As those of you who have read my Nonsoapy Journal know, I'm no fan of housework. I have the deepest admiration for people like my friend, Carolyn Aspenson, the Diva of Clean, who are able to jump in there and just get it done, cleaning like a woman possessed and not resting well in their own skin until it's done. It is an act of extreme will for me to wipe a table, push a vacuum or wash a dish. My resistance to it is truly a natural phenomenon. That doesn't mean I don't want or appreciate a clean house. Very little makes me happier than to be in a house that is neat, orderly, tidy and clean. I just despise being the one to do it. I'd rather be Ferdinand the Bull, sitting in flowers, smelling their sweetness, feeling the sunshine on my face and relaxing until the bee stings me on the ass and motivates me into motion.
My house is not unlivable. I'm actually doing much better than I ever have in the past, but that doesn't mean I like it. I recently had a conversation with one of my Eye on Soaps staff writers, Kelly B, about how clean is in the eye on the beholder. Houdini knew the secret of a clean house for people like myself: Illusion is everything. After talking with Kelly, I suspect there are more of "us" out there. This conversation is presented to help you feel less alone if you happen to be in the club.
Hello. My name is Katrina. I have Cleaning Resistance Syndrome.
and so it goes...
Katrina (6:31:51 PM): hey, beybee
KellyB (6:31:57 PM): hey
KellyB (6:31:59 PM): what's up
Katrina (6:32:00 PM): pfft
Katrina (6:32:02 PM): nuffin
Katrina (6:32:04 PM): just checking in on you
Katrina (6:32:06 PM): you doing OK?
KellyB (6:32:09 PM): yeah i'm ok
KellyB (6:32:16 PM): i know i haven't written in awhile
KellyB (6:32:19 PM): my bad
Katrina (6:32:23 PM): nah, don't worry about that
Katrina (6:32:31 PM): it shouldn't ever be an obligation
Katrina (6:32:36 PM): do it when it feels right
KellyB (6:32:37 PM): school's kicking my ass
Katrina (6:32:50 PM): it's a hard gig
KellyB (6:33:00 PM): fer sure
Katrina (6:33:13 PM): be sure and pamper yourself a bit
KellyB (6:33:14 PM): I’m gonna try - just feel like I’m on the hamster wheel
KellyB (6:33:16 PM): happy belated birthday
Katrina (6:33:31 PM): hey, thanks, it was a great one
KellyB (6:33:43 PM): we had a bad storm here a few weeks back
KellyB (6:33:58 PM): we still haven't heard from the insurance companies
(6:34:10 PM): I'll bet they're processing a LOT of claims
KellyB (6:34:19 PM): both our roofs were totaled.
KellyB (6:34:34 PM): yeah, and with the hurricane(s) it's probably a lot worse than normal
Katrina (6:34:41 PM): absolutely
Katrina (6:34:48 PM): which still doesn't help you
KellyB (6:35:02 PM): we got an estimate on the house roof - $24,695
Katrina (6:35:08 PM): whoa!
KellyB (6:35:12 PM): and the office $8,000
Katrina (6:35:16 PM): that's more than my parent's whole house cost
KellyB (6:35:20 PM): lol
KellyB (6:35:29 PM): yeah, well everything happens for the best
Katrina (6:35:43 PM): we have to believe that
Katrina (6:35:46 PM): and it doesn't usually happen on our schedule
KellyB (6:35:57 PM): actually, with our house on the market - we've needed a new roof and I was always nervous that it would be a deal breaker if we got an offer
Katrina (6:36:21 PM): I have to confess
Katrina (6:36:27 PM): I tend to require a roof on the houses I buy
Katrina (6:36:29 PM): it's a fetish
KellyB (6:36:46 PM): yeah, most peeps do
KellyB (6:37:05 PM): it's just a waiting game, just hate it when i have absolutely no control
KellyB (6:37:11 PM): it's a virgo thang
Katrina (6:37:14 PM): that's really, really hard for me too
Katrina (6:37:16 PM): yes it surely is
Katrina (6:37:24 PM): I was talking to Coggie about Virgos the other day
KellyB (6:37:28 PM): is she one too?
Katrina (6:37:33 PM): she has a lot of Virgo in her chart, but she's a Sagittarius
KellyB (6:37:38 PM): hmmm
KellyB (6:37:47 PM): mine is coming up
KellyB (6:37:49 PM): next Monday
KellyB (6:38:00 PM): the 13th - what's the numerology behind that?
Katrina (6:38:13 PM): just the 13 itself is beautiful
Katrina (6:38:24 PM): 1+3 = 4 which is balance
Katrina (6:38:31 PM): stability
KellyB (6:38:32 PM): interesting
Katrina (6:38:34 PM): good stuff for a Virgo
KellyB (6:38:45 PM): my address is 301 = 4
Katrina (6:39:06 PM): there you go
KellyB (6:39:13 PM): stability is good, but what's the number for hot sex?
KellyB (6:39:14 PM): LOL – 68? Do me and I’ll owe you one?
Katrina (6:39:18 PM): This was my take on Virgos in the Coggie conversation:
Katrina (6:39:20 PM): It took me a long time to fully embrace my Virgo because I'm NOT (as you may tell from my journals) a neatnik. I got so tired of people telling me I can't POSSIBLY be a Virgo because I don't give fuck all about housecleaning. I positively hate it in a really profound way. I'm a control freak and I get exceptionally uncomfortable when things aren't going my way, mostly because it's not just pretense. I actually DO know best the majority of the time (if e-mails had inflection you would be highly impressed by my ability to say that without ego or arrogance). Because Eric is a STRONG Scorpio/Leo mix, he's a force of nature who is bound and determined to do things his way. Fortunately, his Cancer moon makes him ALWAYS need a mommy figure. I've had to learn to give him enough rope once in a while, but invariably, he comes back and tells me he should have listened to me and I say, "mmm hmmm" and help him clean up the mess. I actually become EXCITED when someone offers a better idea than I have, so I know it's not just that I blindly think I know best. The hard part is sitting back and watching someone totally fuck up (in Eric's case, often taking MY life along with it) once they've refused my wisdom. Of course, I'm dead assed wrong sometimes, but it's not often and it totally perplexes the complete hell out of me when it happens. When I am drawing a blank and don't have a clue what to do, I have NO trouble asking the wise people around me for help. Virgo manifests in so many ways, but it's always about controlling things in some fashion. I also think that the other half of Virgo, which is "I analyze," is part of what gives us not just the right, but the responsibility to control things. In an instant, we've thought something to death from a hundred different angles while everyone else is still registering that something has even happened.
Katrina (6:39:59 PM): So that's my Virgo speech
KellyB (6:40:32 PM): badass - where's that from? Divadigest?
Katrina (6:40:42 PM): no, my letter to Coggie, she and I were astro-bantering.
KellyB (6:41:18 PM): i agree totally with the cleaning thing -we are supposed to be so into order and shit. Well I like order and to be organized because I like to be in control and I don't trust others to do it right - how's that for honesty?
KellyB (6:41:26 PM): but i frickin hate to clean with a passion
Katrina (6:41:29 PM): meeee tooo
KellyB (6:41:37 PM): I’m the anti-Carolyn Aspenson
KellyB (6:41:55 PM): the Diva of Dirt, as it were
Katrina (6:41:56 PM): I was going to do an Auntie Carolyn (anti-Carolyn) column
KellyB (6:42:00 PM): hehee
Katrina (6:42:04 PM): and give hints on how to make your house look clean
Katrina (6:42:06 PM): without actually cleaning it
KellyB (6:42:08 PM): ooohhh how about the illusion of clean?
Katrina (6:42:17 PM): like before my dad would come home
Katrina (6:42:30 PM): my mom would put a saucer of pine sol in the vents to the house
Katrina (6:42:36 PM): and turn on the blower
Katrina (6:42:53 PM): and spot clean 4-5 places on the floor
KellyB (6:42:55 PM): do you know you can get about 4 regular sized loads of laundry stuffed into a dryer?
KellyB (6:42:57 PM): two words: low lighting
(6:42:58 PM): we should totally do the column
Katrina (6:43:07 PM): three words: Mr Clean Erasers
KellyB (6:43:15 PM): omg - best invention since tampax
Katrina (6:43:18 PM): paint walls instead of clean
KellyB (6:43:25 PM): listen to this
KellyB (6:43:56 PM): i used to work at a hotel/conf. center - the Houstonian in Houston (duh) which was George Bush's (SR.) legal Texas residence
KellyB (6:44:20 PM): the place needed a major renovation, but usually no money - and of course he didn't pay shit to use it
KellyB (6:44:42 PM): so every time before he came for a visit - we would paint all the doorframes of the suite
Katrina (6:44:54 PM): shit yeah!
KellyB (6:44:57 PM): so you would get a whiff of fresh paint and ASSume that the whole place had been redone
Katrina (6:45:03 PM): brilliant!
KellyB (6:45:17 PM): flip cushions on the sofa/chairs to hide the stains and rips
Katrina (6:45:26 PM): Mine have been flipped too many times
Katrina (6:45:30 PM): I need covers
KellyB (6:45:32 PM): flowers on the dining table covered a big ass scratch
Katrina (6:45:48 PM): whoo hooo!
Katrina (6:45:51 PM): make a list, woman!
KellyB (6:45:56 PM): ok
KellyB (6:46:12 PM): we'll compile the best tips for being a secret slob
KellyB (6:46:17 PM): sounds good
Katrina (6:46:26 PM): yeah!!
Katrina (6:46:39 PM): cause there's nothing a true virgo likes more
Katrina (6:46:45 PM): than efficient short cuts
(6:47:00 PM): our real estate agent called us before we officially put the
house on the market saying he needed some pics to email to a prospective
KellyB (6:47:22 PM): we spot cleaned like 4 rooms and set the pixels lower so you can't see the dirt and dust
Katrina (6:47:24 PM): there you go
KellyB (6:47:32 PM): too bad you can't do that to peeps eyes
Katrina (6:47:37 PM): definitely
KellyB (6:47:57 PM): i think clean is a subconscious thing
Katrina (6:48:20 PM): it's very subjective, that's for sure
KellyB (6:48:25 PM): if the entry is good, the bathroom not disgusting and it smells "clean" - you're in like flynn
(6:48:35 PM): I can look at a room and think it's perfect and Eric will
bitch about it
KellyB (6:48:44 PM): dump him
KellyB (6:48:45 PM): haha j/k
KellyB (6:49:07 PM): i am a packrat with magazines and catalogs
KellyB (6:49:13 PM): that's half the shit in my house
Katrina (6:49:20 PM): I have boxes and boxes and boxes of crap in my shed
Katrina (6:49:36 PM): that I've moved from house to house
KellyB (6:49:44 PM): been there - moved that
Katrina (6:49:53 PM): I have a mountain of clean laundry in my laundry room to be folded
Katrina (6:50:01 PM): like 10-12 loads easily
KellyB (6:50:10 PM): shit, sometimes my laundry room looks like I take in other peeps laundry
KellyB (6:50:27 PM): and why is it that there are always those clothes that never seem to make it into a load -
Katrina (6:50:29 PM): I haven't been in my upstairs since I got up from my nap at noon
Katrina (6:50:39 PM): and then, I hadn't been there prior to going there for my nap at 11
(6:50:54 PM): i don't know if it's hand washables or dry cleanables or
Katrina (6:51:47 PM): if it doesn't go into my dryer and washer, it doesnt' go into my house
Katrina (6:51:55 PM): and I haven't used my ironing board in years and years
Katrina (6:52:31 PM): I have to confess, sometimes when I've done a perk up in the last 15 minutes before Eric gets home, he tells me how wonderful the house looks
Katrina (6:53:13 PM): Eeep!!
Katrina (6:53:18 PM): I just got an e-mail from Carolyn
Katrina (6:53:20 PM): she sensed us; she must know what we’re talking about. She’s found us. Shit.
Katrina (6:53:32 PM): lol
KellyB (6:53:40 PM): she senses a disturbance in the force
Katrina (6:52:42 PM): she did
Katrina (6:53:56 PM): I have Eric trained to call me when he's a half hour from the house
KellyB (6:53:58 PM): hahahah
KellyB (6:54:14 PM): long enough to get the sheet marks smoothed out of your face?
Katrina (6:54:24 PM): you got it
Katrina (6:54:30 PM): and some incense burning
Katrina (6:54:40 PM): and if I feel really froggy, some dishes washed
KellyB (6:54:44 PM): i like that mega orange or whatever the hell it's called
KellyB (6:54:56 PM): i spritz that in the return of the a/c
KellyB (6:54:58 PM): so it goes all over the house
Katrina (6:55:00 PM): I like Simple Green
KellyB (6:55:25 PM): my new fave cleaner product (smell) is Fantastic Oxy
Katrina (6:55:35 PM): haven't tried it yet
KellyB (6:55:39 PM): it reminds me of good old fashioned soap clean
KellyB (6:55:55 PM): of course it's all done with perfumes to simulate real soap smell, but hey
Katrina (6:56:05 PM): I'll have to try it
KellyB (6:56:14 PM): i also like the bottle - cobalt blue
KellyB (6:56:18 PM): one of my little buddies was over here collecting some old dishes for use in his new apartment and I foisted some off on him
Katrina (6:56:20 PM): lol
KellyB (6:56:25 PM): i was telling him this stuff was great, it was badass, it was...
KellyB (6:56:30 PM): and he goes: "Fantastic." He's such a smartass i love him to death - i was trying to get his "you're so goofy Kel voice "
Katrina (6:57:08 PM): lol
KellyB (6:57:20 PM): oh yeah, you can also dab a little Lysol behind your ears and baby if that ain't an aphrodisiac, i don't know what is
Katrina (6:57:31 PM): ha
Katrina (6:57:51 PM): I just put my knees behind my ears. That works too
KellyB (6:58:04 PM): open for bizness
Katrina (6:58:12 PM): yep, but hurry cuz I'm tired from all this not cleaning.
KellyB (6:59:18 PM): hahaha - when did sleep begin getting higher ratings than an orgasm?
Katrina (7:00:01 PM): I dunno, like around 1994 I think
photographic evidence of June Cleaver