Friday, December 16, 2005

A clean house is a sign of a misspent life


Deborah, who still doesn't have a blog, sent me some photographs of her place for posting "to make everyone else feel better about the mess in their houses". Well, yes, it is messy but then in the words of a thousand fridge magnets, "Dull women have immaculate houses".

By coincidence, I've just watched the episode in Grey's Anatomy in which Cristina reveals her darkest secret: her apartment is a pit. She doesn't do laundry, just buys new underwear. She never does dishes, she never vacuums. She hoards magazines that she doesn't have time to read but will never throw out. She has nothing in her fridge but water and vodka, and the most important bit..... she doesn't care.

Deborah doesn't really care either, I don't think. She'd give those insufferable Life Laundry people short shrift. To quote another fridge magnet "If a messy house is a happy house, this one is delirious". And Deborah's is a happy house, especially in the summer sitting outside with a glass of Tariquet in one's hand admiring the plants in Deborah's decidedly unmessy terrace garden.

But, despite the clutter and dust in my own house, I do care a little bit — as does Burke, Cristina's boyfriend, he with the surgically sterile apartment — so can anyone tell me, how on earth does one restore the former pristine whiteness of grubby grey i-pod headphones?

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14 comments:

Neil said...

No! No! No! No more Grey's plot spoiling. Next you'll be telling us that George used to be a woman and Meredith has a bad hair day! More advanced warnings needed in future before I plough headlong into a Grey's post and can't get out again.

Lesley said...

Ooops. Sorry Neil, I should have added a great big red warning sign before that teeny weeny spoiler. I'll definitely include that in the post about the MerDer's coke extravaganza and Izzy's sex change. Oh no, I've went and did it again.
BTW what sort of name is that for the main love interest, Derek? Pfffffff.

Sarah Mackenzie said...

No! No! No! Don't go telling me about TV series that sound like they might be good and that I could be downloading. We're wading through West Wing now.

Deborah's "clutter" is much more interesting. There is something warm and human about clutter. It's when it completely fills every square inch of your house and you have to become a human mole and carve tunnels through that it that it is a problem. Until then ... who cares.

I like the rug btw.

Léons Life said...

Oh if that fridge magnet is right I must be very, very dull. As there is no way I could live in a messy house. Even those photos bring me out in a stress, rash.....

~profgrrrrl~ said...

I can entirely relate to that photo. In my place I keep trying to beat down the mess but never have the energy to do it properly. And even when I do, the mess just seems to vomit (yes, ugly word, but descriptive) itself up again within minutes. I blame it on too much stuff in a small space, but really there is a deeper disease here.

This last month I had a major breakthrough (I was sick and at home for 2 weeks -- no excuses to not deal with it), but I still fear opening many closets and drawer and am well aware that it is a veneer of order. Sigh. I wish I weren't the child of 2 OCD neatniks. It gives such guilt.

Saw that episode of Grey's. It was oddly comforting ... :)

deborah said...

The real trouble is the tripping over of things and then stepping on quite useful other things (like my laptop the other day .... it survived)

My new tipple is Colombelle, Lesley, so plenty of that in the fridge .... and plenty of, let me see, beer ......

You could try de l'eau écarlate on the headphones or something of that ilk, white spirit?

L'Oiseau said...

Shudder. Looks like the house I grew up in. I love my mother but clutter is her middle name. I love a clean, tidy home but feel terrible guilt because I never manage it.

I bought my mum a fridge magnet a couple of years ago that says "Many people have eaten in this kitchen and have gone on to lead normal healthy lives". Not referring to the food she cooks but the environment she cooks in...

Wendy said...

I'm not a neat freak...far from it...I think the only thing that must have order is my desk...but otherwise I can totally relate to that kind of lifestyle...(says she with supper's unwashed dishes waiting patiently till tomorrow..)

I do feel a bit guilty sometimes but there's so many other NICE things I'd rather be doing.

deborah said...

not sure where the 'terrible guilt' comes from, l'oiseau, surely that is what you would feel if your mum had been all nice and clean and tidy while you were growing up?
One thing is for sure, she is a happier woman than you! and I bet she loved your magnet.

Once again it is not a gender thing, one of my brother's in law is a tidiness freak, I just feel sorry for all of you out there who feel the necessity to constantly clean and tidy. On the other hand, I do admit that if I were more sociable I might have to make an effort. Whenever I invite anyone I do have to rush about desperately picking up the odd sock or two

The last word must be Jack Lemmon in the Odd couple, obviously I am the Walter Matthau character

Jonathan said...

The best thing to get ipod headphones pristine white again is to dip them in solution of sodium bicarbonate. After that you will find that even the noise they produce is white.

Clair said...

I'm sure I'm only so messy because my mother is so neat.

At least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Lesley said...

Profgrrrrl: I have an attic and a cellar. We're thinking closets and drawers to the power of ten here.

Wendy: I know what you mean, an untidy desk betrays an untidy mine. You should see mine. I do manage to keep the files on my HD in some semblance of order however.

Jonathan:I think i'd rather keep the grubby noise I have right now in that case.

Clair, Well to quote a seventies t-shirt this time "We are the people our parents warned us against"

Deborah, maybe the last word should go to Quentin Crisp who, as you probably know lived in a very untidy apartment in NY, and said (I wish I could find the exact quote, I think I read it in a Headway book)that houseworkl was a myth invented by our mothers and that in fact after the first four years of non-cleaning the dust doesn't actually get any worse.

Wendy said...

"There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse." Quentin Crisp

I have a collection of quotes you wouldn't believe...am addicted to them.

Ms Mac said...

Oh dear, the Life Laundry makes me cry.

I think I need to get my Oestrogen levels chcecked!