Sunday, March 21, 2010

Love Cleaning? So not the right word.

A reader who knows me in the outside world sent me an email in which she chided me about some of the postings this month. I believe her point can be summarized as "Do you really love cleaning that much?" I went back to look at the pre-Pesach postings and nowhere can I find that I said I love cleaning. I do love how a house looks and smells when it has been thoroughly cleaned. But love the process? To me that is akin to asking a woman who has had children if she loves the process of delivery. We all love the end result--having that child--but loving the labor pains?! It's not love which is the word that applies but it is the word acceptance. I accept that if a house is going to be cleaned there is going to be some work involved. I accept that some jobs are time consuming and some are highly labor intensive. I don't believe that anyone would argue that changing a baby's dirty diaper is something to look forward to with joy--no one loves doing that chore. But we accept that the diaper must be changed and we do it. Know anyone who loves being around a little one with a smelly diaper on board? Well I don't like being around a smelly garbage can either. I could sit around and complain that it's not fair that all that cleaning will have to be done. I could sit and kvetch that I'm not going to do it and I just don't care who says it has to be done. Or I could stop wasting time trying to avoid the inevitable and just do the things that need doing. You don't want to do every "spring cleaning" chore every year? Your choice. You don't want to push all that cleaning to coincide with the arrival of Pesach. Your choice. You don't want to be made to feel badly about not doing what others are doing? Your choice to stop feeling badly. Just keep in mind that you can only put off the inevitable for so long before it becomes a must-do-now event. Don't want to do it for Pesach? Fine. But it's going to have to be done at some point. Call it judgemental if you want to, but I would not be comfortable being in someone's house where cleaning consists of a bare swipe and a "maybe later" on a constant basis. I know of someone who complains that paint companies are cheating their customers because those paints become dingy in only a couple of years. Sigh, it's not the paint. Let the dust and dirt pile up in those "optional" areas and dingy is the result. You don't want to do that sometimes necessary cleaning right before Pesach? Not my business but yours. But I would caution that accepting that the cleaning has to be done on a regular schedule is something we all--males and females--need to do. Not love---acceptance.

8 comments:

tesyaa said...

Actually, I do enjoy many of the jobs involved in cleaning a house. Repetitive tasks often give a person time for thought and reflection. But I really don't have time to clean as much as I'd like, and I don't really have the money to spend on help, either. So we get by with the minimum, which might be different from someone else's minimum. But yes, I think some people, including myself, actually do LIKE cleaning. I like it, but I like being employed and making sure my kids' lives don't fall apart even more.

reanaclaire said...

I like certain tasks of cleaning the house.. like cleaning my own room and mopping.. i dont like sweeping and washing toilets! :)

Leahle said...

On a scale running from love to hate, I have no cleaning jobs in the love category, most in the middle of neither liking or not liking and a few in the hate end. But I guess I know that they all have to be done eventually so I just do them. True, the hate ones I sometimes push off a little but those hate jobs usually are the ones that are also necessary to keep the house functioning. I hate that the door of my self clean oven doesn't get cleaned in the process and that I have to spend a whole lot of time getting that door and window and the inside trim clean.

I guess accept isn't a bad word. I can accept something without liking it.

Ruth said...

The words hate and love get tossed around so much that they are losing any real meaning. And I don't think they should be applied to things like cleaning. Cleaning is something that has to be done to one degree or another and there's no hate or love involved. When something has to be done, whether you hate it or love it or anything in between is irrelevant to the fact that you have to do it.

I suppose I could say I hate getting up at 6:30 every work day morning but why bother hating something I'm going to have to do, whether I hate it or not? Is cleaning my favorite life activity? Not. But it's not optional so I don't waste breath or time in hating the cleaning. Lots of things we just need to accept we have to do and move on from there.

Chavi said...

You only wish prof that people would get around to that cleaning at some point even if it isn't for Pesach. When my mom's aunt died we younger women were the ones who got the job of cleaning out her apartment and getting it ready to be sold. We always thought this aunt was a pretty clean person from what we could see when we visited. Not, so very not. She seemed to believe that only some of those things that can be really seen need to be cleaned. (and she could afford and had cleaning help) The insides of closets and drawers and cabinets was a real disaster. Don't think the kitchen lights had ever been cleaned. After we emptied everything out we had big expenses in having everything painted and cleaned and replaced where rot had set in.

We all learned one thing from the experience--you don't have to love the cleaning but you have to do it.

Eva said...

Taking a break for a few minutes from that cleaning that I don't love but recognize as necessary so I do it. Like you I love the end result so I'm willing to put up with the work to get that result.And I definitely agree that the things we call optional cleaning to be halachic for Pesach maybe don't need to get done right now, but they aren't optional if you are going to get the full years of use from the things you own and keep them in optimum condition.

Anonymous said...

I have been in homes that are spotless but lack heart and where I don't really fell welcome and I have been in homes that go by the "swipe and maybe I'll get to it later cleaning" and have had wonderful, meaningful times. I hate to think what I would have given up by way of family and friends if I couldn't feel comfortable in those homes (or even worse if I made others feel uncomfortable by any displeasure I had with other's housekeeping or if I weren't invited at all because I was a dust bunny snob and people were afraid to invite me).

Tamar said...

Can't say that I love to clean and some things I'll do before Pesach and some I won't. But I also consider a house to need cleaning all year not just for Pesach. And I think it's healthier for the people living in the house. Today you hear of all kinds of allergies, many of them dust or mold or dirt based allergies. A clean house, one that is regularly taken care of helps with that. And there are so many bugs and viruses out there that would not be passed on so frequently from one member of the family to another if some basic hygiend and cleaning were part of the routine.