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The prompt is about desiring a "personal chef". I read some other people's blogs to get inspiration. One gal wrote about cleaning her house for company. One wrote about having to "let go" of cleaning once the kids started being born....but I think she has 9 kids so....

I mentioned my feelings about a "personal chef" in my last blog so, you know...asked and answered....

I can totally write about cleaning a house.

I also went to a friend's house for dinner last night and not only was her house clean, the smells in that home....the food smells.....were positively intoxicating. I mean WOW! Kudos all around.

My mother was a nutcase.

She had a so many issues stemming from her untreated, yet diagnosed, mental illness. My father was a man who craved regimentation even though he had virtually no ability to maintain it.

All of my friends, from age 5-17, can attest to the crazy amount of housework I was required to do. Not just me...all 4 of the Phillips girls were handmaidens.

I was beholden to a strict schedule of dish duty...rinse, load the dishwasher, wash, dry, and put away (non dishwasher) dishes. Split 2 ways and eventually 3...(never 4...Shani was just a kid). Dish duty was a big deal. The real chores came out on Saturday morning.

EVERY SATURDAY MORNING. No matter what happened Friday night.

8:00am: "crazy town" would shout revelry. Strip the beds! Man your cleaning stations! Bathrooms! Dusting the entire house. Vacuuming! Clean the kitchen. Put clean sheets on the beds. Clean the bedrooms. Sweep, mop, wax the floors. Water the plants...but first "dust all the leaves on the plants". <------seriously...for real. The process took HOURS. My sisters and I were beholden to this schedule and our friends would call us on the phone with fab plans for the day or weekend and we would have to say....."After I finish my chores". My friend, Maureen, laughs about the sad phone calls to this day....

Around about 1:00 we would be winding down from our day of drudgery....just in time to ride our bikes, 5 miles into town, to go hang out or swim with our friends. We were so anxious to get away from Nutso; we would have walked over broken glass for the 5 miles into town...barefoot even.....

My father would, when we were younger, and the parents were still married, "inspect" mommy dearest's housecleaning. Literally scour the ceiling line for cobwebs and white glove test the door jambs. I guess he didn't realize the trickle-down effect of his bullshit behavior. And as the most ironic twist, he lives in a virtual shithole right now. I mean he owns a home and all, but it is in a constant state of disrepair and I guess through his marijuana haze, he can't see the dusty dirty dinginess of his surroundings.

My home is always clean. Not because of me. I know how to clean a home. My girls know how to clean as well. But I do not use my children as migrant workers. I do not require them to do anything more than keep their rooms clean and put their dishes into the dishwasher. My eldest has some OCD. Her bedroom looks like a hotel room....AFTER maid service. My husband is a neat freak. He has some OCD as well...mostly around vacuum lines in the carpet and a pristine garage...garage floor included....

My youngest is pig pen. She leaves a trail of crumbs and clothes behind her or in her place whenever and wherever she goes. I have gotten used to it. I still see it and I still comment on it but I don't flip out and she isn't grounded because of it.

People everywhere appreciate a clean living space. People everywhere do not prioritize a clean living space as #1. And yet.....the world keeps on spinning.

My crazy parents actually felt like their clean house made them special. Like if they had visible proof of order and cleanliness, no one would see the crazy. Oops. The crazy flag was flying big and bold right over their clean house.

I don't think my sisters value visible proof of cleaning in the same way I do. It's perfectly fine with me. I think we are all lucky we are not hoarders or living in swill. I have my husband to please so I have to keep it together. I have always liked things orderly but I am not crazy about the rubber glove path to achieve it. I hire out my housekeeping. It is a luxury that has become a necessity. I know I am fortunate.  

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