Today I did some housework. You did what?!!! Yes, housework. Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be gobsmacked by the assertion. As indeed I am myself.
Of course, when I say “housework”, I don’t mean all of it. Just some of it. To be more exact, the bathroom. When I say “bathroom”, I don’t mean all of it. Just some of it. But even that is amazing enough. The results were quite impressive. Then again, I am easily impressed, especially by my own products. But no, really, it did make a difference. And I honestly intend to do the rest of it soon.
What on earth induced me to engage in this unaccustomed enterprise? Perhaps it was one of those mad fits that sometimes take possession of me or the feeling of spring in the air. Not that this can be described as Spring Cleaning. Spring comes around each year, after all. No, it was more your Decade Cleaning or First Time in History Cleaning.
I am awaiting Tigger’s reaction with interest. Tigger tends to be low-key about such things. “Have you done something to the worktop?” she casually asked the other day, after I had spent weeks scrubbing it and getting rid of stains, tackling a small patch each day after doing the washing-up. “Er, yes,” I stammered. “Looks good,” said Tigger.
Not that I expect the same level of enthusiasm where the bathroom is concerned. For one thing, I threw a lot of stuff away. I chose the candidates on the basis that they were 1. empty, 2. past their use-by date or 3. useless. The problem here is that one person’s useless article might be someone else’s priceless keepsake. Uh-oh, I’m beginning to have regrets already…
On a more general or philosophical level I find myself wondering about this cleaning and tidying lark. Is it really necessary or is it, as I suspect, merely a bourgeois conceit, a relic of the days when people had servants to carry the coals and dust the knick-knacks?
I am brought to this meditation by the sad but undeniable fact that housework, once done, does not stay done. If you like a clean and tidy home then, barely have you achieved this goal than it is necessary to do it all over again. It’s all so self-defeating.
It seems to me that the reason why we dust, hoover and polish our homes is because we feel guilty if we don’t. That suggests to me that cleaning is a conditioned reflex, something dinned into us from early childhood as a duty and responsibility, a moral burden placed upon the shoulders of all good citizens, rather than something we do for the pleasure of the action or its results: “Clean thy mantelpiece lest thy mother-in-law write her initials in the dust thereon.”
In that case, all democrats and right-thinking people should surely regard it as optional, something you do or don’t do, as the mood strikes you. And I must say, the mood doesn’t often strike either of us. Except today, apparently.
Actually, I quite like the bathroom as it now is though it will not remain in that condition for long, will it?
Note added later
Tigger liked the (partially) cleaned and tidied bathroom. Luckily, eh?