dirty cleaning

That’s what my memèré calls a half-assed cleaning. Although I don’t think she’s ever said “half-assed” and I would bet the farm that her version of half-assed is most likely cleaner even than Downton Abbey. And they have a trillion maids and what-not, while she's just one small, highly dedicated woman. At any rate, a dirty cleaning is when you rush through the cleaning process, sort of ignore the corners, let some of the dust linger, shove a few things in a closet instead of putting them where they’re supposed to go. You get the idea. Let it be known that you CANNOT perform a dirty cleaning on all cleaning occasions. It is a once-in-a-while kind of cleaning. I mean, don’t get crazy, people. Clean your houses with integrity. Let’s not be uncivilized. Let’s not be cavepeople. Although, if you were a very clean caveperson, Mem might be okay with that. But don’t push it. Dirty cleaning is not to become your modus operandi. It’s for those more desperate occasions when you don’t have time to pull out all the special cleaning brushes, cloths, cleansers, parts of the vacuum most people never utilize (but should).

(I don’t, either. Don’t tell Mem.)

But there are very compelling reasons to dirty clean sometimes. More often than not, actually. Such as would rather go to the beach or would rather read a book or why bother? they're just going to mess it up as soon as I am done. (Again, don’t tell Mem ... Although through the grace and wisdom of her 89 years, I think she would understand now, even if she didn’t when she was my age.) Honestly, I typically do a dirty cleaning the week after I do a deep cleaning. And sometimes also the week after I do a  dirty cleaning. I don’t follow a schedule—I flow, people.

Well, I have done neither a dirty cleaning nor a deep cleaning in a couple of weeks, just a frantic sweeping here and there, a manic clutter-busting once or twice, a frenetic toilet swishing when it became glaringly apparent that I had no other choice. But today I am doing a deep cleaning because I have a big party coming up this weekend! That’s right—The Mosquito Hours book launch party! Many months in the planning and it has finally arrived. A celebration of my achievement but more so a big THANK YOU to everyone who has encouraged my work. Without that support, there would be no novel.

I confess that cleaning is not as near-and-dear to me as it is to Mem, but even I know that an event like this requires something a lot more significant than a dirty cleaning. So, 8 hours later, this house is about as clean as it gets. Probably better than if there were no imminent party. Not that I allow my family to reside in squalor. It’s just that I find that a side-benefit of throwing a party is that it forces you to clean your house. Once again, everyone, thank you.


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