Cleaning makes me grumpy.

I spent today cleaning the house. If you know me, then Yes, I am okay, thank you for asking. For those who don’t know me personally, I’ll put it bluntly.

I HATE CLEANING.

I adore having a clean home, it makes me happy like few other things in the world, but I absolutely despise having to clean it. For one, it’s large. I am not complaining about that – oh no, I love it. But there’s a reason why middle-class Victorians had servants. 3000 square feet of dust accumulation. Hauling the jumbo shop vac up and down is a chore in and of itself, but having to operate the sucker over all three floors, then turn around and haul it back down to the basement for storage – UGH. Mopping each floor with diluted oil soap is an extra kick in the pants. My back ACHES after all of this. Not to mention all of the windexing and the dusting with lemon oil. We have a LOT of woodwork. And don’t get me wrong, I am the first one thanking God we have more than one bathroom. But having to scrub three toilets, 2 bathtubs and 3 grotty sinks.. not fun.

We have a zoo here and I love all our pets dearly. But they are dirty. It’s more because of them than anything that I MUST CLEAN. Our beloved dog alone sheds a small animal every other day. He also happens to have a severe allergy to some mystery substance – perhaps it is us – which renders him itchy, flaky and incredibly smelly a good part of the year. We have tried everything. Nothing seems to work. And the only reason we put up with his hairball tumbleweeds, and the snow-like layer of dander which falls off him coating the floor around his bed, is because we love him. We have a conure I adore who sees me as her own personal toy. She likes nothing better than to poop on me the minute she leaves her cage in the morning. In fact, she enjoys free pooping pretty much everywhere, so I spend a goodly portion of each day wiping up after her or changing shirts. I mentioned in a post a long time ago that we used to have a second bird, a macaw whose slovenly eating habits encouraged a whole village of mice to move in. Said bird was also incredibly vicious, and we ended up having to give her away. It was sort of a relief not having to clean up after her anymore – as much as it was a relief not worrying about her biting my face off. My husband says all the time, MAN can you imagine how clean our house would be if we didn’t have any of these pets?! I know it’s true. So unbelievably true. My husband is eagerly counting down as we lose pets to sickness or old age. And he keeps warning me not to bring anything more home, but frankly even I have my limit. As much as I would love to have more pets – I adore animals and have so much love to give – I just don’t need another reason to HAVE TO CLEAN.

My family. I love them like nothing else, but they are pigs. Yes, I know I am too, but I am after all the one doing most of the cleaning. My husband is fairly tidy God bless him, but he doesn’t see the point in dusting. He will vacuum, mop, etc. But he just doesn’t notice the inch of dust over everything. My kids, forget it. They love it when the house is clean, but they are both just like us – pack rats out the whazoo. My older daughter, the aspiring artist, collects a forest worth of paper in her room every week. Understandable. We recycle most of it, but man oh man, what is her excuse for the rest of it? Every price tag, bit of string, scrap of foil, pieces of every little thing she encounters, she hoards all of it like someone who lived through the Depression. And I would know. My grandmother, before she moved to her retirement home, she would keep every bit of food ever made. Eating a meal in her house was like a recreation of her past 7 suppers. 25 empty margarine tubs filled with 2 bites each – she did tapas before it was ever cool. But I digress. What I’m saying is I simply find it heart-breaking to spend an entire day cleaning the house, then after dinner look at the floor and realize it was ALL IN VAIN. I sweep, I pick up, it’s never-ending. So half the time I just don’t bother. The only reason I ever succumb and do a deep cleaning is because I have no choice. I wake up one morning – like this morning, and I can see the outlines of things in the dust when I move them. The dog is sitting in an inch of his own hair – and so am I. Then I can’t take it anymore. Only when the mess and the hairballs and the smell reach maximum threshold, must it be done.

I am a housewife. I feel an obligation as such to actually clean my house on occasion. Mind you, this urge doesn’t really kick in more than once, twice a month, but still it comes. We don’t have a lot of extra money, so I would feel intensely guilty hiring someone else to clean my house. I take it as part of my moral obligation and duty. But I confess I fantasize about having a paid house cleaner the way other people fantasize about strippers. Or movie stars. Or whoever else floats your boat. I want one baaaaaaaaad.

I remember a vacation we took 6 years ago. We went to the shore for a week, it was great. I remember many things about the trip, but the one which sticks most in my mind is the family renting the apartment next door to ours. The mother, a vivacious woman with a tan to die for, had the most neurotic compulsion I’d ever witnessed. Every morning, at like 6-7-8 AM, this woman was up vacuuming – and not only her own apartment, but the OUTSIDE DECK. Yes, I do know that sand accumulates and inevitably gets kicked inside. BUT WHAT THE HELL?! Every fricking morning of your vacation you want to be up vacuuming someone else’s house? NO THANKS. I will also never ever forget this woman’s kids because they were made to scrub their shoes I believe daily. Their sneakers were so sparkling white I would have eaten off them without thinking twice. But those poor kids. Do you know many kids whose sneakers look nicer than brand new 6 months after purchase? If so, pity them.

How one simple thank you can make a whole world of difference.

Hellloooo there! Hey!! How’s it been? I am so glad you stopped by. You’re looking good! So, did I just hear you click through from The Daily Dish?? Oh, you did? Why that’s terrific. Wow. THANKS! I welcome you all (*big hugs*) and find it incredibly rewarding to know that there are people out there who find even me (a stay-at-home-mom with a dry sense of humor, bizarre obsession with food and weird disease) interesting enough to merit a minute away from whatever else it is you do.

But I gotta tell you people that – lately, I am just not feeling the love. Yes, I KNOW you’re all reading my site, and downloading the recipes, and spending hours pouring through my photos. But frankly, it’s just not enough. Bet you didn’t guess I have a bone to pick today. Maybe a little axe to grind? Oh, you didn’t? Well, let me explain. You may think I’m great, and I may think I’m great, and my family most certainly does, and maybe that guy who saw my daughter pull my pants down at the supermarket (true story), but I AIN’T NO MIND READER! I have been hurting, people, and no one’s been bandaging my booboos! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Over the past days I have become increasingly cynical – well, I’ve always been at least semi-cynical, so that’s not quite what I’m getting at, but over the past days I have noticed myself wrestling with an increased level of stress and sense of dissatisfaction with what can best be described as (if I did work outside the house) my day job. You see, apart from being a fulltime mother and jet-setting entrepreneur, I have also been writing a low sodium cookbook for the masses, which a year ago I converted to electronic format and put online gratis for all the world to see and use. Now you must trust me when I say this has been neither easy, nor fun. Well, it has been sort of fun, but in that heavy work way where you know you shouldn’t be getting paid for having so much fun, but in my case I am REALLY NOT GETTING PAID. Anyway,

I am not nor have I ever been a “computer person.” I received my very first computer of my whole life this year for my birthday – and I am 35 (UNBELIEVABLE SEXY, not haggard and exhausted) years old!!! I didn’t even have my own computer through graduate school – we were still chipping at rocks, scribbling on slate boards and using those ancient overhead projectors and microfiche – not to mention SLIDE RULES for God’s sake. But happily over the past year I have taught myself some toddler-level code and my computer skillz have slowly been improving, but it’s been a grueling uphill battle. And apart from all of the computer blahblahblah, creating all of these recipes, purchasing the food and necessary supplies, cooking them, cleaning up after them, photographing, typing everything up, proofing it, and THEN converting all of it to HTML and publishing them on a website that – although humble and modest in appearance – I built from the ground up all by myself – and all FOR FREE, is DAMN EXHAUSTING. Try doing all of this while simultaneously entertaining, educating, and generally putting up with 2 rambunctious, over-the-top female types and YOU’VE GOT YERSELF ONE FRICKIN HARD JOB!

And yet, I have taken it upon myself to do this, not only for my own fluctuating sanity, but for the betterment of mankind. And all I’m asking for in return is a little thanks. A little acclaim. Yes, I know it’s hardly rewarding when you have to beg – but I’m sore people. I feel used – like that snotty tissue no one wants to pick up cause it ain’t theirs, and so I keep getting tread into the filthy restroom floor till the bathroom cleaner has to come and scoop me up – but you know she’s wearing plastic gloves and feels totally repulsed too!

What I am trying to get at here, people, is that if you love me – tell me so. If you love me, let me know. If you love me, say you’ll stay. If you love me, don’t toss me away! I am feeling NEEDY. I am feeling underappreciated. I can’t do this forever. for no pay and no nuthin. I can get a job you know! I HAVE DEGREES PEOPLE!!!! I know how to count on my fingers – and I’m not afraid to use them. I may be raising one soon.