Turning on the Vacuum Cleaner

I was on a date a few months ago, and I made mention of having a housekeeper. The gent asked why. I would have thought it was obvious, at that point I was working more than full time, going to school full time, and while I hadn’t mentioned it, I manage a chronic disease. He seemed genuinely confused that a single woman would have a housekeeper. He kept asking why I couldn’t clean on my own.

Pinterest is obsessed with giving me cleaning tips. How to get my baseboards clean. Parts of the toilet I need to scrub. How to bleach my grout. How to dust fake flowers. How to clean the inside of my dishwasher. I do not care.

I turned on my new vacuum cleaner for the first time last week, when my housekeeper had to call in sick. I was a bit embarrassed to tell you that I have not used it up until now.

I have a housekeeper for a lot of reasons. She does a far better job than me, mostly because she cares about a lot of this more than I do. As it happens, she really likes vacuuming. My time is limited, even without school. Time spent doing housework is time not spent doing other things. Jamie makes my life easier. I come home on a Thursday or Friday, open the door and the house smells like Pine-Sol. Things are clean. It’s the most fantastic thing in the world.

It astonishes me that I would be embarrassed to tell you I haven’t turned on my vacuum cleaner. I don’t live in squalor – if I need to sweep in between cleanings (and with 3 cats and a dog, I often do) I will. I know how to vacuum. But there’s that age-old thing. What the gent on the date and what Pinterest insist on. I’m a woman. I must care about housework.

And I do. I care that it’s done. I care that I don’t have to do it.  I shouldn’t be embarrassed about that.

So here and now.

I hate housework. It’s a lousy use of my time and I like living in a clean house.

That’s why I have a housekeeper.

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7 Responses to Turning on the Vacuum Cleaner

  1. Naomi says:

    Hear, hear! Actually, our cleaner/housekeeper is a man, which often seems to surprise people. The dog escaped into the house while I was hosing her down this week in the garden, still half muddy (and half soapy). I couldn’t work out how to get the mop head onto the handle. I briefly thought of calling our cleaner to ask, but was too embarrassed. I got the job done in the end with the head only half attached (and with a bit of extra determination!)

  2. Scientistmother says:

    Preach. I want to get a house keeper but I worry about how to teach the kids to clean if I do.

  3. Needles says:

    Bravo! I used to love having a cleaner. I call my daughter in law now, to help do the big things I can’t do but otherwise, but there is only me and I am home. I hate it but it does motivate me to keep moving and that is something I do need to do.

  4. a says:

    My husband harasses me regarding my lack of interest in cleaning. I tell him he can do it himself or hire a cleaning service. I don’t like dirt, but I don’t like cleaning either.

  5. loribeth61 says:

    I always wanted a housecleaner, especially when I had a house & while I was working. (It’s not quite so bad these days, now that we’re both retired and living in 874 square feet of condo with no yard work.) Dh did not. Partly because he hates to have outsiders in the house, even just to inspect the furnace or install new appliances, and partly because he thought his family would be horrified by the idea. The topic eventually came up at a family gathering. Every woman there thought it was a great idea; every man there did not. (Go figure.) One cousin said her husband said, “That’s money you could be spending on our daughter!” & she responded, “Yeah, but it’s also TIME that I could be spending with her too!” If you can swing it financially, I see no reason why you shouldn’t hire a cleaner, no matter how big or small your house or how many people live there or why you want to do it. Enjoy!

  6. Debby Hornburg says:

    You are the envy of many a working woman, sister.

  7. Anu says:

    Keep mentioning your housekeeper on dates. The guy’s reaction will tell you a lot. You could consider it a litmus test of sorts.

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