2003-08-28 - 8:27 a.m.

When I first broke up with my ex boyfriend I fell into this sort of vengeful lapse with my housework. During the five years I was with him, I dutifully cleaned my house every Wednesday and Saturday night so it would never be in true Whisper hurricane hit form when he came over on Thursdays and Sundays. It wasn’t that he ever said anything to make me clean, I just wanted my house to be clean for him. It wasn’t his fault that I cleaned those two days a week, I just did it. But somehow, when I broke up with him, I took those two nights a week that I wasted by cleaning, as his fault. And I resented him for it (because I had to find something to resent him for I guess) and I took to NEVER cleaning after I broke up with him. Sure, I would do the dishes, wash my sheets, but nothing as time consuming as picking up mail strewn all over the floor, or even cleaning up piles of cherry pits that I had left on the table after eating a bag of black, Michigan cherries in one sitting. This behavior lasted almost a year.

Then suddenly it was the next June and I had a boy coming over here. The boy. So I spent almost a month putting my house back together for eventual arrival. Then, the day before he was due to be here I spent ten hours actually cleaning things, dusting, throwing things away. And since that day, sixteen months ago, I have cleaned my house with that same diligence every time he is due to arrive here. The last time he came here I thought how stupid I was, I stress myself out the day before he arrives cleaning things that I should have been keeping clean from the last time he was here. So, over the past six weeks I have, for the most part, kept everything clean. A couple weeks ago, (after a day at work where the sewer lines got blocked and we had raw sewage spewing out of every drain in the restaurant and I just felt oh so dirty and disgusting), I went on a huge cleaning spree, did things like bleaching every single doorknob and smooth surface (including pens) that I could. So, I should have been prepared for his visit this time, I should have a whole day today to do nothing but wait for him. Right now he is on a plane, due for departure from Paris in five minutes. But, a few days ago I jumped from bed at midnight in a panic because I believed this house just wasn’t clean enough. And I started tearing things apart.

And that’s where I am today, putting my house back together after having dumped out drawers, closets, cupboards, even boxes that I had stored away, into the middle of my floor and I was left again with a true Whisper hurricane of a house.

I realize now that my manic cleaning before he is due to arrive, the reason I suddenly start painting projects a week before he gets here, is not because I am lazy, or a bad house keeper that wants to put on a front of being a good housekeeper, I simply need something to distract me from thinking about him getting here. I need something, in that week or so before he is due to arrive, to keep my mind off my impatience for him to be here. Because I go crazy with impatience. I can think of nothing else, when I am impatient, than whatever it is I am being impatient about. And having a house to put back together keeps me sane. Keeps me in a state of needing more time before he gets here. I know this because my house WAS ready for him, weeks ago, and yet I created projects for myself the moment my impatience hit.

And to add to the stress I always cause myself. Every single time I go on a huge cleaning spree like this, my vacuum breaks, my washing machine keeps getting unbalanced, I drop things, I break things, plants get kicked over…you name it, I keep creating more and more for myself to do.

Like writing a diaryland entry at eight in the morning. Did I really want, or need to do that? No, I just needed another something to keep my mind off the fact that he will be here, in my house, in twelve hours.

Someday, when he and I have a normal life, I don’t know what I am going to do with myself.


It will be so strange.


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