Sunday, January 10, 2010

The threat of embarrassment is a great motivator

Does anyone remember that "Sex & The City" episode in which the ladies discuss secret single behavior? That's things you do when you're alone in your apartment that you couldn't do if you lived with your significant other. My (not so) secret behavior is that I'm a slob. My apartment is a mess. I'm not quite "Hoarders" worthy (no rotting food anywhere) Photo courtesy Seattle Police Department

but it's still pretty awful. My vacuum broke, so I haven't vacuumed in a while. The fire engine red carpet shows every bit of dust and dirt (now I understand why so many apartments have that awful brown carpet) so I've tried sweeping with a regular broom, but it's not very effective. I have stacks of papers, old bills, magazines and catalogs, printed knitting patterns, etc, all stacked on the coffee table and on the computer table. My bedroom is...well, it's a good thing I'm not dating anyone. And the little sun room is filled with stuff. Much of it is knitting paraphernalia and books, but there are two boxes of things from my old Tower Records office which I have not unpacked, plus a broken boom box, a broken floor lamp, and more. In short, I need an intervention.

The funny thing is when I have a roommate, I'm not this bad. Okay, my bedroom has always been a mess--just ask my sister who shared a room with me for 16 years--but the rest of my apartment I keep fairly clean. I guess I'm okay with my own mess, but I cannot abide someone else's mess. I can only let it go so far before I have to clean. Unfortunately, I have lived alone for a very long time. After staying up late to watch a late night Oprah show about people who had been featured on "Hoarders," I looked around and realized just how bad it's getting around here. The next day I typed "I need a maid" in my Gmail chat status line. However, even that didn't inspire me to clean.

Then, yesterday, out of the blue, Jackson of Gchatted to me "How much do you pay?" It took me a few minutes to realize he was responding to the maid thing. I told him I couldn't afford what it would cost to have someone clean this mess. But he was serious and started asking about the magnitude of mess and what day would be good for me. Before I knew it, I had agreed to his crazy idea and so Jackson will be joining me next Saturday to tackle this mess before the authorities come knocking. How could I say no to an offer so genuine from a man with such a radiant smile? But then I really turned a critical eye to the mess and panicked. You see, Jackson and I have never met in person. I can't let this be his first impression of me!! So, I've been cleaning today. I've set the timer to 30 minutes and cleaned in little bursts. By next week, maybe it will be presentable or at least not make him run screaming for the hills.


Ellen Bloom said...

Yup! I hear you, L-A. I invited a few friends over NEXT Sunday just so I'll clean up my living room, dining room and kitchen. The bathrooms could use a scrubbin' too. Guests are the ONLY motivator for me to clean up!!!

Anonymous said...

That is actually a Tip from Helouise. She suggested inviting guests once a month. Let's not get carried away!

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Cleaning for the cleaning lady. So predictable. But I did not anticipate Mr. Jackson would be so friggin CUTE!!! I gotta get me one!