I'm not much of a housekeeper. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I would rate a D- in housekeeping except when I have a writing deadline looming at which point I go insane and do things like clean out the refrigerator. Because deadlines are frightening. They have the word dead in them.
My mother, on the other hand, is a darned good housekeeper, and she doesn't understand why I don't clean things up naturally. So, mostly for her sake, I'm going to explain what happens when I try to clean the house.
Stage 1: Realizing It's Time to Clean the House
Normal Person (that is, my mom)
a. Remembers it's a day of the week ending in y which means that something is due to be cleaned
b. Identifies dust and understands that the proper reaction to seeing dust is to clean
Me (that is, me)
a. Trip over something.
b. Trip over something else while backing away from first thing tripped over.
c. Sit down to rub body part and knock something over
d. Realization that the house is now dangerous and must be cleaned
Stage 2: Planning to Clean the House
Normal Person (still Mom)
a. Go to cabinet and get out cleaning supplies
a. Wonder where cleaning supplies are
b. Look in all the cabinets. Find furniture polish.
c. See that there are no uncluttered surfaces to polish.
d. Google "who invented furniture polish?"
e. Put down furniture polish and think about what to pick up first
f. Google "most efficient way to clean a house"
g. Make a sandwich to refuel after exhausting google search
Stage 3: Preparing the House to Be Cleaned
Normal Person (this will always be Mom in this post)
a. Put newspapers and magazines in recycle bin
b. Gather up all of the books and toss onto daughter's bed
c. Yell at daughter to go somewhere else so cleaning may begin
Me (this will always be me in this post)
a. Gather newspapers and magazines into a pile and organize them according to date
b. Read newspapers that have not been read
c. Pick up books, one at a time, and place all read books on a bookshelf organized according to subject matter. Re-alphabetize individual bookshelves according to authors' last names.
d. While putting books on shelves, grab a book which hasn't been read for a while and start reading.
e. Find three books that are bad, boring or confusing. Make a list of people who might like those books. Text some of those people to see if they want the books.
f. Spend an hour on the internet waiting for people to text back. Also, order more books.
Stage 4: Cleaning the House
d. Clean mirrors
e. Clean toilet and tub
f. Sweep and mop floors
a. Pile dirty clothes in, well, a pile
b. Discover clean clothes in washbasket and begin putting them away
c. Reorganize clothes in closets by color
e. Find vacuum cleaner and unwind cord
f. Go look at notes on most efficient way to clean a house
h. Find an outlet for the vacuum
i. Suck cat toy up into the vacuum
j. Start to take the vacuum apart
k. Wonder if the part that just broke is important
l. Accidentally tear vacuum bag and cough frantically
m. Break for benedryl and hot tea
n. Look up vacuum cleaner specs on google
o. Buy new vacuum cleaner
p. Post photo of new vacuum cleaner to facebook
q. Look up "who invented the vacuum cleaner" on google; complain in facebook about spending all day cleaning the house
r. Trip over pile of dirty clothes, rebound off of the wall and fall onto the can of furniture polish
s. Give up and read a book.
As you can tell, I put a great deal of thought and energy into cleaning the house. Too much thought, perhaps. Somehow cleaning never gets done. I have the best of intentions, though, which, now that I think about it, is how most D- grades are actually earned.