May 29th, 2008

I have lived with my younger son for almost twenty-five years. I know if and when he leaves home, I will miss him dreadfully. We get each other. Most of the time.

Every once in a great while, I recall the times before I had children. When nothing sagged or wrinkled, or was anything but cute.

On Saturdays, it was errands and housework. After work during the week, it was everyday chores. Whoever got home first made supper, the loser had to do the cleanup and dishes. I always raced home from work.

I always did my housework naked. I would tear through the entire house, doing laundry as I went. When all was done, I jumped in the shower, and had no sweaty clothes to hang around and foul my hamper.

After my shower, I would don a crisp, clean outfit that was awesomely cute, and be ready to go someplace and show off my hard-working self.

What I didn’t realize back in the day was that I had a picture in my head of what my house should look like, and I felt terrible anxiety if the reality didn’t match the image in my head. I was fanatical about it.

Once a month, I would strip the wax off the floors, using a knife to make sure even the corners were clean as a whistle, although when I think about it, how can something full of spit be clean? Then, when the floors were spotless and clean as a whistle, I would re-apply the wax. It was very satisfying.

What I didn’t get was that other people had to live with me. On my terms. Or visit me. If they smoked, I would wash their ashtray the minute they butted out. How to make your guests feel comfortable, huh? But that image in my head kept giving me anxiety. I guess I figured if everyting matched the perfect image in my head, then my life was okay.

Eventually, I figured out that it made more sense to change the image in my head rather than feel overwhelming anxiety when the reality didn’t match the unreasonably perfect image.

People enjoyed visiting more. Who knew?

My compulsive cleaning left another gift for me. I overexposed myself to chemicals so much that I break out when exposed to them now. I use a lot of vinegar now, and green products, and nowadays, the image in my head is pretty darn lackadaisical. If nothing stinks, it’s all good.

I’m still averse to clutter and mess, because it is one extra step to tidy before cleaning and dusting. I do both less often now.

And Ass Burger Boy? I just ask him to keep his door closed because nobody wants to see what’s in his room.

Really. I have pictures.

And? I don’t do my houswork naked anymore. First, nobody wants to see it. Secondly, I never work up a sweat at it now.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 11:48 am and is filed under stories from the olden days. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

30 Responses to “Naked Housework”

warriorwoman Says:

I have such an image in my head right now!!!!!!!!!!!

warriorwomans last blog post..tit’s a nice day

iamthediva Says:

I can’t imagine you being anything less than awesomely cute now!!

Someone once gave me a postcard with a picture of a 50s houswife cleaning the bathtub that read: “A Clean house is the sign of a wasted life” it’s been my mantra ever since. Not that i live in squalor, mind you, but if i have a few things on the counter, or the kitchen table, it’s okay.

If i didn’t get ’round to vacuuming this week? meh, c’est la vie. So what if every pair of underpants i own is laying in a crumpled heap at the foot of my bed??

uhm, i should stop now… or you WILL think i live in squalor!! i don’t, really.

But who can be bothered to squeegie windows, or clean the tiles with a toothbrush, or iron their underpants when its absolutley beautiful outside, and there is good food, good wine, and good company to be had?? (Wine may not be included… i AM preggo after all) Those things will all get done, eventually. But today is a day for quick tidying and then eating some BBQ on the patio!


mp Says:

OMG you were a clean freak.. I can’t imagine caring that much.
My husband is addicted to Windex..he cleans daily.. have at it.. I mess things up daily.

mps last blog post..Bloggy Bling and other news!

Mylifeasmomma Says:

I am a clean freak. I wish I wasn’t. Maybe it will wear off one day.
And I never cleaned the house naked. My husband is already a hornball. I try not to leave any open invite to him.

iamthediva Says:

Hey! i’ve given you an award over on my site. Come check it out.

iamthedivas last blog post..…Love is All You Need…

iamthediva Says:

your blog is telling me i’m a spammer?? awww… :’(

iamthedivas last blog post..…Love is All You Need…

Krissa Says:

I remember cleaning, and doing just about everything naked. We ran around naked (inside) all the time. My household was never extremely clean, tho. Still not. Alas… never will be.

Jenny Says:

I USED to be a neat freak. When I lived alone. The first few weeks I lived with Mr Hyphen (who was Boyfriend Guy at the time) I had HUGE anxiety trying to keep his crap picked up. I gave up. I let the ulcer heal and now I try to keep it remotely presentable. With 2 kids, I can’t keep up and I don’t try.

Naked cleaning…LOL!!

Jennys last blog post..On Spending $300 to Save $40

Motherhood For Dummies Says:

I use to be more of a neat freak and now with a baby and a husband that make messes all the time… not so much anymore.

Motherhood For Dummiess last blog post..Family Moments – T.T.

Ree Says:

I can’t even bring myself to move the furniture when I vacuum…

Rees last blog post..Dream Day

teeni Says:

Hmm. That picture in your head and that behavior sounds awfully OCD. I know other people like that and it really IS hard to visit with them when you are afraid to touch anything or leave a fingerprint or mote of dust out of place.

I’m glad your image changed – it obviously helped your anxiety and made your guests more comfy. So I guess that is proof that there IS such a thing as TOO clean. Not to mention your reaction to the chemicals. Yikes.

It must feel pretty good to run around your house naked but I’ve never been comfortable with doing that – I’ll do undies and a T-shirt but nothing less. And I don’t think I’d do it in front of my kids if I had them. I don’t know why – just guess I’m on the prudier side. Maybe if I had grown up differently or in a different place.

teenis last blog post..Today I Saw A Turtle

Angella Says:

I ditto the OCD. Sounds like you got it in check, though.

My husband is the clean freak over here. I just take the kids out of the way and let him have at it :)

Angellas last blog post..Me, Dot Com

witchypoo Says:

All: I haven’t been keeping up with my comments very well lately because I’ve been re-doing a couple of sites for clients. I just can’t leave the code alone. So, OCD still lurks, it just takes different forms nowadays. Also? I spoke to the new owners, and I won’t have to move. Yay!

christy Says:

Just stumbled in…..I don’t have the cleaning affliction, but I don’t judge those who do (did)….

Funny, I usually don’t get the same courtesy from them, at least not the clean freaks in my family.

Some people are clean freaks out of compulsion for themselves, but some people are clean freaks to be better than others, I think.

Those types have scarred me against being clean. (Plus, I’m just lazy pig….)

christys last blog post..Witchypoo… I have a brain tumor?

Dawn Says:

hm. I would be sweeping the floor with mah boobs. Unintentionally.

Dawns last blog post..I’m in so much trouble

nan Says:

Oh, I clean the bathroom naked and Sean is often naked or in his drawers at home. I bought a loud bell recently to install on the path to our house, and we are going to put a sign under it that says “Please Ring Bell In Case We Are Naked!” because people are always walking into our house unannounced. “CLANG!!” “Are ya naked?”

Maybe they would stop visiting if my house was really, really clean? That would be bad. Another good reason for dog hair and clutter!

nans last blog wasnt always this perfect…

Coast Rat Says:

WOW! You were a dedicated cleaner! I have heard of other people cleaning their home that way, too. Whatever trips your trigger, as they say…

So glad to hear that you don’t have to move. Great!

Coast Rats last blog post..CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND – YEP!

frogpondsrock Says:

If the door is shut, the room must be clean..

frogpondsrocks last blog post..And the Answer Is….

Jenn Says:

I wish I had even a little neat freak in me, I really don’t. I hand out the chores to whoever will do them. Anything left over … well, it can wait til next week because I’m too busy. (Not really, but I act it. I spent many years in the army being neat and looking busy. I gave up the neat when I got out!)

evilwoobie Says:

You got me on the naked thing and I can totally relate! Living alone made me prone to never donning clothes when I do housework or real work on the PC. I am allergic to laundry see… if I dont put on clothes, I wont wash anything. Simple life. :D I wear an apron when I cook though.


evilwoobies last blog post..Why the Hell Did He Break Up With Me?!?

AssBurgerBoy Says:

whatever knudsen may be inclined to say to the contrary, you are right. That’s one sight I DO NOT wish to see.

John Howard Says:

Hello from Bloomington, IN and jg_howard on Twitter. I’m commenting with Internet Explorer, if that interests you… but I’m a Firefox fan, actually. I recommend a bottle of Punto Final, an inexpensive Chilean Malbec with a peppery finish. Cheers, John

The Over-Thinker Says:

Well crap. I just typed up a nice long comment and then I got an error message b/c I apparently can’t remember to put and @ symbol in my e-mail address.

I can’t remember all I typed, but I had mentioned that I no longer clean naked-as-a-jay hawk as I used to b/c, hand-to-God: Once I was dusting the TV and my boob came in contact with the screen and I got a shock. A SHOCK. Now I just clean “nearly-naked”.

The Over-Thinkers last blog post..There are Winners, there are Losers and there are people who enter contests for Chocolate Tea, Cupcakes and Books about Ugly Food

Melissa from Pittsburgh Says:

Oh I used to obsesses about cleaning (when I did it) … I still do not do it often but I don’t obsess about it either. Rather be playing outside!

And can totally relate to the slipping and sliding of body parts that used to live in happy perky pretty places …

Melissa from Pittsburghs last blog post..Sweetest Most Wonderfulnesses

Heather Says:

I don’t want to be 20 again, I just want my hot 20 year old body back!

Heathers last blog post..Smile Damnit!

zoe Says:

man i was so hopeful for a knudsen comment in there. darn it all. huh. i have never cleaned naked…some how i don’t think this is a good time to start!

zoe’s last blog post..Oh no he didn’t!!!

Jennifer Says:

Naked cleaning–brilliant. Well the naked part anyway. I’m not so into this whole cleaning thing.

Kristabella Says:

That must be my problem. The image in my head is utter filth. I’m guessing that is why I can’t get off my lazy ass and clean my house.

Kristabella’s last blog post..Click It Or Get A Bump On Your Head

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