I have a tiny mop-wielding monkey on my back.
This morning, with grad school starting next week, and having no appointments, I decided to give my back a rest and not do any chores.
I didn't make it past my shower. First, I tidied all the towels that were hanging in the bathroom. And of course, I squeegee the shower walls and glass every day. Hard water spots are deadly here in San Antonio. Not too bad. Just a taste. Then, I made my bed. Well, that's just polite. My husband has to get into that bed tonight and the covers will be all straight. But then, I fluffed and placed the decorative pillows. I know. Decorative pillows are a gateway chore. You straighten up those pillows and give them the nice HGTV touch and pretty soon, you are wiping down the mirrors in the bathroom. God help me.
I'm a clean freak. It's true. I've been called the local Martha Stewart, and not in a good way.
After the pillow situation, I decided to get dressed and just keep my hands busy. Problem there. This house is known far and wide as the place that young missionaries with tracts and quotas can always find the lady home, so I can't just put on a pair of fresh pajamas. Of course that also means a bra. (Have you seen me? Seriously, me without a bra could cause an embarrassing situation amongst the white-shirt-wearing priesthood holders on my porch.) So, I put on a pair of jean shorts and a sleeveless top, with matching jewelry. I'm not a hobo! Then, I put the jammies from last night into the hamper. That's the last thing I remember before I found myself in the laundry room, Stain Sticking a pair of shorts with one hand while rubbing a little Vivid into a shirt with the other. I stared down at my sticky fingers and knew I needed help.
I admit I am powerless over the idea that if I have mildew on the inside of my overflow drain in one bathroom sink then some child will die of cholera in a third world nation. Yes, I clean those overflow thingies that most people don't even see. If you don't know what an overflow thingie is, see here.
I heard on a commercial the other day that if you want a clean commode you should use their product or you could clean after every flush, some 380,000 times a year. They asked, "Who does that?" -- like it was a bad thing to clean your toilet every time you flush. Heck, I even toilet trained my cat so that I would have a tidier house. If I could train her to run a dust mop, I'd be in heaven.
I have pretty much always been this way. If it's hereditary, it's recessive. My grandmother Tommie was no housekeeper. She had maids for many years and never got the knack. Then she got me and didn't need a maid. I think I learned to clean as a response to her lack of housekeeping, that and the way she cooed over my ability to clean a bathroom.
"Oooh. Cindy's so smart. She can clean a bathroom better than I can." Lord, she was such a mess that the chicken coop was neater. Of course I could clean better. And dust, and vaccuum, and run an Old English oil cloth over the hardwood floors. She taught me how to clean out of necessity and for quarters. I do love a good payday, too.
My other grandmother Callie was a bit of a germophobe. You couldn't touch her food or her spoon or pretty much anything to do with food unless it was safely on your own plate. I don't think that's wrong at all. My mom was a normal cleaner. You couldn't catch a disease at her house, but she was ok with the magazines being haphazardly piled on the coffee table. (Shudder.)
I will now stop to say that I will not discuss my daughter's cleaning habits in a public forum. She is beautiful, kind, witty, talented, and has a genius-level IQ. She is also a bit devious, a thing she inherits from me, so I don't want to be on her bad side. Hey, Sweetie.
I don't want to make people dislike me. But if you are a cleaner, you hear it.
"She is just so....tidy."
"Yeah, it's pathetic the way she recaulks her shower three times a year. I mean, who does that?"
"She even has a toothbrush just for cleaning the parts of the toilet that no one can see. I mean there is a limit to what I'm willing to tolerate. I think she needs an intervention."
"Or an exorcist."
"Or a good kick in the ass."
But there are no 12-step groups for the likes of me. And if there were, we'd just all run around wiping up coffee drips from the refreshment table or fight over who gets to descale the pot this week. It's hopeless, really.
So, yes. I am Cyn, and I am an over-cleaner. I accept myself for what I am, and I promise not to clean your house when I visit. I take medication for that now, and I hardly ever do it any more.
Unretouched photo of my Junk Drawer.