The Art of Housewifing

Passover cleaning is now in high gear. While in previous years, I usually helped my mom clean the family house (in Canada) or helped her clean my house (in Israel), I am now all alone in my chores. This year, the Matriarch decided to help my grandmother clean her house. I think deep down, she’s trying to teach me a lesson. Something along the lines of: “So you think working is hard? Try being a housewife.”

My roommate is helping a bit with the fridge and cupboards, but I still feel somewhat overwhelmed. I think it’s because I’ve taken it upon myself to clean everything else, seeing as I can’t trust anybody else with the required thorough Passover kosherizing of the house. I mean I don’t go all crazy, scrubbing the crevices of the floor tiles with a toothbrush, but Passover cleaning still requires special effort and care.

Last night, I got home at 6:00 p.m. and got into the rags I wear when cleaning the house. I’ve used them to clean the windows a couple of days ago, so now, they’re full of dust and bleach stains. I had my CD player spinning the entire time I was cleaning. There is no experience like dancing around with a mop.

I started cleaning my bedroom at around 6:15 and finished at around 11:30, hungry, smelly and tired. I had just enough time to devour some makeshift supper, take a shower and hit the hay by midnight. But the fun part was in between those hours. I started cleaning from the top down. I removed all the books, magazines, notebooks, CDs, DVDs, bongs, candles, toys, stacks of incense, family photos, and a bunch of other random shit from my library and laid it all out on my bed.

Here is the result.

The library was filthy. Layers of dust and hair settled there since last year, and the stuff I set up in the various shelves made no sense. Since I have so much stuff and have a serious problem getting rid of things I know I don’t need, I use every inch of free space in my room as my storage space. Last night, I finally decided it’s ridiculous to keep empty lighters and dead batteries and tossed them out along with other useless shit. Once my library was clean, I replaced important items in a neat and tidy order:

1) A shelf for Stephen King books
2) A shelf for my folders, notebooks and sketch pads
3) A shelf for my DVDs
4) A shelf for religious books and miscellaneous literature
5) And my favorite: a shelf for music-related stuff

The music shelf contains my CD collection, the three Cobain books I have and Marilyn Manson’s autobiography, the Cobain figurine I bought from Amsterdam, my collection of guitar picks inside the porcelain sleeping cat, some music magazines behind the CD box and a picture of the King in the background on the right.

Since it took me nearly three hours to clean the library, I decided to skip cleaning the grrrlVIRUS library which is made of newspapers and can’t be polished anyway.

Next came the arduous task of clearing all portable items from my room so that I can sponja the floor. Just like a magician pulls out more and more things from his hat, I cleared more and more things out of my room. Three guitars, two amps, a huge-ass heater, a chair, two laptops, a record player, a laundry basket, two transformers, a typewriter, my big-ass portfolio, and stacks of garbage – you wouldn’t believe how much shit a single girl’s shelter room can contain. The only things I couldn’t move were the two libraries and my closet. I could move the bed (with enormous effort) but wasn’t up to taking it out of my room. So without further ado, here is what the living room sofa looked like after all my shit was cleared.

I have no idea how I managed to breathe in my room, especially considering the amount of dust and hair I uncovered after all items were out of my room. I started putting aside some stuff to give my parents – books in Hebrew I don’t intend on reading, some body products for my mom, etc. That’s because the stuff I keep in my room is only a small portion of the things I own. I have an extra closet in the common area with a bunch of dishes, pots, pans, jackets, coats and hoodies, plus a whole bunch of other things I don’t even want to look at, hidden in the compartment under the sofa. If moving in with my boyfriend pans out, I’m gonna have to part ways with much of my belongings. His apartment will surely explode if I don’t.

Moving on, I mopped the room, then moved the bed to mop the carpet of hair and dust from under it. I kid you not. Carpet of hair, dude. Check it out.

Then, I cleaned the window, dusted the curtain, and sponja’ed the room, still dancing around to some Michael Jackson tunes. I was quite pleased with the end result, but I know that at the rate that I am shedding, the carpet of hair under the bed will reclaim its throne within two weeks.

Despite my subsequent hunger, smell and fatigue, kosherizing my bedroom by myself for the first time in my life was definitely a learning experience (aside from being a good and cheap substitute for a workout at the gym).

Lesson 1: People say that dust is not chametz. But if you’re gonna clean your house, you might as well go for the full-assed job, not the half-assed one.

Lesson 2: Being a housewife is not a ride in the park.

Lesson 3: No matter how hard I try, I will never understand how my mom can cook like a chef, clean like a pro, knit me a dress, do the laundry better than the machine, do the dishes faster than I can break them, and iron the hell out of my dad’s shirts, and still manage to exercise in the morning. And she does that on a daily basis!

Lesson 4: No matter how hard I try, whatever I do, my mom can do better.

My mom definitely taught me a lesson.

Peace, love and next on the cleaning bill, the common area!


3 thoughts on “The Art of Housewifing

  1. this is exactly what i needed to read right now because i am currently procrastinating over cleaning my house.

  2. Pingback: All Order the Place | ♀ Riot Grrrl ♀ בישראל

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