It's no secret I'm not much of a housekeeper. In fact, as one person living here once observed, the more I'm at home, the less I get done. For example, (s/he said), when I worked at Kohl's or in the schools, I had a tighter schedule and forced myself to get things done in the limited free time I had. The unnamed espouser of that bit of wisdom did penance on the couch for his/her comments - please don't state the obvious to someone who has just cleaned "your" toilet.
So no, I'm not someone who automatically thinks: "What can I clean today?" when met with a few minutes or hours to spare. And I've always felt a little guilty about how my standards have slipped in recent years. But waking up after a mere two days with a stomach bug, I realize that I am far and away the top-dog, blue-ribbon, gold-medal, first-place house cleaner in my family.
I'm not suggesting that my working husband and schoolkids should keep up with the laundry or clean the bathrooms in 2 short days. That's a bit much to ask. But,as any housewife can tell you, 2 days of neglected laundry takes 6 days to catch up - simple household math. And I got a up-close-and-personal look at the toilets, so I know at least one would have passed inspection before "the illness."
But the kitchen, the heart of the home, a relatively small area where the family spends lots of time in the morning and evening - wouldn't that be easy to take care of? After two mornings of frozen waffles and two nights of leftovers and canned goods, the kitchen should be pretty tidy, right? No such luck. It looks like Emeril was in here throwing around ingredients and going "bam" with shredded cheese and bacon bits (added to all foods served in the Arnett house.) There seems to be a tacit understanding that, if you just use something to swipe visible stuff off the counter, you have just "cleaned the kitchen." It matters not if that something was a dry sponge or a slightly used dinner napkin; if it got the stuff to the floor where the dogs can deal with it, the kitchen is officially clean.
And the floor, my nemesis, the floor. Sample findings in a 6' x 6' area in my breakfast room: black dog hair, white dog hair, long brown hair, short grey hair, cooked rice, kibbles, bits, grass clippings, beads, a Smartie, leaves (whole and shredded), dryer lint glob, penny, fern frond, 0.7mm pencil lead, various crumbs, a felt chair slider and carpet fuzz. Appetizing, no? Who wants to come eat at my house?
I won't even mention half-empty cups on side tables, granola paper at the computer, shoes under the recliner, unfed fish. Oops, I just did.
Not that it was much better 3 days ago, but since I sweep or Swiffer most days, at least the filth was the invisible kind. So I am doing today what I do most days when there's work to be done - I'm complaining about it via computer. After all, I've been sick. I shouldn't overdo it my first day standing.
If my family reads this blog, they may feel compelled to point out a few slight exaggerations on my part. In fact, probably the only thing that would ever make them comment on one of my blogs would be to refute this tirade and list my own crummy, long-term messes. In fairness, they took care of themselves and left me to moan and hallucinate in peace. Eric did all the taxi duty so the girls didn't have to miss meetings or lessons. And no one who knows us would see much difference around here - unless they stand just so and look at the greasy streaks on the granite - but who would do that? There's one presentable room downstairs for drop-in company, so I guess that's something to cling to.
For now, I have to attend to my unwashed self. Because once I've showered, I won't want to sully my cleanliness with housework - perhaps just errands and lunch. I feel the need to reward myself for being the best housecleaner in this family, even when I'm sick.