Diehards

Friday, 20 April 2007

Revaluating values: 1. Cleanliness

I used to be a clean freak. I cleaned the house at least twice a week and tidied up relentlessly. I showered and washed my hair daily - at least: if I was going out in the evening I'd do it again. Then I would blow dry my hair, smoothing out the frizz. Apply make-up. Put on clean clothes; I was always laundering: washing, ironing, folding and putting neatly away.

Then I became a student and began to notice a change. I didn't seem to have time to clean the house so often, now I do it only if I'm expecting visitors. I couldn't be bothered to wash and style my hair everyday, so I'd wrap it in a towel as I showered. Then I stopped showering daily too. Blow-drying became blast-drying when it happened at all. Make-up shmake-up I thought, who needs it. Every morning I put on the same pair of paint-stained, shabby old combat trousers, reluctantly laundering them only when they smell.

This week has been my most disgustingly slovenly so far: On monday I realized that I was going to have to really knuckle down if I was to get my dissertation in on time. I would need to do at least two thousand words a day. So I didn't have time for a shower. I put on exactly the same clothes I'd worn the day before. Tuesday ditto. Wednesday no change. Thursday, you guessed it. I could smell myself. Actually I rather wallowed in my own smell, I don't think I've ever smelled me before. Usually I smell of shampoo, perfume, soap, with a base note of fags.

Then my husband phoned to say he was on his way home and my instincts reverted. Before I knew it I was getting wet and soapy again, dabbing perfume behind my ears and brushing my hair. Today I'll have to do three thousand words but I did wash my oxters. I think that's probably what people call striking a balance.

12 comments:

Kanani said...

I'm supposed to be finishing a 400 page final draft on a novel. I've even taken off the entire month of April NOT going back on the campus at UCLA because frankly.... it's all too much.

Yet this week I've been doing OTHER things like setting up this new computer, getting new glasses. All sorts of stuff.

The truth? I'm bored with my own novel. I love it, but I'm bored. I wish it were a new flirt, like Antonio Banderas --who I understand really is a terrible flirt, and I'd slather all sorts of attention on it.

Kanani said...

I've left you something on my blog. It should help you get right back to work.

Kim Ayres said...

Sometimes I have fantastic ideas in the bath. But I guess that shouldn't be the only reason for having one...

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ Sometimes you just need a break even from something you love. I love my project but it's just such hard work trying to make it as good a it deserves to be. And I'm no academic my style has to be tortured into shape to fit the academic requirements. Popped over to your blog - you clever thing!

Kim ~ Baths are great you get clean without trying. Sadly I don't have one. Can you believe we bought this house without realising it was bathless?

Will see you today hoopefully.

Kanani said...

Last year we re-did the upstairs bath. The old tub was just disgusting --old, worn, then re-glazed and peeling! I love having a tub to soak in. Wish I could have afforded one of those really fancy deep ones with the water jets in them! Last year I was staying at a friend's house. They have a jacuzzi tub, with a plasma TV on the wall! Heaven! I could have spent my whole vacation in there.

Happily Anonymous said...

This post was very amusing and I know there'd be times I'd want to be slovenly as well but my job wouldn't allow for it.

Mary Witzl said...

A fellow procrastinator! Good for you. Do what I do and wait until the pressure is just too much to bear. Then mainline caffeine and go hell for leather until you are finished. Always works for me.

I used to be big on cleanliness and good grooming too. Then I got kids with serious laundry needs and a husband who frequently uses two shirts a day. As a result, I have learned a few tricks I suspect my grandmothers must have employed. I have a pair of trousers I garden in; I keep them outside as they are encrusted with mud. I've spent all winter in one particular charity shop cardigan (good quality, I hasten to add), and only wash the clothes I need to wash. Which is a good thing, or I'd never stop doing laundry. My kids go through clothes like you would not believe, but I have a clever plan to wean them off this habit: I am getting them to do more and more of the laundry around here. They're beginning to complain, so I think it's working.

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ Your comment suggests you have more than one bathroom: How posh! I have only one and it's so grim I balk at having visitors.

Happily Anon ~ Hello and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I had a job like that once. I had to be shiny and preened in a suit everyday. I so don't miss it.

Mary ~ I made Bob do his own laundry from the age of eleven, cruel I know but it meant leaving home was no problem for him. I've never done my husband's laundry and he proudly tells everyone he does his own! I could be seen as lazy and slovelnly but I prefer to think of it as empowering to the people I care about: interpretation is all!

Anonymous said...

Eryl I've no idea how this Bloggy stuff works but I was doing a search for you and Rhona on the net and found this. Sorry have lost touch with both of you - I have moved so has Rhona (don't have her new address) and don't have your details. Remember me
elainemjamieson@yahoo.co.uk
X

Eryl Shields said...

Elaine!!!! How could I forget you. I actually asked Rhona the other day if she'd heard from you but the baby started doing something odd - she has a new one called Edith - and never answered me.

I'm so excited I want to know everything about how you are. Has Scot seen your legs yet? that kind of thing!

Pendullum said...

I have never been prone to the fuss of gussing myself up...
I rarely style my hairin fact most of the time,I go out with wet hair...
and if my hair is 'questionable' I put on a cap...
Golly, I sound like a bag person!!!

Eryl Shields said...

pen, hello. I wish I could be more like you, perhaps I am just touching the edge of the generation that believed women should powder their noses and visit the hairdresser regularly for a shampoo and set. On the cusp so to speak. Since I've stopped wearing make-up my husband points out the make-up on models in the sunday supplements and says 'you'd suit that'!