next to godliness

The best way to clean is wearing monkey pajamas, your laptop
blasting your iTunes on the kitchen counter, your insatiably curious and
slightly stupid fat cat appearing in unexpected places, looking startled, and
disappearing in a flash of plork and panic. To make it even better, you want to
be cleaning the place that finally
fucking belongs to you
. Bonus: a cup of Earl Grey, because you are just so
fancy like that.

I’ve been cleaning all morning. We took a group road trip to
Target the other night, and I loaded up with cleaning supplies, because I
figured it’s good to have supplies, for the cleaning and all that. Also, it is
good to clean the house into which you are moving, because what kind of germs
have the previous tenants left behind? You don’t know! You must be careful!
Eternal vigilance! Especially when the previous tenant was your crazy,
unreliable, cock-eyed landlord who might have gotten schizophrenia all over
everything.

Last night, I finally got to sleep in my own apartment; this
morning, I was bouncing up at ridiculous o’clock, excited to be home and ready
to turn this mother out. Everything I own was crammed into the living room, and
it was time to wipe down and set up.

I started at around 9:30,
and at around 2:00, I had to quit for the day. And what I accomplished was only two thirds of the kitchen. A fraction! Not even a whole! Of a single room! After
four hours of work! It has not been so much swiping a disinfectant cloth over
every surface and calling it a job well done, oh no; this kitchen has not been
cleaned since the Eisenhower administration. This kitchen was coated in grease,
covered with grime, and I don’t even want to talk about the splatters on the
wall.

A bucket, a little scrubby brush and a mess of hot, Pine-Sol-filled water. I worked my way around the perimeter of the room on a chair,
scrubbing the walls, then came back around my knees to scrub the cabinets and
the inside of the cabinets and the nooks and then the crannies. Then I went
back around and wiped everything down, and then I went into the other room and
cried a little bit, because there’s a reason I used to, in a very
liberal-guilty fashion, pay a cleaning service to do this for me. I am not good
at it! I do not have the upper body strength, the stamina, the attention to detail
required to be a competent cleaning person. I am slap-dash, bore easily, and
dislike dirt. You know, like just about every other person on earth when it
comes to housecleaning.

What I do like to do is complain, however. My shoulders
hurt! My knees are wet! Things are hard and this apartment is really
remarkably filthy and it’s gross! But it’s also mine. I spent the rest of the
afternoon rough sorting my boxes, dragging things into the rooms they belong
(everything except the giant armoire, which I will need a big strong wrestler or
clever physicist with a complicated series of pulleys and levers to drag into
the bedroom for me). Now everything is both filthy and ridiculously messy, but
one step closer to being sorted, cleaned, organized, put away, and even though
parts of my thighs that I didn’t know I actually had are aching and my hands
are all pruney, I am ridiculously happy.

  6 comments for “next to godliness

  1. anon
    January 24, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I hate cleaning with a white hot passion but there is something incredibly cool about taking this place and scrubbing it down and wiping it clean and setting it up and making it YOURS. I am glad you’re so happy. You deserve it!

  2. Mom
    January 24, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Ah, do I remember when I tried so hard to have you just clean your room? Times have changed. There is a smile, even a giggle, even a hardy laughter on my face. Cleanliness is definitely next to Godliness and it is also next to not getting any germs, infections, etc. even though I dislike doing it as much as the next person.

  3. sasha
    January 24, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    this post finally motivated me to pick up the phone and call a cleaning person. thank you.

  4. January 24, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I love the smell of Pine Sol. It’s good for the soul.

  5. January 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    It smells like victory! And fake trees.

    Also, “might have gotten schizophrenia all over everything” hahahaha! You may be achey and pruney, but you are also teh funniest.

  6. sally
    January 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

    no, Sasha is the funniest!!! LOL

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