The secret dreams of the arty-farties

I’d like to be a clean freak, you know. I’d like to have one of those houses where everything has a sparkly plastic box that probably gets wiped once a week and that contain all the essential things a household needs, and every essential thing a household needs would have a sparkly plastic box. I’d have one for my filing, and for my paperwork, which would always be away neatly and on time, and never double-handled, because I would know that double-handling is always a waste of time.

I’d have routines. I’d know exactly when I got up in the morning that I would put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, because it had definitely and always been put on the night before. I’d open pristine cupboards and neatly place my bowls inside, leaving one out, of course, for my breakfast. I’d know what day I’d be ironing, and I’d do it like Sonnie’s mum who seems to hover the thing over the clothes for the splittest of seconds before she picks up shirts and hankies in their newly-perfected state (although I am suspecting she is, after all, a fairy of some description – possibly an ironing one). I’d sympathise with my friends whose houses lacked sparkle and their constant bemoaning of the difficulties; I’d sympathise but deep down I really wouldn’t understand, and after they left I’d wash their cup and saucer and wipe the bench down and put the biscuits back in the box and shake my head at them quietly and wonder how hard it could be.

I’d like to be a clean freak. I’d never have such an explosion of cobwebs that the ceiling looked like a small trapeze for a fly circus, and there’d be no flies to use it anyway, and I’d be the original No Flies On Me (as my mother always said) woman. I’d never look at skirting boards so dusty it looked like they’d been abandoned for a year in the fallout of an ash cloud, and, even if they had been, I’d never EVER resort to buying stupidly expensive surface wipes that look like something you’d prefer to use on a baby’s bottom, because not only would I know that a cloth and some elbow grease would do the job equally well, I would have done it already yesterday.

I’d like to be clean freak. I tried to do it, yesterday, and realized once again what I realize every time I attempt such an enormous paradigm shift: that between the scrubbing and the decision to write some kind of weekly flow chart that tells me in detail when exactly I should do these things, I realized that my body was on auto-pilot again, and the thinking-and-feeling part of my mind has crawled away on a soft cushion somewhere in the cobwebs and is lost, again, in story.