Nov 10, 2005

If only house-cleaning regulations could apply at a UN Assembly

I've always been a tidy person as far back as I can remember. I think I was born with an added dash of neat-freak genes, that my brother left behind in my mom's womb when he was born 3 years before me. When I started kindergarten I was making my own bed so good you could bounce a quarter off that sucker. Whereas if you looked over on my brother's side the only thing that wasn't rumpled was the wall! Granted I was a little Greek girl growing up in a Greek home with Greek parents with Greek customs that instilled the art of good-homemaking as a vantage for catching a good husband. But somehow, I feel that I would have turned out tidy even without these influences.

I always had the neatest room in the house (later on my brother got his own bedroom - THANK GOD!). I baffled my own mother, the headmistress of House-Cleaning School, with my cleaning & organizing talents. I had such coordinated drawers and closet that even in a black-out I could get dressed without ever unfolding a single piece of unneeded clothing.

I feel very lucky to be living in the age of automation. My grandmother Athena (may she rest in peace) was a washing lady (plystra, for those seeking a new word for their Greek vocabulary). She washed rich people's undergarments, linens and sheets with her bare hands in a washtub for a living. My mother-in-law recalls how she had to wash everything from handkerchiefs to rugs on the shore of the Evros river! It's vital we remember the not-so-long-ago and still existing, in many countries, hardships of daily routines and not whine about things we take for granted like the vacuum cleaner, the laundry machine and running water.

Everyone hates house-cleaning, myself -the neat & orderly lady- included. It takes up too much time and the dust and dirt always find a way back in, producing a never-ending vicious cycle.

Yet, while I'm doing house chores it is the only time that I have total control of my micro world. I am the UN General Secretary ordering hotspots on "my planet" to cease fire, withdrawing occupational troops, bringing peace and harmony in my home.
You, dust - away from the furniture!
You, clumps of hair and fuzz balls under the sofa - in the vacuum NOW!
You, toys and sweaters - who told you to invade the living room - back in the closets!

Oh, how I wish "messy things" could be taken care of as easily in the world outside my doorstep.