Sunday, November 04, 2007

D is for Dirt

...as in, my house is getting away from me. As in, how the hell do people keep up with all this cleaning that needs to be done?

When the house was really dirty, my mother used to say, "The Board of Health is going to come over." I think this was not merely metaphoric for her, as she grew up on the Lower East Side where dirt and vermin and the Board of Health were probably a real part of people's lives. Not that my Grandmother's house was dirty. Not that my Grandmother had a house, actually. My mother, her parents and her six siblings all lived in an apartment, a flat I supposed you'd call it, although why is not really clear to me. It was on Houston Street, which is pronounced House-ton, as any decent New Yorker knows. I don't remember much about my Grandparents flat, but I'm sure it was very clean. Even though the one time I went into the bathroom that I can recall, there was schmutz in the tub. I was probably six at the time and I can still see that schmutz. And I'm still shocked.

Today I looked at my own house and immediately thought, "The Board of Health is going to come over." So I washed the floor. Or at least, part of it.

Here's the thing about my floors: they are a tile that is meant to replicate stone. Here, have a look:

Now the nice thing about these floors is that they don't show dirt. Mainly because they are already the color of dirt, in all its various shades. But the not nice thing is that they have nooks and crannies, and somehow I don't feel as if I'm able to really get them clean. The other not nice thing about these floors is that they are a two-step job to "do". First, one must somehow remove all extraneous debris and then one must apply the washing stuff to the floors. This is exhausting. When D was still an active member of this household, he would vacuum the floors from time to time. Which was about as often as I was prepared to mop them. But now I must do both steps myself and--I'm tired...my back hurts...I don't wanna.

I was reading some blogs the other day and the writers were bragging about how they got down on their hands and knees to scrub their floors. But then they said, oh so modestly, but my kitchen is just a little bitty postage stamp, so it's not a hardship. Well, my kitchen is not a postage stamp. My house is over 2000 square feet and of that, only the three bedrooms are carpeted. That's a shit load of tile to take care of and frankly, my dear, I often don't give a damn.

3 comments:

  1. Yikes, your making me consider the filth on my own floors and I'm getting itchy with obsession just thinking about them. I have a cleanliness problem. I have a pretty big kitchen. I scrub the floors on my hands and knees almost daily. I could use a does of 'I often don't give a damn'. Please send me a bottle of apathy and I'll be a lot happier.

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  2. I am totally jealous of your "don't show dirt" floors. Ours are wood, and they show up every. single. spec. Seriously, I feel like I sweep those things five times every day but they are NEVER clean. I don't get down on my hands and knees, though. That way I'd have to see the dirt in close-up...

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  3. cce & amber: I have over the years learned never to look below my ankles. Truly. That's how I do it. Even when I had floors that showed dirt, I still didn't see it!

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So--whaddaya think?