How to be a domestic slattern

domestic goddess

It was a tough call and I really had to steal my nerves, but I finally got up the courage to fire myself from cleaning my house. Not only did I catch myself drinking heavily on the job, raiding the pantry to sneak biscuits every five minutes and cutting corners, (does anyone ever really look under rugs?) but I had a lousy attitude too. I was surly and resentful. I just couldn’t help complaining to anyone who’d listen, that the suffragettes weren’t force-fed in prison for me to spend my life de-moulding shower grout.

Locked up in Lockdown, I’ve developed a chronic case of Stuckhausen Syndrome; stuck in the house, the grinding ground-hog-day repetitiveness of housework numbed my brain. Although, perhaps it’s just that I inhaled too much bleach? Maybe that’s what domestic goddesses really mean when they effuse about getting ‘high on housework’?

What else can explain those women who are espousing Marie Kondo’s decluttering credo, feng-shui-ing their auras and cutlery drawers and striving for the title of “Queen of Clean” ? I’m working up the opposite manifesto, sorry woman-ifesto. Namely – to get in touch with my Inner Slattern.

A domestic slattern does not clean up for the cleaner – surely one of life’s most pointless exercises. Nor does she bother separating the whites from the coloured wash. We leave roasting pans to soak – for months. We don’t care if friends drop in to find a Pyrenees high pile of plates in the sink growing fur or a bacteria colony breeding beneath the coffee table, capable of devouring a toddler. It doesn’t faze us when those long forgotten hot dogs discovered in the microwave savage an unsuspecting guest. Our top bathroom cleaning technique is to just leave an electric toothbrush on all night with the door closed. Works wonders.

Does a bloke’s guilt gland throb if his house looks like an SAS training ground? No. He just ignites a candle – keep the lights low and nobody notices that your carpet has composted.

Since I sacked myself from cleaning my own house, oh, the time I’ve saved! I have so many extra hours for reading, dancing, hobbies, making love…I mean, who cares about a clean house when you’ve got a dirty mind?

Of course smart fellas know that the ultimate aphrodisiac is a feather duster – a man who dusts really does tickle a woman’s fancy. But in general, a woman’s work is never done – not by your average bloke anyway.

What’s more, it’s a global problem. An Italian husband recently sued his bride because she wasn’t a “good enough housewife”. (I just hope the Roman judge didn’t deliver his verdict in Chauvinist Pig Latin.)

In China, a woman has just received $10,000 in a divorce settlement for five years of “unpaid labour”. The judge declared that “dusting, hoovering, wiping and mopping” had “intangible value.” So, on top of alimony, she’s been awarded this lump sum for housework. Personally I’d sum up this case by giving the judge a lump – on his head ,for ruling that’s enough money to compensate for five years of hard labour.

Worse still, women are not only expected to do the majority of the cooking and cleaning, but to look attractive while doing so. In Missouri, a Baptist pastor has also just been placed on leave after telling women worshippers that they should look pretty, lose weight and submit to their husbands’ sexual desires to stay married. Stewart-Allen Clark asked his Sunday congregation: “Why is it that wives let themselves go?” As he finger-wagged at his female flock, Clarke seemed oblivious to the way his saggy, daggy cardie strained to cover his bulging gut. “Women should not just wear make-up, dress nicely, tend their hair, avoid sweatpants and not wear pyjamas and flip-flops to go shopping,” he concluded, “but also display a Bible verse on their headboards reminding them of their duty to honour husbands with their bodies.”

I hope one of his female parishioners pointed out a wife’s handiest household hint; – the effective removal of a sexist pastor’s bloodstains from his misshapen cardie with a mix of cornstarch and lemon juice.

My undomesticated Femifesto will turn the tables – and without polishing them first either. Simply hang up your marigolds, girls, embrace the clutter and get in touch with your inner slattern. Women used to think that the ultimate proof of female superiority is the fact that we live longer than men. But during lockdown we realised that it’s just so typically male – leaving all the tidying up to a woman. So, come on, Mr. Muscle – it’s time to clean up your act.

Sorry to drop my own name, but female readers have reported back that two of my novels , “How To Kill Your Husband – and other handy household hints” and “HRT- Husband Replacement Therapy” helped in their chore wars. Worried husbands watching their wives laughing at these satirical musings were instantly prompted to a new zeal for domestic tasks. Better to help clean the house than be ‘taken to the cleaners’, right?

Cheers for now and do tell me about your top housework avoidance techniques.

Kathy x

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