Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Lack of a Cleaning Gene

Here's dad, flanked by my sister and brother-in-law, as he prepares to blow out his candles in a house that is temporarily clean.

On Monday night we celebrated my dad's birthday. He turned 86, on Groundhog Day. We had a nice celebration, where everyone contributed to the meal. As I get older and more tired, I have decided this is the only way to entertain. The worst part of having people over - the very worst - is the clean-up before hand. Every time I finally get the house in shape, I vow that I will never let it go again, only to find myself, at the next birthday or holiday, going through exactly the same thing.

I got an email this week from a market search firm, asking if I wanted to be part of a focus group. The topic was prescription drugs, and it was being held 5 minutes from my home. The pay was $100, for 1.5 hours of my time. I jumped at the chance and called immediately. But when the lady at the market search firm did my pre-screening, she found out that I work in the field of medical benefits, and that disqualified me. But, she did have another focus group open. This one was about cleaning products; was I interested? Sure, I said, thinking I am not the best person to evaluate cleaning products. She asked a bunch of questions, where I had to respond by choosing from very true, kind of true, not really true, and definitely not true.

One of her statements was "I am the envy of my friends for my cleaning abilities." I quickly replied "the bottom one."

Every time my mother comes over, she feels the need to offer to help me clean. I always decline. My sister got the cleaning gene. I got the slob gene. My daughter inherited my slob gene. I wonder if the next generation will also inherit the slob gene. Sometimes my husband will complain that there is so much clutter it's making him crazy. I tell him I know, but he married the wrong person if he was hoping for a neat house.

I have noticed lately that any magazine I read - Women's Day, Family Circle, and Ladies Home Journal - always seems to have an article on how to get rid of clutter. I actually read these articles. I know what I should be doing. It's just so damn boring to me. I'd rather sit on the computer or read a book. By the fact that everyone feels a need to educate us on this subject, I am glad to know I am not alone.

Well I'm gonna go find something to do now. Other than clean.


anno said...

I'm missing that one, too. My husband sometimes talks wistfully about the German women in the community where he attended high school and their annual spring cleaning efforts, where they stripped everything from the shelves & counters, polished every surface, cleaned every corner with toothbrushes. Too bad, I declare! You picked me instead!

Mich said...

Good for you! I did get the clean gene, but I don't know how much good it does me.

Jeanie said...

Clutter and tidiness is the big divide between Rick and me! In fact, we had that discussion yesterday, and then both of us went to our respective places and cleaned our corners! Did you use the products and do you like them?

JessInFocus said...

LOL I got the slob gene too.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Wow, you sound exactly like me! You might not know it from my 'presentation' on my blog--but I have a VERY hard time getting motivated to do ANYTHING around the house anymore. My bedroom (I'm embarrased to admit) has become difficult to navigate around in--and my daughter has this exact same gene. She's even worse than me. I grew up being forced to keep everything 'just right' and I guess now I just don't care as much. I tried to be easy on my daughter...and maybe I was 'too' easy...because she outdoes me in that area now:) I do 'love' my house to be uncluttered, but unless I have people coming over, I tend to leave things where they are, too! In fact, can you believe that I have left every single Christmas dish and related-dining rm. 'stuff' all over the d.r. table? I just don't go in there. If we ever eat in there (which we didn't--even at Christmas!) I'll put it away. Last yr. it was around Easter when I got it cleared. Guess it'll be the same this yr!!

Samantha said...

I actually did a google search on "missing a cleaning gene" and I got this blog entry, lol. I am a newlywed and our house is a mess! All my friends have nice tidy houses and if they have 1 dish on the counter, they apologize for the "untidyness". I always ask myself, how do I get where they are? Or, did I get to where I am?! Thanks for the entry, I'll add you to the list of blogs I follow!