Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Country Clean

Monday nights can sometimes be a little bit rough around here, because Monday morning is the time I clean each week.  I  sweep the floor, then go over it with a microfiber cloth stuck on a Swiffer.  Then I mop. I vacuum the rest of the house and clean the bathrooms most of the time, too. So by the end of the day, the house looks pretty darn good.

Then at approximately 6 pm, the men come home. And it's on, baby.

Fist, they try and walk in with their shoes on. Ain't gonna happen.

The they decide to have something like watermelon with dinner, so now the kitchen counter, the floor beside the counter, and the coffee table in the living room has sticky pink watermelon juice on it (just a few hours after I CLEANED ALL OF IT). There was a reason our parents made us eat watermelon outside when we were kids, and I get that now.

So basically, by about 8 p.m. I end up somewhere between pitching a fit and having a meltdown. And once I've dried my tears and put down the shotgun or cast iron skillet I've been waving around in a threatening manner (joking, but it's close sometimes), I always hear the same comment:  "But we live in the country!  What do you expect?"

So what do you think?  Is living in the country a decent excuse for having a dirtier than average home?  
I'm pretty mellow on the weekend, when most of our "country" things are happening -- when fences are being strung, trees pruned, and compost turned.  That's when dust, mud, hay, and other things too gross to mention get tracked in -- no surprise there.  

The weekend is also when Big Ag and Groceries will make snacks throughout the day, which means my granite counters feel exactly like the food prep area of the greasy spoon diner in town by about mid-afternoon on Sunday.  

The weekends are also when even the dog seems to bring in the majority of the pieces of bark, fruit mummies, and bits of straw attached to himself, and then plunk himself down on the sofa without a second thought.  Kind of sad that he's in on the whole thing too. But that's OK. I get it. It's the weekend and everyone's outdoors a lot. And some of the outside gets in when that's going on.

That's why Monday is Cleaning Day.

I've had girlfriends around here tell me their farmer husbands use the "but we live in the country" gambit whenever they request their mates kindly remove their shoes before tracking horse manure on the carpets, or throwing a straw-covered jacket down on a clean comforter on the bed. 

But I don't know, is it country living?  Is the standard of cleanliness and hygiene different if you live on acreage?  Or is it just an excuse for some folks to act like slobs or have a dirty home?

For me personally, I'm all for dirtiness outside, but I want the inside of my house to be clean(ish).  I don't want to stumble on mystery clods of brown material (hmmm, is that dirt or poop?  And how can I determine which one without reaching down to touch or smell it...).  I don't see why a kitchen counter that's been messed up with strawberry jam that's just been canned or dirty onion tops  shouldn't be cleaned well afterwards.

Is it just me?  Are my standards too high, or are my men trying to get away with being slobs with no accountability? 

I ask myself these questions almost every Tuesday. Because on Mondays I clean, and on Monday nights, my beloved family attempts to undo everything I've been working on all day long.

Because we live in the country, dontcha know.


  1. Ha! What a weak excuse! Only men would try that one. I think in a situation like yours, where so much of the house is expected to perform, cleanliness is probably more important. I'm not a neat freak, but I can't help but keep my kitchen clean because it's used so heavily. I think your schedule sounds like a good compromise. Understanding that the weekends will be messier. But if I were you, I'd probably get that cast iron out Monday morning and start giving threatening looks!

    1. Oh, I do, believe me! I agree, the high performance areas need to be totally clean, especially where food is concerned.