You would never know this to look at me, or to look at my home and my workspace, not to mention my filthy, filthy, car, but I am a closet neat freak.
It has been beat out of me by years of child-rearing, teaching, and my own disorganization, but I really, really like things clean and am greatly affected by places that are not clean. Like, everywhere I go these days.
It’s my basic problem: I desperately need things around me tidy and organized for my own mental health, but am unable to create or maintain this for myself. I really, really need a filthy assistant or 12 (read transmetropolitan if you don’t get that ref) but, of course, the writing isn’t even paying for itself at this point let alone allowing me to hire a staff.
and no, efforts to train my children have been spectacularly non-effective. And don’t even get me started on the cats.
I did not realize that I “came by it honest,” as we say in the midwest, until my last visit to visit my grandparents in Florida. Apparently, there’s a Naked Jungle sized ant problem down there and my grandmother is a little paranoid about it. She has always kept a spotless house, but as I was helping her clean up from dinner one evening, I realized that she was doing something weird. She was taking the trash — milk carton, juice container, chicken wrapping– and rinsing it off in the sink with scalding hot water.
My wife and my parents were like, “woow … that’s … hard core. and weird.”
I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And it should be noted, she has NO ants in her house.
I’ve thought about that a lot, especially as we’ve also had ant problems, mostly because my children think the proper disposal method for a half-eaten cookie is to grind it into the carpet until the crumbs have gone through the carpet and into the pad so Dad won’t see it right away. And I think about my grandma washing her trash and I want to go wash my own trash.
The ants are back. I hate the ants. Obsessively washing dishes and picking up the trash isn’t helping. I believe it is time to institute the ant protocols.
I’m wondering if I can just use Dawn or if I need to go full-out and use something with bleach?