Cynical Woman Meets The Fly Lady

So much for my attempts to write a daily blog. Yesterday was pretty well packed though – an eight-hour birth preparation class followed by dinner with friends. I was up from 5:30 AM until 11:30 PM, and just about died when we got in the door last night.

One of the worst forms of torture for a pregnant woman is sitting in a hard-backed, hard-bottomed chair. I spent eight hours in one yesterday for the birth prep class, and let me tell you, it was no picnic. After the first four hours of class, my ass and thighs felt like over-ripe tomatoes getting ready to burst. When I finally got to bed last night I was so sore and swollen I thought my pelvis would crack open and my legs would fall off. It doesn’t help that the baby is sitting fairly low right now, and pressing down hard on my cervix (which has not yet effaced or opened up). She’s constantly kicking and setting off contractions, which only adds to the joy. I swear this kid is trying to punch her way out of me. Either that or she’s using my cervix as a trampoline. Ain’t pregnancy fun?

But enough about that. I want to talk about something very important. I’ve found a new mission in life. I’m going to be a domestic goddess.

Stop laughing. I can hear you.

This isn’t a joke, and unlike what several very annoying people have told me, it’s not some weird form of pregnancy nesting. This is an urge born out of necessity. Michael and I agreed it just wouldn’t be right to have Cassie room with an infant, mainly because they’d probably keep each other awake all night and make our lives a living hell. So we decided to move Cassie into a bigger room. The only room available was, unfortunately, my office, which I’ve had ever since I quit working for other people six years ago. I hate working for other people. Other people are morons who make my life miserable for no good reason whatsoever. But that’s a topic for another day. Anyway, I’ve had this office for years, and it was huge. Plenty of space for me, my computer, my technical books, my art supplies, and my sewing machine. Yep, life in that office is pretty good. And suddenly I have to give it up. You can imagine how thrilled I am to do that, especially since it means I am going to have share office space again with my darling husband for the next couple of decades.

My husband’s office is in a very small room above the garage that is not properly hooked into the household ventilation system. In winter, it gets no heat. In summer, it gets no A/C. Not a great place to sit and work at any time of the year. Plus it’s overflowing with tons of boxes and computer parts that my darling dearest has been collecting ever since I moved out of that office six years earlier. Why he keeps this stuff I will never know, but I don’t dare throw anything out because it might be important. Don’t ask me why six-year-old software we don’t use anymore might be important. We’ve just got to save it, along with the cardboard box it was shipped in.

So anyway, we had a serious rearranging of rooms to do. Move Cassie from the nursery into my office. Move my office in with Michael’s. Prep the nursery for the new baby. For about a month, we’ve had furniture going in and out of rooms, boxes of books scattered everywhere, art supplies coming out the ying-yang (and no, I will not define ying-yang; you either know what it is or you don’t). It was complete chaos, and I hate chaos. And in the midst of all this, I had to notice that the floor of Michael’s shower stall was turning black and we had a pink ring inside the mouth of each toilet in the house. Eeeew!

Suffice to say, my whole house needed cleaning. I spent one Saturday working on the master bathroom. Remember how painful I said it was for me to sit through the eight-hour birth preparation class? This was worse. I scrubbed and scoured and mopped and wiped and scrubbed some more until I thought my fingers would peel back off my hands and fall dead to the floor. After several hours, the floor of Michael’s shower slowly turned medium gray, but refused to reveal the original white color I remember it being when we bought the place. The pink rings in the toilets did disappear with a little careful scrubbing, but after nine or so hours of hard work, I was faced with the fact that I had only managed to clean one small room of the house, and the rest of the place was still mired in misplaced furniture and books, and coated in dust. There was no way I could continue to clean the house the way I had been. I had to get my act together and quick, before the baby came along and everything turned into a complete disaster and the house had to be condemned.

Enter the Fly Lady. This woman has got to be the opposite of everything I’ve ever been. She’s a cheerful, perky, freaky cleaning dynamo who loves everybody and wants people to feel the peace of a clean home. She loves inspirational e-mails and testimonials, her favorite color is apparently purple, and she’s got to be the biggest goodie-two-shoes house frau I’ve ever seen.

And I’ll be damned if her house cleaning system doesn’t work like a charm.

It’s crazy, and I seriously didn’t think it was going to work, but I started out with her baby steps and over the past month have slowly built up a routine that has transformed the disaster area I call home into a nice, clean, livable space. I’ve had to put in a lot of extra work, above and beyond what the Fly Lady calls for, because I’ve got to get things cleaned up before the baby arrives in June, but not nearly as much work as I would have done if I’d just done things the way I always do, which is to scrub my fingers to the bone.

What really freaks me out is that ever since I started doing this house cleaning routine, I’ve been waking up at 5:30 AM, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I’m actually putting on an apron and running down the stairs to start cleaning at the butt-crack of dawn. It’s ridiculous! And Cassie has started getting up with me. She seems to think the cleaning is a new game, and she is constantly pestering me for a rag or feather duster so she can go play ‘clean da house.’ It’s freaky to watch, especially when she decides to dust the cats.

I don’t really know what’s going on here, but like I said, the house is clean, which it hasn’t been since we first moved in eleven years ago. As for the moving around of rooms that started this gig, Cassie’s room is all set up. The nursery is clean, just needs some baby things put in it, which will happen next week, and my half of the teeny-tiny office above the garage looks clean, at least. Michael and his boxes of computer parts can live in the other half. I don’t care. Speaking of Michael, his shower stall floor did eventually revert to its original white color, a fact that leaves me flummoxed every time I walk into that bath room. The house isn’t quite cleaning itself yet, but I’ll be damned if it ain’t getting there.

So Fly Lady is the antithesis of Cynical Woman, but Fly Lady knows how to clean house and Cynical Woman ain’t gonna sneer at that. ‘Cause I know that once I’ve got this place running on automatic, I’ll have more time to get back to doing what I enjoy best – writing porn, drawing dirty pictures, and bitching about the world in general. And that’s really all that matters in the end.

Tomorrow’s topic – how many remotes does it take to turn on the TV in our house? Too damn many!

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. Just reading about the FlyLady and your experince. I went to high school with Marla but I am a brand new flybaby. I love your take on life and on cleaning. Love finding out what everyone thinks about Marla.. the FLYLADY. I am loving my routines. Can’t beleive I actually get excited about rubbbbba sweeepaaa, dustaaaah, scrubbba’s and other great tools to get the job done. Thanks for your take on meeting the FlyLady.

  2. Romana,

    Thank you for the feedback! I’ve found I’ve had to modify my approach to housework, not being able to follow the Fly Lady routines exactly to the letter, but the one thing I appreciate most about Fly Lady is that she suggests figuring out what works for you individually, and she has some great ideas that are easy to adapt.

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