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How Do They Do It?

July 22nd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments


Took a day off from work, and I’m hanging out around the house with JP today. Not much planned–playground, PB&J lunch (I’m a rebel), soccer in the park in the afternoon. As I write this JP is in the other room watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, Part 2: the Squeakquel, which is every bit as bad as it sounds.

Anyway, for some reason I felt inspired to do some cleaning about the house. Alittle bathroom here, touch of sink there, spot of vacuuming as needed, Tilex, “scrubbies,” and a few chemicals that I think have been banned in the EU.

That shit is some hard work! I’m dead beat, and the house isn’t even half clean. Generally, I am a fairly clean guy by guy standards, which are not clean at all. Lately, though, even my low standards have slipped, largely because my girlfriend is a bit of, well, what’s the right word, hmmm–a total slob? Yeah, that’s the word, and I’ve adopted her habits with gusto, and, dare I say it, a healthy dollop of creativity and style.

Frankly, I don’t know how the women who stayed home in the Fifties did it. And I do mean the Fifties, by the way, as I no almost no contemporary women, stay-at-home or not, who keep house like the women of that generation.

Except, to a certain degree, JP’s mom. Very neat, very hardworking. And very angry about it. Any cleaning that she did that I didn’t participate in (and there was lots of it) was cause for a lengthy rant on my worthlessness. Over the years she hounded me away from most of the chores (except for cooking–I did all of that, and anything to do with the car, and anything heavy, and I still did the laundry…). I got sick of having her inspect my housework, reject it, redo it, and then pretend that I’d never done anything in the first place. Eventually, I just stopped doing it, which, not so nicely, made me as much of an infant around the house as JP. Oh well, hardly a new story, and we simply weren’t meant to be.

I often told her that if the house was 25 percent less clean, we’d be 50 percent more happy (excuse the grammar). I was wrong about that. The house is 40 percent less clean…and I’m 100 percent more happy.


  1. Jean says:

    July 22nd, 2010at 8:46 pm(#)

    Matt used to have to drag me off the couch to tidy up our space. But ever since Sasha was born, my nesting instinct kicked in and I’ve become a bit OCD. My biggest pet peeve is dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. That drives me nuts! Anyways, nowadays we pay someone to come clean our apt every 2 weeks, and take care of Sasha at the same time. Nice.

  2. beta dad says:

    July 23rd, 2010at 12:51 pm(#)

    Hiring a cleaning service was the best thing we ever did for our marriage. 70 bucks every two weeks is a bargain compared to couples therapy.


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