* Drew Barrymore in a scene from HBO's Grey Gardens in which Little Eddie's bedroom bears an unnerving resemblance to my daughters' room.
The Countess does not wear a scarf tied around her head.
The Countess does not have trees growing in her windows.
The Countess has not inspired a legendary documentary, Broadway musical, and HBO film, yet.
But there are times I look at the well known story of Edith Beale and think, "If I don't vacuum soon I'll end up like those two".
And so I begin the Friday cleaning ritual. And whilst I scrub and dust and rinse and fold and wipe I curse myself throughout. Curse myself for my failings as a mother to have raised two children as sloppy as mine. Curse myself for marrying a funny, kind, sexy, devoted man who has a profound attachment to every piece of paper that has ever crossed his path. Curse my twisted psyche for not being able to throw away a month old newspaper because I haven't read it yet. Curse whoever or whatever decided to give all my mothers cleaning and decorating genes to my sister, the Countess of Suffolk County. Cleaning day is a jolly day indeed.
As my tormented fate would have it, I grew up in a household run by woman who was a Martha long before Martha became an adjective. She ran a household of seven with a breathtaking sense of grace and creativity and firmness and certainty. I lost count of how many times a parent would drop me off at my house and exclaim, "Oh I love this house." They would literally sigh as they gazed upon its immaculate lawn and lush gardens and the simple, elegant lines of the house itself. Her talents as a hostess, gardener, decorator, seamstress, and chef were well known. Every window treatment in her large home was sewn by her own hands, every plant was chosen with her own discerning, razor sharp eye.
See? See what I'm doing here? It's 10:30 on cleaning day and I'm writing a post on how much cleaning day sucks.
Don't think I haven't tried to love cleaning. I purchase every book and gadget on the subject with same sense of flailing enthusiasm that Oprah has whilst on her quest for spiritual certainty and immortality (thank you Newsweek, I thought it was just me).
I. Must. Stop. I must pick up my shiny, blue cleaning supply caddy. I must find my kitchen timer so as not fall into my usual trap of spending all day in one room while the rest of the house crashes and burns. I must find my Ipod with the snappy play list I created just for cleaning. Must change into pants with pockets so I have place to put Ipod. Must. Stop. Writing.