Clean: adj. meaning – free from dirt or impurities

March 29, 2010

What is so hard to understand about the definition of the word “clean”? Does clean mean after you’re done, there are still crumbs on the floor and counters, dirty knives on the dirty cutting board, dishes on the table, food not put away, the milk jug left out and some type of sticky substance on the carpet?

No. Clean means clean. In my world, cleanliness truly is next to Godliness. Maybe even right above it at times. Because really, if the good Lord said, “Ok Diana, you can either have a clean house until you die or go to heaven,” I’d waver. I might even ask for a day to think it over. A clean house forever – how can you turn that one down? And yes, hell sounds awful but it’s all on fire anyway so any mess would just be burned up – right? So potentially I’d die with a clean house and go to hell where every bit of clutter would go up in flames. Who does heavenly housekeeping, is what I’d want to know. I’d want some sort of assurance that at the very least eternity would be spotless if I picked heaven.

For those of you feeling a little uneasy about this post – I’d choose heaven. With the assurance of housekeepers there.

So today I come out and I have spent the morning trying to clean in between barf sessions and a crying baby. Bella’s too young to understand the importance of a clean house for visitors. Sam’s grandpa is coming and I want us to look presentable. Where he goes back home and says, “Those kids really have it together,” not “What is wrong with those two and their white trash house?” So I’m dusting, doing dishes, tidying up from the night before.

His grandpa comes and visits, coos over Bella and how big she is, leaves, and then Sam has lunch. Which I honestly dread. I watch in complete horror as things fall to the floor; land on the wood, the carpet, the counter tops, the dishes pile up, 3-4 knives are used for one sandwich, several plates, at least one bowl, a pan, the oven top is a mess, something got spilled, and oil is left in tiny puddles. Then he goes and sits in front of the TV to create more of a mess eat. I’m left gaping in shock at what looks like a food tornado aftermath.

I choke back a small amount of vomit in my mouth and inside my head begin my chant, “I will not nag, I will not nag.” So instead, I ask ever so nicely, “Do you plan on cleaning your mess up?” Which instantly comes out to Sam as, “Nag nag nag nag nag nag nag?” He says with mild irritation, as he eats his sandwich and drops a little more on the floor, “What mess?”

It’s been 7 years people. I know and he knows there’s a mess. Let’s not play games. And yet, the “See how nice I’m being about all of this” game continues.

“The mess on the counter. That you made while making your sandwich. I just spent a good part of the morning cleaning for your Grandpa and would like the house to stay clean.” I gesture to the disaster in the kitchen with a smile, as if to say, “Not a big deal, I’m pretty hot you did this again but I’m going to pretend I’m not.”

He’s glazed over by this time. I can see the look of black hole emptiness in his eyes. The only response is an annoyed shrug, which serves to make me even angrier inside. After all, I just spent most of my time cleaning and taking care of the baby. Could he not simply clean up the mess? Why must I say something every.single.flippin.time?

Part of me wonders at this point, while I’m feeling particularly nasty but don’t want to start a fight, how on earth he managed to live on his own for years without me. Who told him where his shoes were every day? Or keys, pack of gum, black socks, that paper with the “you know, the writing and a letterhead on top”, the white shirt, his clippers, and the plug in for his iPod? Who did all this? Who cleaned up behind him?

No one. Because you know what? He knew no one would, so he figured it out or did it himself. And when he doesn’t do it here, guess who does? That’s right. Me. I do it. The great enabler. I can’t stand a house with crumbs and little bits of food, so I just clean it. In my mind, leaving crumbs on the floor is like listening to nails down a chalkboard. You just can’t take it.

Not to say Sam isn’t a wonderful husband. He is, in so many other ways. That’s not the point. It’s about the cleaning. I want to just scream when I see him, in under 5 minutes, create a disarray of our home and leave it for me.

Maybe not for me. Perhaps that’s too egocentrical. It’s for cleaning up “when he feels like it.” Which is exactly the answer I get when I push hard enough.

And because I’m anal and it strikes a great fear into my heart to hear that, because “what if he never feels like it?” I clean it up.

What if I don’t? Well, I look at it for the next few hours and get madder and madder, pick a fight, and he cleans it up with a lot of banging and mumbled bad words. I win – kinda. Then by that time, it’s dinner and time for a new mess.

So really, I never win. No, wait. I do. For the eight hours a day he’s at work, I win. I have a clean house that whole time. So I should just be thankful for what I have. He works really hard, and if that’s all I have to complain about, we’re doing pretty good.

Think about it, if he cleaned up his mess I’d have the perfect husband. I wonder if he knows how close he is? ::thinks about how to tell him this nicely without nagging::


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