You Should Know How to Do This: Be Clean

Everyone who knows me, with the notable exception of my mother, agrees that I am a Clean Person. Staci’s house is kept at all times at hospital-grade sterility and Pottery Barn catalog levels of lovely, and she considers the Dairy Queen to be the absolute height of filth, so in recent years I decided her opinion is not one I can take into account. Sorry, Mommy! Everyone else, though– they all agree I keep a real clean house. There’s pretty much nothing worse in the whole world than staying the night with a friend, or being invited to your cousin’s for dinner and finding that everything is covered in a sticky film, or that there’s cat pee staining the rug. I’m not saying you’re that cousin, but if you are, I want to show you how to dig yourself out with a minimum of cussing and sweating.

It was not always this way. To paraphrase 1  Corinthians, when I was a college student, I swept as a college student, I laundered as a college student, I Windexed as a college student. When I became a grownup, I put the ways of college behind me. I first got my own space about four years ago. Initially, I was so pumped because any mess I made was my mess, and I was the only person I had to clean up for. I had a washer and dryer at my place for the first time ever and I had a dishwasher. After four years in dorms and keeping it as clean as I could in the wake of seven suitemates, I was in tall cotton, and I let it get filthy. I embraced dimmer switches and lived out of a series of piles.

No, of course this is not mine. That coverlet is ugly.

That worked for me for about 3 months and by September or so, I hated everything. I had always dreaded cleaning as a kid– and to be honest, it’s not like I love it now– and I didn’t want to devote my whole Saturday to Windexing baseboards and polishing silverware. I was also living on $12,000 a year, and couldn’t afford stuff like Pledge wipes, which were suddenly a luxury item. So I decided to change.

Continue reading “You Should Know How to Do This: Be Clean”

Breaking: Now we must all buy emerald things.


Pantone declared emerald the 2013 color of the year, which means we are all legally required to purchase items of this color and integrate them into our daily lives, like we all did with tangerine last year and honeysuckle the year before. You did, right? Because that’s the only reason I let myself get talked into the orange wool capris at J. Crew. They were on sale? Cold comfort now that they’re taking up valuable closet real estate.

Good news for everyone except Freida Pinto is that emerald is a lot more wearable than tangerine and much easier to integrate into the design of your home. It’s less gendered (+1), a little winter-y-er (+3 if you live north of Ohio, maybe +/- 1 for other folks), and chances are you already have some things that would look nice with your shiny new emerald ish. Continue reading “Breaking: Now we must all buy emerald things.”