Thursday, 19 March 2009

50s Housewife Quiz No. 4

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dust cloth over the tables.

All together gang. ‘Not happening.’

This is how it went down in the Khan household.

For me clearing away the clutter has always gone hand in hand with Wahid cooking supper. As he cooks, I usually clear the clutter. It takes him an hour to cook and me three minutes to clear clutter. I think all things are equal. After we ate when the kids were small I would clear more supper clutter to the tune of 15 minutes.

Now the clutter is picked up by the cleaning lady once every two weeks and dumped on the dining room table where I put it away or make piles out of it for Wahid and Nathan to put away. Dinner clutter is now put away by everyone who eats. It is a total joint effort.

One last trip through the house before Wahid arrives so that I can see the same mess I saw five hours ago when he wasn’t even close to arriving – no thank you. The only time I take a trip through my house before someone arrives is if I am having a party, and we all know that doesn’t happen often.

Now dusting tables is a strange one. I actually love polishing the tables, but only the tops of them. I need to get Wahid to go buy some furniture polish.

Clear away the clutter (Passed and semi-passed). Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives (Failed miserably on this one and happy to do so. My husband has never been a house Nazi). Run a dust cloth over the tables (Passed).


Lisa said...

if i were to clear away the clutter, there would be no house left !

Anonymous said...

Oh, she forgot one thing...blend in with the wallpaper. That way, if he is unhappy with your cleaning, you can stand against the wall and he will never find you!
Love to you...xoxoxo

Sarah said...

My first husband was a house Nazi!!! Was horrid!! Jim and I pitch in together to do what ever needs doing. Given my preschool parents tromp through my house daily - the upstairs is cleaned up several times a day. Which is nice come the weekend - the main living area is all done. So I guess you could say - for my clients I do this half way. Don't go downstairs though........
Love ya Renee, Sarah

Deanna said...

I pretty much fail now....when we were first married, I cleared clutter all the time. Before guests came over, I went nuts picking thing up, dusting, cleaning floors. By the time they got there, I was exhausted. How stupid was that?
Now, my house is full of kid clutter, my clutter, and the hubby's clutter, and every now and again, we try to put it away.

If you come to see me at my house, you get to see me AND our clutter.

Grade: F..but I'm OK with it.

pRiyA said...

That's a terrific illustration. The way her dress blends with the wallpaper really makes a point.

Revolutionary Road is worth a look. Its a good movie and very much about the 50s household.

Thanks for your comments Renee. I had a big smile when I read your comment on RangDecor. Yes, I'd really love to chat and chat with you over tea. That would be such fun!

Shelly said...

Hey - your 18 minutes of doing something you hate (I know the polishing wasn’t included in that) compared to Wahid’s hour of doing something he loves is totally unbalanced! I have never seen your hair like that, but the sectional looks somewhat familiar … have a great Thursday … xoxo

Meghann said...

I only tidy when hubby and I can't find anything/each other :)
I also gave you an award on my blog - though you probably already have it! You can see it here:

Ces said...

My dearest darling sister-friend Renee: Why are you giving yourself these housewife checklists? It seems you have a happy home despite these pass/semi-pass/fail outcomes, so I have this impression that you were a prize catch as a wife not because you can clean the house like June Cleaver or be submissive like a Stepford wife.

Imagine all the rules women had to follow and obey? They were set by men and women who were under the control of men. You and I and Bella and your wonderful blogging friends would have been the maverick housewives had we lived in the twenties, thirties and forties. We would have gone to the stream to swim naked in the moonlight after drinking moonshine, even though I would have gotten sick, we would have taken off our white gloves when lunching in New York, we actually would have raised our children, exactly as we raise them today - be healthy, happy, accomplish something, be a part of the solution - not the problem. In a way, the sisterhood paved the way but we would have changed anyway. Women are just too smart to be caged or cooped up. I think religion has a lot to do with whether women are allowed to advance or not and that is something I liked the Catholic church - it always preached to treat one's mother or wife with the same reverence for Mary. Now if it will only divorce for those who need to escape the tyranny of a bad marriage, it would be a perfect church.

Tessa said...

Hehehe, I love the matching dress and wallpaper pattern - must try that! As for clutter - what's clutter? (Check out my kitchen post - now THERE is clutter!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am the queen of clutter and there are only 2 of us in the house.
Your blog made me laugh. Now I'll go and dust. Ha ha.
Prayed for you today at Mass, Feast of St. Joseph.
Love, Barb

Björnik said...

Hahaha! I just love you Renee! Clean up the whole house, your birthday is fast approaching. We're going to party!

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Ha! I just read Audrey's comment and I noticed the same thing.

I, too, love to polish furniture. But, only the tops (My reason is impatience:)

Did you know that dust is comprised of mostly our shedding skin? One of the women who writes poetry on my blog wrote a poem to her husband where she writes about loving each other after many years of marriage. About loving each other through "everything" they have experienced together. About the dust being a part of them. So when she dusts, the dust is symbolic of their shared lives. Symbolic of their love for each other and their connection to each other.

Love ya,

MuseSwings said...

I need to name my house Clutter Cottage. But it's a happy house.

Poetic Dreams said...

I figure 5 people live here,five people can clean! I didn't make the mess myself why should I be the one to do all the work?

Wishing ya a beautiful Dusting Free Day!

Noreen said...

I've had it figured that if I crank up ABBA loud enough the dust will vibrate off all surfaces! Works for me. ABBA=dust free!

Unlike the picture, I do not blend in with the wall paper. Does wall paper still exist?

Thanks again for your wonderful wit.

Michelle said...

I wonder if most men even notice??

Not in my experience...although mine is a neat freak and I drive him nuts, that's his problem not mine for sure....he is always welcome to clean and dust whatever he likes :)

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Renee! Just stopping by to let you know I do pop in to check on you. :)

lakeviewer said...

Wahid cooks? Did he always cook, or since you have been ill and needing his support?

My hubby has been cooking and cleaning in the last couple of weeks since my shoulder trouble. He used to have sleep problems. Not any more. He is soooo tired. I'm learning a whole bunch.

I still have to respond to your comments on my post. Got to go. Love you.

glorv1 said...

I like the comment Nancy made about the dust being a part of both parties. I got dust here as well and I dust but not like I used to. This year I've been lazier than normal. Hip hip hooray. Take care.

Daria said...

I'd have to day I had quite a bit of enthusiasm when we first got the house but that only lasted about 6 months. It really has been down hill from then on.

And right now, while on treatment, I could care less.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Gloria is SUCH a smart woman who recognizes GOOD comments:D And, Michelle is so funny. Wear nothing but an apron while cleaning, and let's see if they notice the dust!

P.S. I'm going to have to create a separate blog just for "our" conversations!

From your only "cutie patootiee!"
(I just came back from Gloria's)

Love ya,


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for your visit over to our place and for your kind comments. Edward and I welcome you back anytime! I'm looking forward to browsing through your lovely blog!!
All the best to you from us both!

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, Lordy. Who the hell dusts the walls?

My husband is an expert passive-aggressor. He likes a clutter free home. I cannot stand his brand of cleaning, though -- with one swipe, he will brush all the clutter into the nearest drawer. I've found toothbrushes in the kitchen and tools in the bathroom. It's maddening, I tell you! So I try to clean before he gets to it.

Sometimes I go on strike and refuse to cook or clean. And then it becomes a war of attrition. I figure if someone really can't stand it anymore, who's to stop them from cleaning? Certainly, not I. :)

studio lolo said...

I had a dream once that my whole house was clean.

If I become a millionaire I'll hire a housekeeper and pay her handsomely.

I'm such an oxymoron. (No emphasis on moron please.) But I love a clean house and artsy decor with just the right flair but I'm a lousy housekeeper. If deep cleaning needs to get done, hubby is the one for the job. I'm a surface cleaner and I'm not even good at that!

Life's too short to keep up with the dishes and the dusting. But never, ever just drop in on me because I'm MORTIFIED by the mess.
Just give me five minutes notice so I can shove the dirty dishes in the oven...just like my mother used to do ;)

Aaaah, the fifties. Some things really sucked back then!

Björnik said...

What?! I'm inside a giant cake, on my way to your house wearing board shorts and an SPF. Get the fireplace ready, I'll be entering through the chimney.:P And maybe you can lend me a spare curtain so that I could dress appropriately for your birthday.


Ces said...

As for housekeeping, I am the worst. I only make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are clean. My husband cleans the kitchen everyday. Dust is healthy for you. It makes you close to earth as it thickens it becomes dirt.

Also, I am the worst when it comes to tidying up because most of the clutter comes from my clothes. I have so many clothes, they are overflowing from the closet to the bedroom. I think I have a serious problem, I may need therapy. I love to wear nice clothes and look good and I spend so much money on clothes. I am not in debt as my husband pays off the bill when it comes at the end of the month but I may need therapy because how many black suits does a woman need? Not more than 25 for sure! So my husband's clothes have been kicked out of the closet. However, only I can say I have a problem and need therapy. If anybody agrees with me or thinks that I have a serious problem or even suggest a slight hint that I am like Imelda because of shoes, I am going to hate her/him and will make her/him a non-entity.

So back to dusting: I have kitchen and china cabinets, servers and side tables to store all the dishes. Oh that is another issue. Why do you think my blog is called Ces and Her Dishes?

Anyway, everyone who comes to my house seem comfortable and linger. In fact they like to come to my house and admire the books, that is another problem, we have many books, books everywhere.

You know something? I think I need a bigger clothes closet and kitchen with a house.

Maybe I will follow Gandhi and wear loin cloths and live simply. Oh I would look like a baby Buddha on loin cloth.

nollyposh said...

Lol! i extended my house and THAT solved the *clutter* problem... but the dust hmmmmm X;-)

Björnik said...

Why are all the people going topless? Ces, I don't think I like seeing you in a black loincloth and an SPF too...hahaha

Anonymous said...

Yay, for cleaning! Your prose is so current with me. I have a cleaning person clean every Friday, but she has been a little less in her cleaning prowess as I has been over the years. And she was ill last week and could not make it over to our home.

To this day, I cannot stand to wake up to a dirty kitchen. Kitchens and baths are my breaking point. They are the rooms that define you, the rooms you either eat in or get clean in. And if they're are not clean, what does that say about me. I can't even get the day on if those two rooms are not in order.

Anyhoo, to digress. As I said, our sweet cleaning lady was ill last Friday and she could not make it to our home to clean...and we had guests coming last weekend. So, in all my efficiency and resilience I broke into the cleaning closet and buffed the house clean - but just enough to get by for appearances sake.

The smell of furniture polish and lemon-scented floor cleaner took me back to the days when I was home from college in the summer, and I actually enjoyed cleaning my parent's house. As long as I was home, I didn't want my mother to lift another finger to clean or take care of us - I was grown!

To this day, it's still refreshing to understand that a little cleaning can re-focus and re-center you, and makes you appreciate the here and now.

nollyposh said...

(Ps) Hi Renee X:-) Back again... To answer a couple of your questions: Yes my dad did die, but it was back in '98, the "Pa" i referred to was my GranPa X:-) and yes he died last year, and i too have had a dance with cancer and had a mastectomy last Sept (11th!) It was my second 'bout'... AND i just wanted to say to you, that i admire your strength and courage because dancing with death is a scary dance indeed and i wish you much ~love~ on your journey xox

(Ps) i have found a lot of help (via) a man called "Ian Gawler" Have you heard of him? (He has a website) He too found himself in final stages of cancer and survived (That was 30yrs ago)... His story is an inspirational read if you ever want to borrow my book? Vicki x

My Journey to Hope said...

Yeah, I fail... miserably. And I don't feel guilty about it, either. Well, not too much. :)


Jann said...

I love to dust the tops of tables, too, but not the legs or the rungs of the chairs! It's a lot easier to keep the house clean now that our kids are grown and out on their own!

Björnik said...

Oh no Renee, it's your birthday so you just sit back and relax while we entertain you with a very erotic dance!hahaha

Caroline said...

Dusting the walls? This is too ridiculous! I'm very lucky (and quite lazy) and have someone to help me in the house right now. The only area I tidy is my 'studio' - after every project the place is such a diabolical mess that it has to be done!

kj said...

renee, i'm back from a business trip and it's fun to read another of these silly housewife quizzes. keep them up girl, the mirror opposite reactions we strong women have tells the whole story!

i like things clean and organized, but i like to relax more. sometimes it's a conflict. i especially can't keep up with clothes and papers. i have papers all over my desk. i can't tell you why--it just look important so they stay and stay until i finally deal with them, which is maybe twice a year.

renee, you are one cool writer! i glide through your words so comfortably!