 'make good use of August." I live in a resort village and don't visit the ocean nearly enough. You've inspired me with your title.Delete
I love good socks. Nothing feels better than a good pair of socks.
yep. even if you don't like the resortness, make good use of it. but the ocean (!) wow. am land-locked, am envious. when you find a good rock along the water, skip it and tell me how many times it skipped.ReplyDelete
The weather has been so mild here, I might visit the ocean soon and I will skip a rock and tell you how many times it skipped.Delete