My head

Housework. I hate the word.

September 17, 2012

Today I’m going to share a very tragic story with you guys.

It’s a story about loss, and heartbreak. A tale of longing and hours pined away wishing to see someone again…. If only for one last scrub down and polish.

I have a dear friend who’s idea of a good time is spring cleaning her house. Messed up, huh?
Apparently, there are many people like this out in the world but I – me, moi – am not one of them.

I am not a natural born housekeeper, and it was only after flatting with this person, who shall remain nameless but whose name may rhyme with Schmichelle, for a number of years in my early 20’s that I was truly housebroken in the custodial arts. A year with her and I was down with regular sheet changing, shower scrubbing and her favorite mantra –

“If you have time to cook in the kitchen, you have time to clean it”

Which was approximately the polar opposite of my mantra at the time which was –

“If I ignore it long enough, someone else might clean it for me” – ie: Shcmichelle.

Ultimately, I’d say that living with her has made me the housekeeper I am today, but I am by no means known as a fastidious scrubber (except in some circles but that is for a different reason). The thing is, I do love a clean, tidy, sparkling house. A house that not only doesn’t have piles of tumbling papers, and toys, made solely of sharp corners, strewn around the floor just waiting to pounce under your unsuspecting foot in the night, but also a house that doesn’t have not-so-secret grime built up in the corners, and dust on the tops of the picture frames and crumbs, oh, the endless crummy crumbs, everywhere.
It’s quite the dilemma. It would seem that when I do spend a couple of hours rectifying the carnage, it is merely a matter of minutes before it explodes back to its former apocalyptic state.

When Mister H and I first got together, he had cleaners. He loves a clean house but is a rather messy man, just quietly. I am not being disloyal by giving this fact away, it is simply the way it is. I try, and try, to change his spots, but alas, a leopard my man remains.

Anyway, I digress. I really loved the cleaners.

Simon and Jenny were lovely people who were always very smiley and happy and we had very rudimentary chats, invariably involving charades, as they’re English wasn’t that crash hot, and my Mandarin is worse. I’d bake for them at Christmas, or give them a jar of jam when I’d made a batch.
We were buddies in my eyes.

At this juncture, I feel it is very important for me to add the fact that, although lovely, they were actually fairly shitty cleaners. They would just dust the fronts of things, leaving the backs to gather enough dust that you could knit a sweater for a small dog (as long as he didn’t have asthma), and cleaning Mister H’s bookshelf just seemed to elude them. Perhaps they had some form of Bachelor Bookshelf Blindness, and the more imposing and unattractive a piece of bachelor furniture it was, they couldn’t see it?

Then, one day it happened.

They asked for a pay rise.Β I was all for it.

Ten bucks more? Yeah, guys, sure thing, but would you mind,Β please, taking extra care with the dusting, particularly around the bookshelf?

(insert chirping crickets here)

Nada for two whole days and then this….

We don’t want to come anymore. Your keys are in the letterbox.

Just like that, we were dumped.
It was over.

Wendy Harmer recently said if you can’t clean your own house it’s too big for you, or some such blasphemy.
Is she on drugs?

I’ve spent the last two years pining for those guys. I didn’t realise how much I loved them until they were gone.
I’ve exhausted the last two days scrubbing the house as it was getting completely a little festy in the corners, and let me tell you, when I was on my hands and knees scrubbing that shower with Mister H’s toothbrush, I really pined for them and the smell of bleach and Pine-o-Clean that trailed in their wake.

If only I’d been less fussy about cleanliness – more like I am now, really – then perhaps all of this longing and heartache could have been avoided.

I vow to you all, my friends, one day I shall have a cleaner again. Mark my words….One. Sweet. Day.

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  • Reply Fabulous Mommy September 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

    We have a cleaner once a week. She is bloody useless! But as long as I never have to do ironing I’m happy.

    She always puts things in different places, as often as I’ve told her to please put things back where she found them I still find my bedroom mats in the lounge or the bathroom dustbin on the bar.

    But hey as long as I not have to do the fecking ironing I don’t mind living in a revolving carnival of household objects.

  • Reply empressnasigoreng September 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I am so with you on this. The main thing stopping me getting another cleaner is embarrassment at the state the house has descended into – a lot to do with my very messy husband too. We now have what someone with a domestic superiority complex described as CHAOS – Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

  • Reply Rebecca Thompson September 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

    OMG, I could not live without my cleaners. You must seek out some other cleaners pronto!
    The other thing is the robotic vacuum cleaner – it happily goes around my picking up the crap off my floor whilst I sit here writing comments to you πŸ™‚

  • Reply mrsdsmaunderings September 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I have a whole team of cleaners – Mr D & the ferals – plus they are free of charge πŸ˜‰
    I’d be your scrubber if I lived closer – I like jam.

  • Reply Gary Lum September 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Good to know you’re a fastidious scrubber πŸ™‚

  • Reply Fiona September 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Housework can be a drag…though can be OK with the Best Hits of the 80’s, 90’s & Now blasting loud haha… (or perhaps Lior??) I had cleaners for a few years but found the Clean Up Before The Cleaners Arrive syndrome almost worse than the housework. And now Master 10 & Miss 9 are well trained (Master 4 still a bit to go). “You know Amy doesn’t come to clean anymore? Well that means we can spend that money on movies, sushi or other fun things…but it also means you have to clean the bathrooms…off you go…one each!” Life skills πŸ™‚

  • Reply Bec September 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I also lived with Shcmichelle for three years. Don’t despair. No ones house cleaning skills will ever match hers. With new twins her house still out shines mine….and I don’t even have kids.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Oh god, I wasn’t cryptic enough in my protecting of the innocent!!
      She’s amazing, isn’t she. I’m so proud of her for what a fabulous job she’s doing!

      • Reply Michelle Mulcahy September 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        Yessss, poke fun at me if you want, but today I sit here on my couch feeling somewhat relaxed and extremely happy with the fact that my house is sparkling again thanks to my wonderful mother inlaw who entertained my 2 little ones while I spent a week scrubbing and cleaning everything with in an inch of its life! You know what they say cleanliness is close to godliness . I no longer walk into a room thinking, yikes! there’s so much dust on that or under there I could write ‘MM was here 2012’ and you’d see it from across the room. I’ve even gone so far as to book her in again in a few months time so I can do it all over again! My husband thinks I have a problem but that’s ok, a clean house helps me function better day to day. ( you can really make it quite theroputic you know ) Now I have more free time to do other things as well. Look out Mrs CH I’ll be over your house next week with a white glove…….

  • Reply Nina September 18, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I hear you… I love me a clean house but can’t stand cleaning. It’s like, what’s the point; it’ll get dirty again in one day! But sometimes it just bothers me so much that I will bust out the cleaners, which is sad that it has to get to that point! Thankfully I don’t have a lot of clutter and I try to do the nightly wipe-down in the kitchen so that grease isn’t stuck on anything. But yeah, me and cleaning don’t mix all too well.

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