Confessions of a churlish domestic



While browsing (an excellent site if you’re in the mood for feeling inadequate/dangerously adventurous in the cooking/baking department), I came across a recipe for french mussels in white wine sauce.  As I found myself contemplating the best place in town to purchase saffron, I was forced to give myself a swift reality-kick-in-the-pants.  I would not be making french mussels in white wine sauce for a number of reasons this evening.  Firstly, I drank all the dry white wine. Secondly, I don’t know whether saffron is a smokey spice, a luxurious textile, or an herbed liqueur. Lastly but not leastly, I am domestically challenged.  

I will begin with a disclaimer: this is not my mother’s fault.  Cindy Sue taught me to fold clothes so that the fold is always on the right. She taught me that a toothbrush is the trick to getting those last wiley pieces of grime out of the grout around the bottom of the toilet. Through my mother’s endeavors, I learned that ammonia and bleach are a deadly combination, and that I should never leave a tea towel on a hot burner, and that if I sisters and I are trying to make wax to wax our legs, under no circumstances should we use her good copper bottomed pot. 

However, the fact remains.  I start out each new home I move into armed with toothbrushes, mops, and window cleaner, and a Rosie the Riveter attitude.  Next thing I know, it’s 6 months later and I’ve taken to keeping a 60 watt bulb in the lamp in the bathroom on the pretense that it sets the mood for poopin, but really so one can’t see into the corners.  The following are some things I must get off my chest.  

On cleaning…
-the longer we live in a house, the more area rugs we seem to acquire to cover the wine stains.
-I dust my rock collection, but nothing else.
-I read that a house should be vacuumed once per week for each person that lives there. Apparently, minus 3 people live in our home

On laundry.
-it was over two weeks after we moved into our little bungalow before I realized the washer and dryer didn’t work.
-I “believe that washing jeans decreases their wearing life”.
-I can either wash and dry the laundry or fold it, but i refuse to do both.
-I often smell my clothes to determine wearability.
-I once wore long underwear (my first winter in Montana) for an entire week without taking them off once.

On the bathroom…
-soap scum? more like soap algae.
-The only domestic propaganda literature i read is Martha Stewart Living.  She sits on the back of my toilet, and the speed with which I
 peruse is directly related to how much cheese I have eaten that week..if you what I mean. 
-Sunday night is bath night, and I get so weary of cleaning the bath tub before my bath that I never rinse it out afterward, and Aaron  has more than once nearly killed himself in the almond-oil/bath salt slick that I leave in the bottom of the tub. Sorry, darlin. 

In the kitchen…
-the only time I let the dogs in the kitchen is when I slop/spill something on the floor and I call them into clean it up. 
-when my darlin’s not around, I sustain myself with egg-and-toast-sandwiches, condiments, yogurt, and my emotions.
-last time I collected dishes around the house, I found 14 empty cups with dried out tea bags stuck to them. 
-I blame the fact that the dishes are often dirty after I wash them on the fact that I wear glasses.
-We only own 5 sets of silverware to encourage the washing of them more often
-I can eat a block of cheese in one sitting, and often do, which limits my time with Martha Stewart. 
-I mix the ends of the various bottles of red and white wine in my wine rack to make Rosé
-I once left a piece of toast that got stuck in the toaster to burn out, since it was easier than removing it with a knife.  It nearly caught
 the toaster on fire. 
-My kitchen is literally a closet.  When we moved in, there were closet doors on the closet, but I removed them, for easier access.  
-The size of the kitchen encourages regular cleansing of dishes, pots. and pans, since if more than 3 dishes are dirty they take up the
 entire “room”.  

in the bedroom…(not as sultry as you’d think)
-I flip the sheets over instead of washing them every week. 
-Sheets are a constant source of stress to me..they can’t be too light because Aaron’s sweaty manliness stains them, they can’t be  too dark because you can see the dog hair too easily, which means more frequent washing.
-I have a bedskirt on the bed just to hide what’s under there (which is an awning for our old camper that I just can’t let go of and
-There are some severe water damage stains on the ceiling.  Instead of painting over them or fixing them, I turned our bedroom into a sheik’s paradise, and draped tapestry over the ceiling.  File under: I’ll deal with it when we move out.  

On decorating,,,
-I have made so many curtains over the years, with varying degree of skill, that there is not one matching set in the house, and we have at least 15 windows. 
-I have dried every bouquet of flowers Aaron has ever given me, which is two.  This means he doesn’t have to buy me any more. ever.
-I have a naked woman hanging on the wall in my kitchen, and I have to hide her when my landlord comes over, because she is so offended by it.
-I arrange my bookshelves in aesthetically pleasing ways (not too many red books together, for example).  

On being clean..
-I’m actually a relatively clean person, I even regularly borrow Old Spice deodorant, since it’s the only thing I don’t sweat through at work.  And the scent of it really compliments the hashbrowns..

So, every night I pop a few Valerian root capsules, climb between my recently-flipped sheets (I say it’s because I’m saving the world by not using water to wash them, but we all know what’s really going on), and dream that my whole house is clean.