The avocado green patterned linoleum in our kitchen is grayed from a layer of dirt that needs to be wiped away. If the sun is coming through our kitchen window just right, you can see a myriad of darker, even dirtier spots around the refrigerator where someone has carelessly poured a glass of iced tea and sloshed it out of the cup. There are piles here and there of goldfish crackers or teddy grahams which were dropped over the side of the highchair, forgotten, then stepped on. The dishes pile high in the sink, unrinsed and sticky. There is an overflow pile on the counter next to the sink. The stove is covered in crumbs and spills. The kitchen table is covered in clutter--various things that just don't have a home for whatever reason. The white counters--what you can see of them, at least--have sticky brown rings here and there, presumable from the iced tea that also was sloshed onto the floor.
Walk down the hallway to the bathroom and you might notice dust bunnies and various crumbs piling up along the baseboard. Turn into the bathroom and you will once again be regaled with loveliness. It doesn't take a very thorough inspection of the pink and gray atrocity to notice little heaps of white toothpaste crusted in the pink sink or the little piles of splashed shaving gel dried onto the pink vanity. Luckily, though, the piles of sticky goo make for an excellent way to catch all the pesky stray hairs that meander about in a bathroom. The mirror, you will notice, has been splashed up to a foot above the sink, and also has streaks from where someone wiped steam off of it with a towel. The bathroom only gets worse from there.
Step into the master bedroom and you will be greeted by heaping piles of laundry. Some here, some there. Some in baskets, some on the floor, some piled on top of the dressers. Good luck determining which of it is clean and which is dirty. The bed is unmade and the sheets twisted and pulling off one side of the bed. The carpeting is just begging to be vacuumed, as is the rest of the carpeting in the house.
In the living room you will find a wide array of brightly colored toys strewn about. It's not a good place to take a stroll in the dark. The dining room table is piled with more random clutter which, much like the kitchen clutter, has no defined home. Everything in the room could used to be dusted. The two large, empty baskets which are turned on their side were once filled with the afore mentioned toys. It would probably take 4 minutes to make the dining/living room presentable, but why?
The last part of the chaotic mess is in the office. Just imagine more sticky, crumb covered surfaces; large, dark spills on the rug and futon; pretzel crumbs and salt lining the futon cushion; and more toys randomly spread across the room.
What I have just described to you, ladies and gentlemen, is what my house would look like if I were to go on a cleaning strike and left my husband to take care of the chores. Why is it that he is oblivious to filth? How is that fair? For just once in my life, I would like to be the one who cares less. But I can't bring myself to live in the inevitable squalor that would arise.
Last night I went on the kind of cleaning spree that would make Martha Stewart shed a tear of joy. As such I am proud to say that the above description of my house is far from accurate (thank god). It is not unheard of for my house to reach that state, but it's cyclical. The house gets a really good cleaning maybe once every four months. In between those power cleaning sessions, the house gets cleaned at least weekly, but less and less fanatically with each passing cleaning. By the time I reach that four month mark, "cleaning" amounts to kicking all like things into their own piles--toys in this corner, shoes in that corner, etc. Then, one night, like last night, I break down and scrub things meticulously from usually around 9 pm until 2-3 am. Each time I do that, I think to myself that if I just made sure everything was thoroughly cleaned nightly before I went to bed, I wouldn't have to spend six hours doing it all somewhere down the road. And for the first week or so, my house stays really clean. Then it all starts going to hell because it's exhausting being the only one who cares. This is why I implore of my single readers that if and when you are considering marrying someone, take a good and careful look around their humble abode. If his/her cleaning standards are not up to snuff, then ask yourself how you feel about becoming his/her personal maid til death due you part.