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Bachelorhood for Dummies
“…we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:13
As much as a bachelor would like to think otherwise, every domicile must be cleaned eventually. I know that many guys will be tempted to muster sociological arguments against cleaning here. It is true that the definition of dirt varies greatly from one culture to another. In societies where everyone lives in huts with dirt floors, they don’t consider that dirt dirt. Even in our society, women think dog hair is gross but fur coats that shed all over the place are cute. But middle-class American ideas about cleanliness and propriety have won out in the US of A, and you don’t live in a mud hut. Yet.
Some of you may be tempted to try and avoid cleaning by opting for preventative maintenance–throwing away anything that is harder to wash than you are. This is effective, but perhaps not ideal. Even bachelors should strive to have both a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of. In this installment of Bachelorhood for Dummies, I aim to provide some guidelines and helpful tips for getting the job done.
When it comes to cleaning house, the best option is to hire it done. But most of us can’t afford that (and there are few ladies around with the requisite constitutions of turkey buzzards who will work for a can of beer and half a box of day old pizza). So this means that you will have to do it yourself. Don’t panic. I am here to help.
Before we come to the question of “how,” you are probably asking an even more important question: “how often?” Generally speaking, a house should be cleaned once every new girlfriend, or just before your mom comes to visit. After all, the main point of the whole enterprise is keeping up appearances.
Bachelors tend to think that everything is fine as long as all the dirty clothes are stuffed into dresser drawers, even if the floors are sticky. This is a common mistake. Don’t try to bluff the ladies by being neat. Most bachelors are fairly tidy, but moms and girlfriends can tell the difference between tidy and clean. Especially if they are wearing white and happen to brush up against things.
I recommend using a lot of Pledge. Now, you don’t actually have to use it on anything. Just squirt a can or two in the air. This will give your house or apartment a nice lemony fresh smell. And will also give the impression that significant effort has been expended.
However, if there are visible piles of dirt and strands of cobwebs you will not be able to disguise them with wood polish perfume. They must be removed to insure a second date or to avoid a matronly lecture. But there is an art to the process.
Cleaning, like seduction, should always be done from the top down. Begin with the ceilings. I know this sounds ridiculous. One imagines that gravity would take care of any dirt on the ceilings. The same goes for walls. Shouldn’t it just tumble right down to the floor? And as for the dirt on the floor, shouldn’t we just avoid stirring it up and getting it all over the walls and the ceilings? But dirt is like facts, stubborn as all get out. You will have to remove it manually. With a broom.
Every kitchen should be equipped with a dishwasher, preferably a cute one wearing an apron and little else. Failing this, there’s the minimalist approach to avoiding dirty dishes, where you use nothing but a pair of chopsticks and your cupped hand. Although, this a bitch with fried eggs.
Iron skillets are good because they never need washing. That is, if you don’t mind tasting what you cooked last night. If you do mind, why did you cook it in the first place? Those black-and-white speckled graniteware pans are also nice to keep around. They always look dirty so there’s not much point in cleaning them. Anyway, if you boil all your food, the hot water will kill germs. So no harm, no foul.
Refrigerators are the only true bachelor-friendly kitchen appliances. Like anything with a lid on it, they never have to be cleaned, just sorted through occasionally. Refrigerated food turns directly into garbage. Unlike house dust, there are no bothersome intermediate steps. And food is good about announcing itself. Food normally comes in earth tones. When the cheese, milk, and ground beef go polychromatic, they are free to go.
I also recommend that you double up on big jobs. Wait until the floor is really dirty before you wash the dishes. You will inevitably slosh some water onto the floor. This will alleviate some of the aforementioned stickiness. And, as a rule, a slippery floor feels cleaner than a sticky one.
Stoves are more difficult to clean, however. The only thing I’ve ever been able to figure out about stove cleaning is to move it every couple of years and then just wipe down the floor and the walls.
As for the rest of the kitchen, you might as well get drunk and squirt dish soap everywhere and hose the place down with that nozzle attached to the sink. I can’t imagine what else it might be good for.
The Dining Room
The best way to clean up the dining room is by eating all of your meals in the kitchen over the sink.
I reckon you can keep the bathroom clean by going to the bathroom in the kitchen too. But this method is not without problems of its own.
You can cut down on bathroom mess by whizzing out the windows and going to the corner store for your morning ablutions. Ultimately, you’re going to have to make a decision between your own personal cleanliness and that of the bathroom. I recommend that you choose yourself. Very few women have ever come to fella’s house to kiss the sink.
On the other hand, more than a few potential mates have left a man’s house early because of what they found in the bathroom. Generally speaking, it’s not a great idea to let life forms breed and evolve in the bathtub until they’ve developed a civilization of their own.
The Living Room
Every month or so, take the curtains down—and throw them away.
Excessively clean windows are dangerous and expensive. If you can’t see the glass panes, neither can the birds. And that just leads to more mess.
Confine living-room cleaning to extensive use of large plastic trash bags and vacuuming. But avoid the temptation to get too curious while vacuuming and begin conducting experiments. What will happen if I vacuum up flaming things in the ashtray? Can I catch the goldfish in the aquarium? How much toilet paper will come off the roll?
In many ways a broom is just as good. But it is nearly impossible to catch a goldfish with one
Sheets can be kept clean by sleeping with your clothes on.
Dirty clothes are easy because they can all be piled in a heap, and folks will think they are a work of modern art. Or maybe they won’t. The art scene is changing fast these days.
Close the door.
However, the best way to achieve a clean house is to get your mother or your girlfriend to feel sorry for you and do it themselves.
Last week, the transmission went out on my truck. This means I am currently without my vehicle. It costs just over $2,500 to replace it. Frankly, I don’t have the funds. Friends have told me that I shouldn’t let pride prevent me from letting you know when there is a real need. So there it is. If you value my work and would like to help with this expense by way of a donation, please feel free to do so.