Let's talk about cleaning, shall we? You're super excited -- I know. Just try to contain yourself.
(Some of you actually probably already X-ed out of this post. Apparently you don't like things to be clean.)
Why did I choose this odd topic out of all the things I could be blogging about? Well, I care about it, for one, and regardless of my work situation there never seems to be enough time, which drives me nuts. But actually the main reason is because my cleaning habits, like other things in my life, have evolved over time.
I'm the kind of person who likes clean sheets on the bed each week, bed made every morning, no clothes on the floor -- everything put away in it's "proper place," everything dusted, any sign of unwelcome life (aka bugs) removed, floors swept and mopped (especially now that dog hair is involved). and absolutely no dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. Granted, most people enjoy all of these things, but not enough to take the time to do them on a regular basis -- mostly because they're too damn busy and don't have the time or energy. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but I'm more likely than most to stress myself out by trying to cram all of those things in -- even if they can honestly be put off for a bit. It's the OCD.
My OCD cleaning habits originated at a young age (shout out to Dorothy -- I got this from you) and grew into a monster of a problem by the time I hit college. You may be wondering how being a clean freak could pose a problem. I'll explain in a minute, but just to give you an example...........at two different points in my life I had a falling out with two separate friends related to my cleaning OCD. It was actually about much bigger issues and us not being supportive of each other's life choices at the time, but the cleaning stuff was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back and initiated the fights. Regardless, when I was younger it was fine. It just meant that my car was clean, my room was clean, and I helped around the house.
The college years...........
Freshman year of college wasn't so bad. My freaky cleaning OCD hadn't truly taken hold, and I also happened to be paired up with an equally clean roommate. The next several years got progressively worse though.
Come sophomore year I was that a-hole that wrote passive aggressive notes on our shared white board (displayed on the outside of the triple dorm room). When you're in a shared space like that, it's hard to keep your little corner clean if someone else's stuff starts to expand beyond their area. So needless to say, I was frustrated, but I was also a dick about it.
Junior year was a completely different animal. We were in an on-campus apartment and there were four of us. Fortunately we had our own rooms, but there was a living room, dining room, kitchen, and 1.5 baths that made up the common space. This was my first living situation that wasn't living at home or in a dorm, so I was really excited to have a kitchen and have that first experience of "being on my own." I wasn't really, but it was a fantastic simulation.
Anyhow, the kitchen and the smell of the apartment in general became points of contention between me and my roommates. Once a week I would deep clean the common areas and I put air fresheners in probably every outlet I could find. My friends appreciated it, but also found it super annoying and excessive. And it turns out that they were right.
The biggest sore spot was always the kitchen. I was of the OCD mindset that dishes should be done immediately and nothing was to sit in the sink overnight. Two of my roommates didn't necessarily agree, but would eventually do the dishes. One roommate I don't think had ever touched a dirty dish in her life.........or done laundry..........or unclogged a toilet.............you get the idea. Sweet girl, but man.........her parents should've made her do some chores. She was not at all prepared for real life.
There were so many fights about such stupid things, and for what? Because I thought I was teaching my roommates life lessons? Or because I couldn't just calm down instead of letting insignificant things like dirty dishes stress me out? Whatever it was, it was dumb. And fortunately my friends forgave me for being such a psycho. I mean, they did like having a clean apartment, but to them it wasn't worth it if I was going to be a nazi about everything. I learned a lot from that.
Funny side note about the air fresheners: Years later over drinks, my one roommate admitted to me that she replaced the liquid in my air fresheners with colored water. She was sensitive to them, and I wanted them cranked up to 11. We actually got in a "taping" war" with the air fresheners. She kept turning them down, so I'd turn them back up and tape them there. Then she'd remove the tape, turn them back down and tape them.
Back and forth and back and forth. Psycho.............But I about died laughing when she told me what she had done. I have to admit that that was brilliant. Props, man......props.
As I've gotten older I've calmed down when it comes to cleaning. I still like things to my OCD specifications, but I don't get my panties in a twist if things aren't done perfectly or within the time frame I had planned. I do have my occasional tornado of cleaning if things have sat for too long (or if the mood strikes me and I have time). Will stays out of my way when that happens for fear of being trampled. He tells me I move way too fast and it freaks him out. I'm being "domestic." But he has clean sheets and clean clothes, so he can't complain.
Rounding back........just like with other parts of my life -- be it body image, my outlook on life in general, my priorities, etc. -- my cleaning OCD has evolved. I have realized that other things are more important, and it's okay if something else takes precedent over making sure the house is clean. Having things clean will always be important to me, but I won't be at the level of Danny Tanner. Who has time for that?
Sometimes things get messy, and that's okay...........as long as it's cleaned up in a timely fashion. Just kidding............well, sort of.
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I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."