Monday, 4 April 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt had it right

I’ve always been a tidy person. Extremely tidy. Well organised and neat. Not necessarily meticulously clean – I’ve never regularly got out the furniture polish or dusted every surface on a daily basis. Who am I trying to kid? I have never done that on a weekly basis – but home and work spaces, even now, are usually well-ordered.

I once stayed in digs with a family whose mother was obsessive about cleaning. She took it to the extent that I didn’t feel hugely comfortable in her scrubbed, polished, spick and span house, It didn’t feel like a home. I can’t be sure but I suspect she was the type of woman who ironed her pristine socks and knickers.

There is nothing particularly wrong with ironing underwear. I don’t do it myself. I rarely iron anything. I usually neatly place damp clothes on an airer or hanger so that gravity helps straighten out the wrinkles. I shop carefully, often crushing clothes in my hand to see if they crease easily. Yes, maybe I sometimes look a tiny bit crumpled.

Nowadays I have a good excuse for my lapses in domestic goddess capability. I tire easily. I recently had to ask my best friend to change my bed linen because I knew I wasn’t up to doing it myself. This best friend may figure largely in this blog. Perhaps I should refer to her as my BFF, oh dear, I have slipped into a whole new vernacular.

To go back to my lapses. It’s a service to others really. Years ago my BFF (see, it’s slipped in there) bought me a desk calendar pad with a different apt and/or amusing quote from famous people (many of whose names I recognise) for each day. For 19 August it was Eleanor Roosevelt:

“The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are.”

Eleanor had it right. Look at me, my clothes, my home, (my health?) and glow with smug pride at your own brilliance.

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