Saturday, January 08, 2005

Help help help! I hate housecleaning! And you do too.

I got up this morning, took one look at the piles of junk in my room and went back to bed.

I hate housework. Avoiding housework has become an addiction for me. A friend just told me, "Jane, when it comes to cleaning house, you are like a deer in the headlights or one of those mummies in an Egyptian tomb." Paralyzed? Frozen? Immobile? "Exactly."

Why is it that I feel like I'm only safe and all those useless knickknacks won't attack me if only I just don't move? There are obviously deep psychological motivations behind my inability to clean house. Leave me alone!

What if I set a timer and threw out a half-hour's worth of junk a day? Five years ago, that would have worked. But now that I'm 62, I can't live long enough to perform this Herculean task and throw out all that junk unless I live longer than Methuselah.

What if I flipped a coin over every object in this mausoleum and threw out every item that got a heads-up? I'd have carpel tunnel syndrome before I could even clean one room.

What if I just blew up the house? Then I would have no place to live.

There are lots of things I could do to get rid of all this junk. The point is that I'm frozen in amber here. I cannot move. I'm overwhelmed. "Help help help!" The Aegean stables have defeated me. How can I clean all this mess out?

"You need shock treatment," said my friend. "Or try a gallon of Starbucks." Eeeeuuu! I wanna clean my house not ruin my kidneys and sell my soul.

"Hire a maid." And rob a bank first? Yeah, like that's do-able.

My only consolation is that I'm not the only one frozen numb by housework, I'm not the only one having trouble getting motivated to clean my home. The American people are having trouble cleaning out that rats' nest in Washington too. Sure they hired a maid to do it but the agency sent over George Bush and he is stealing all the silver. That's not good housecleaning! That's theft!

I too could leave the locks off my doors and hope that a burglar would come waltzing through. But a burglar won't sort out the closets, clean the toilets or vacuum the stairs. He'll only make off with what is most valuable -- like, for instance our tax money or Social Security stash -- and leave someone else to take the garbage out.

If anyone wants to come and help throw stuff out in Berkeley, e-mail me at

If anyone wants to come and help throw stuff out in Washington, e-mail the Government Accountability Office at Tell them to bring a large broom -- and an orange jump suit too.