My dad and I have a woman who comes over every 2 weeks to clean the house. It’s the greatest luxury in the world, no exceptions. I’ll take a sparkly shower that I didn’t have to scrub myself over a fancy bottle of champagne or lobster dinner any day.
Whenever our cleaning lady is scheduled to come, I take half an hour or so to tidy up before she arrives.
Yes, that’s right: I clean for the cleaning lady.
A lot of people laugh at this and tell me it defeats the purpose.
But I’m not CLEANING so much as clearing away the clutter so the cleaning lady can get to the underlying surfaces and actually polish them. And as someone who reads and writes for a living and has dozens of books and pens and papers scattered around the house at any given time, I assure you that I make a LOT of clutter.
As much as people make fun of me for this practice of cleaning for the cleaning lady, I would argue that we all do it—and worse—in our daily lives.
Think about it.
When was the last time you saw a friend’s social media feed with actual, normal, daily events on it? Nobody’s posting on Facebook about the bloody gums they had while brushing their teeth or the dust accumulating on top of their picture frames (but not mine—I have a cleaning lady ????).
We don’t post about these things—not just because that would be boring, but because we all want to present the best possible version of ourselves to the outside world.
In other words, we clean up for the cleaning lady.
We make things looks better, more interesting, than they really are, partly (perhaps) to fool those around us, but mostly (I believe) to fool ourselves into thinking that our lives are more exciting, more packed with fun-filled memories, more . . . well . . . CLEAN than they actually are.
It’s human nature, I suppose. But once in a while, I feel the urge to just leave my clutter out in plain sight, if only to see the cleaning lady’s horrified reaction. I kind of wish we could do the same on social media—just lay the bare facts out for all to see, warts and bloody gums and all.
Hey, it’d be better than scrolling through your old college roommate’s dull vacation photos, wouldn’t it?