One of the things that gives me the most satisfaction of a non-naughty sort is having all the dishes done and the kitchen neat as a pin only hours after creating and consuming an enormous and intricate meal involving the dirtying of most of the dishes I own. This admission would surprise and confuse most members of my family, as I am descended from a long and proud line of bad housekeepers. I remember cleaning my great-grandmother’s brush of her long, grey strands of hair and thinking I have to do everything around here!
Some may postulate that my attitude is the result of having been raised in the Mad Victorian House of Sloth, where lasagna pans went unscrubbed for weeks, ivy climbed through the livingroom windows, and un-house-trained Newfoundland dogs had their way with the carpets for decades, and that I am somehow scarred by this upbringing and am now overcompensating.
Those people just couldn’t be righter.
Now, normally I am not a domestic goddess, nor do I walk around being all OCD about cleanliness — far from it. I enjoy taking a day off from bathing, for instance, as I have remarkably short hair and tiny little WASP pores, and honestly, Americans bathe too often. We do. Chill out, and step away from the antibacterial soap. That stuff will, in fact, kill you.
I am also notoriously bad about doing laundry. I have been known to just go ahead and buy more clothes rather than make a pilgrimage to the laudromat. Everyone has a chore they find odious to the point of death, and laundry is it for me.
I also allow spiders to build little arachno-condos in various locales of the basement, giving in to a little of the old joie de vivre and live-and-let-live that doubtless inspired my mother to allow five unhousetrained Newfoundland dogs to spend the day inside — all day, every day.
This, THIS is why I never brought any friends home to play after school.
Spiders at least clean up after themselves, and keep the house clear of other buggies. Also, they are awesome. I dig spiders. And no, I am not now nor have ever been Goth. My ghostly pallor is entirely due to my superior New England genetic breeding. Although I did once date a very sexy goth guy who occasionally wore vampire teeth to clubs and who painted spooky pictures for gothic fantasy novel covers and who named his daughter Raven. I really shouldn’t do this, because Google will somehow lead him to me now and he will be angry at me for mentioning his daughter by name to the internet, but you have to know: His last name was honestly, legally, by birth, Savage. Hence, Raven Savage.
There. I’ve done it. Maybe he’ll forgive me if I remind the internet that he was really, really sexy.
So. Back to my selectively strenuous house-cleaning habits.
For dinner tonight, we had (try running a mental tally of how many dirty dishes this meal produced, if you can keep your mind of off the mind-blowing deliciousness of it all):
1. Cheese and crackers (Brie and Carr’s Water crackers with cracked black pepper, natch)
2. Raw bar appetizers of oysters and littlenecks on the half-shell with horseradish sauce and lemon
3. Steamers with hot broth and drawn butter
4. Basil/Garlic encrusted roast chicken
5. Pan-roasted fingerling potatoes
6 Dessert, for those who could face it, was Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. I had tea for dessert. Good, clean, honest green tea. With honey.
And those dishes, they are done. That sink, it is scrubbed.
The cycle of slovenliness, long passed from mother to daughter, has been broken. Let the healing begin.