Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dirty Thirties?

I'd like to meet the person who coined that phrase. . . because for me, the opposite appears to be true! As I enter my third decade of life, I seem to have become quite the cleaning fanatic!

I celebrated my big 3-0 in December. New Year's Eve was spent cleaning this house top to bottom - literally. It took me a 12-foot ladder and just shy of four hours, and that's just for the dusting! (light fixtures, fan blades, clearing cobwebs, etc). It was an all-day project, and I definitely felt great about it.

I did it again tonight. It didn't take NEARLY as long this time because it's still so clean from last time. I kind of like having a clean house, to be honest with you. Truth be told, DZ and I have spent so much time "on the go" in the past couple of years that the only time I deep cleaned was when we had company coming. . . for their first visit (sometimes for their second, but usually folks only get a single glimpse of the shiny floor, and after that. . . welcome to the dust bowl!). Put it this way. . . we haven't had any first-timers over here in a loooong time!

I used to clean my house. . . I promise. In fact, as a child the standing rule was that nobody was allowed to have any fun on Saturday morning till the whole house "shined like the top of the Chrysler building." Of course, baseboards and ceiling fan blades were reserved for when we needed to think about what we'd done (my own phrase, not Mom's), but the typical dust-sweep-mop-vacuum routine was, in fact, routine in the Davis household.

My freshman year of college, we actually had housekeeping inspections twice a week! Lucky for me, my roommate cleaned our room ALL. THE. TIME. Unfortunately, she also turned off my alarm clock ALL. THE. TIME. so I missed a lot of morning classes! She was such a light sleeper, and me? DEEP. So deep, in fact, that I slept through the night my neighbor's house burned - and there was a fire truck right outside my bedroom window.

I always lucked out in college with clean roommates, so it was easy to maintain some sense of cleanliness. In fact, it spilled over for many years until, one day, I just got tired of cleaning. So I quit. Not all together, mind you. I just went from weekly cleaning, to monthly, to quarterly. . . and then, after that? Semi-annual is the most generous description for my deep cleaning days.

Lucky for me (I'm quite lucky, aren't I?), DZ is VERY tidy. . . and by VERY, I mean "organizes his closet by shirt type, color and sleeve length" tidy. And he's not just a "closet" tidier, either. He's a whole-house-from-the-bookshelves-to-the-kitchen-cabinets-and-everything-in-between tidier. I love it because it brings a sense of order to our home. . . but order doesn't keep the dust away! Granted, he spent the first year we were together picking up after me, and never once did he complain. So, you can imagine how offended he was when he witnessed my first "deep cleaning" session and the first thing I said was, "I don't see HOW we can live in all this FILTH!" He was like, "Hey, crazy lady! I bust my hump every day to keep this house clean and pick up after you, so don't talk to me about FILTH!"

It was a turning point for both of us. I never noticed how much time he spent cleaning up after me - shoes from all over the house ended up in my closet, piles of clothes all over his side of the bed were folded on my dresser when I went looking for them, paperwork always found its home without my help. Likewise, he had never seen me in "deep cleaning" mode (I'm pretty sure I had my headlamp on while I was cleaning the shower so I could inspect the grout for cleanliness!) and didn't know what filth I was talking about when I said that. These days, I TRY (and sometimes fail, but still always try) to be better about picking up after myself.

And DZ?

Well, he's very encouraging when deep cleaning day comes along. He loves to see the "before" and "after," and he's wise enough to stay away for the "during" part of it.

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