I clean. I clean when I am stressed. I clean when I am hungry. I clean when I am sick and have snot running down my face. I clean when I’m really tired and I should be going to bed, but I happen to notice that there may be some crumbs on the counter, so I should probably clean those, and wait, is that a smudge on the cabinet? Do I have some generic magic erasers in the cabinet called Wizardly Wipers that will be able to remove the smudge that is MOST definitely from peanut butter – A have you been eating peanut butter and smudging it all over the cabinets?
I consider cleaning a hobby. I think I have to consider it a hobby or I would most likely be horrified by the amount of time I spend on something that is not a hobby nor interest. On Saturday mornings, I often get up, forage for coffee, and begin some sort of cleaning project. Before A can even stumble out of bed and put his glasses on, I am armed at the kitchen sink with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, yelling into the bedroom,
“OMG YOU SHOULD SEE HOW MUCH IT’S BUBBLING AROUND THE SINK!”
And when he doesn’t seem remotely interested, I began to offer up facts:
“Did you know it’s non-toxic? And we can also use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect our cutting boards after we put raw meat on them? And it’s great for cleaning the bathroom and removing common household stains?”
And this isn’t just Saturday mornings. It’s when we’re trying to leave the apartment to go somewhere and I’m in my dressing room putting clothes away or suddenly organizing the junk drawer (should I keep deck of Old Maid cards in here or my desk?). Or it’s 10:30 at night and I’ve said, “I’ll be in bed in a minute,” when in reality I’ve begun a war against dust on all of the shelves in the kitchen, carefully removing every single decorative 1970s mushroom salt and pepper shaker, trivet, canister, or bread box to then wipe down and painstakingly replace on their shelves.
And it’s not just when it’s just A and I in the apartment. My friends know all about my cleaning (I refuse to call them “issues”) NEEDS. One particular friend knows that I despise when she uses my vintage juice glasses for beer. So she seeks out my favorite vintage juice glass that has beautiful flowers on it…and uses it for beer.
And then there are the days when I began doling out tasks, but in this passive aggressive manner which involves sentences such as,
“Wow, there are a lot of dishes in the sink.”
“Oh, I think the bed is unmade.”
“Have you turned the Roomba on recently?”
When you are a Cleaning Hobbyist you need others to join in on the fun – I am just trying to share my interest with the one I love, dammit.
Luckily for me, A more than tolerates my early morning, midday, and late night binges. He joins in on the fun. Even without my passive aggressive “suggestions,” once he sees me on my hands and knees scrubbing a nearly invisible stain with a Wizardly Wipe-out (did I just change the name of that?) he’s doing the dishes, swiffering the floor, or making the bed. And even better, after I finish letting the sink bubble and wipe it down with a paper towel until I can see my giddy smiling face in the faucet reflection, he knows EXACTLY what to say,
Ohhhh, look how CLEAN it is.