I guess it is the repetitiveness of the tasks involved that gets me down. No sooner have I dusted the dressing table, the heater or the TV than I notice the next day it needs doing all over again. Yes I’m good at turning my back on it all, but there comes a time when one must tackle the picture frames and the skirting boards behind the doors. Then there are the toilets, useful items I’ll admit and by far an improvement on the toilet can down the back yard in its weatherboard enclosure that the night man picked up from the cobbled lane which crisscrossed the streets of Melbourne of my childhood. While it is wonderful to have two now in the home, it is double the work. Every good keeper of a house knows they need cleaning once a week and that they must have blue stuff, somewhere near the bowl preferably, so a discerning visitor can see proof of cleaning skills.
I have two friends who keep their homes in perfect order. Everything is neat and tidy, not a thing out of place. No guilt for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are frightened of visitors however, as I have yet to be offered the casual cupper to make these picture perfect houses untidy.
The one modern house item I really appreciate is the washing machine. I can’t help thinking of my mother struggling with the fire lit copper and using the copper stick to haul the sheets from the copper to the rinsing troughs each time I push the buttons to start the ever reliable wonder horse.
I’ll admit I have quit most repetitive tasks around the house thanks to a supportive and cheerful partner who has taken up the roles of vacuum person, dishwasher and assistant in keeping the shower recess in ship shape order, but I have yet to shake off the burden of responsibility.
The guilt, oh the guilt, hangs around my shoulders like a wet blanket. Will I be ever free of guilt when I say I have quit the need to be accountable for household cleanliness and picture book neatness?
I wish, yes I wish …