Monday, 28 November 2011

In service

If I could have a servant come to my house every day for an hour, there are many things I would have them do.  I have too many other interesting things to do to stay on top of non-essential housework.  This is where the argument usually starts.  My definition of non-essential is often what others see as core business.

I'm not a filthy pig.  I am untidy.  I have lots of books and music and clothes and I know where everything is.  I'm getting better at having systems in place to stay on top of my paperwork - going electronic with as much as possible has been a lifesaver.  And I suffer from a lack of cupboard space.  Some would say it's not the lack of cupboard space that is the problem, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't have more books than I may ever finish waiting for me to pick them up.

Some people see tidying as essential housework.  That's on my non-essential list.  Unless I have friends visiting.  I am an artiste at making things look like the artistic clutter of a creative, crafty, musical, intellectual type.  That's what I tell myself anyway.  Most people would probably consider I'd be a great candidate for some reality TV show that has untidy, interesting people at their dramatic heart.  Nothing like the voyeurism of other people's shortcomings to make other people with the same shortcomings feel superior and entitled to judge.

On the essential list are things like keeping the toilet clean.  Very important.  I've even received compliments.  Never letting the washing up go for more than two days, even though I have enough crockery to last for weeks.  I can't let myself think like that; it could be the road to ruin. My clothes and linen are washed, dried, sometimes put away and ironed if required.  The bins are emptied regularly and the bathroom hand basin is kept clean.  The fridge has a good rotation of food.  Nothing mouldering in there.  I make my bed everyday.  An unmade bed is another direct path to damnation.

And that is probably the end of the essential list.  Judge me if you wish.

So what would the servant do in their daily hour?

1. Clean the oven.  You can do that in an hour right?  I usually pay someone at the end of tenancy.  It seems like such a redundant activity.

2. Vacuum.  I do vacuum but probably not as often as I should.

3. Dust.  What is the point?

4. Wash the floors, walls and windows.  I do the floors and windows, again not often enough.  I've never done the walls.  People do, I hear.

5. Clean the car inside and out.

6. Deal with the bathroom and the shower.  I don't use the bath and it attracts filth like you wouldn't believe.  I give the shower a going over while I'm in it, but there are parts of the sliding shower doors that I've never been able to get to.

7.  Clean the pool.  (I don't actually have a pool, so this could present a practical problem.)

They can rest on the seventh day and then start the whole pointless and ridiculous cycle again.

I'll be putting my energy into plumping cushions, alphabetising my CD and DVD collections and shredding documents.

All of this is evidence as to why the quest to reclaim my spare room has stalled.  That's what I should get the servant to help with - running my online garage sale through ebay.

Or, I could get them to be even more useful.  How about a massage?  My hair is always better with a blowdry.  I sure could use some help getting the red nail polish to go on neatly.  Have you ever tried waxing your own legs?  It's harder than you think.

Now where do I find this multi-skilled, affordable service.  And can they look like George Clooney?

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