ditching the deep clean

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog

When I first became a stay-at home mom, I took great pride in keeping my house absolutely pristine. Not just tidy, you understand, but ORGANIZED. Each toy had its proper place; paperwork got filed neatly away; coats and pants were stored according to season; and shirts were lined up by color, sleeve length, and collar type. There wasn’t a single thing where it wasn’t supposed to be.

I also deep-cleaned. Constantly. I scrubbed down the bathrooms each and every day. I swept, mopped, and vacuumed EVERYTHING. I dusted and polished every surface, from the blades of the bedroom ceiling fan to the fake butt indentations on the dining room chairs.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
Judging by the size of these fake butt indentations, my dining room chairs were made for 9-year-old girls and THAT’S IT.

No speck of dirt was safe—not the curly hairs behind the toilets, not the mushy residue in the soap dishes, not the Goldfish crumbs between the couch cushions. My house was immaculate.

Then I decided to go back to work.

I refused to return to a starchy office smelling of burned popcorn and sexual harassment. No thanks! I was going to jump on that new-fangled “work-from-home” bandwagon that everyone was talking about, and no one was going to stop me. Best of both worlds, right? I’d be able to bring home the bacon while still keeping my house spic-and-span. After all, I was my own boss! I could take a break any time I wanted and scrub out the tub ring. I could rinse off the dishes after lunch and load them into the dishwasher. At the very least, I could keep the laundry going at a slow but steady pace.

BAHAHAHAHahahahaha.

These delusions lasted no more than a week. I quickly realized that working moms of ANY variety have to drastically change their housekeeping expectations PDQ—or use some of their precious income to hire a cleaning service. Here are just a few examples of how I personally have devolved from”Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” to “Final Order of Condemnation”:

Making the beds. I used to change the linens weekly, and when I did, I would launder everything from the mattress pad to the actual duvet. Now I throw myself a parade for just changing the sheets—which maybe happens once a month, or whenever my husband gets in bed, starts scratching like a feral cat, and launches into theatrics about how  “EVERYTHING! ITCHES!” You know. Whichever comes first.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
This is how you make the bed, right? I mean, the blanket goes on top of the pillows like that, right? And the sheets and pillowcases should all be different colors and patterns, right?

Dusting. I once dusted every imaginable surface. Wainscoting, crown moldings, shelves full of knick-knacks, entire bookcases—nothing was spared. But not anymore! Now I only dust what’s visible. If it can’t easily be seen, it can stay hidden under a six-inch layer of dust for all eternity. I could not give less of a care.

Vacuuming. I used to vacuum 3 times a week. Now I vacuum once a month and tell myself I’m not doing it more often because it “scares the cat.”

Cleaning the bathrooms. Okay, bathrooms do need to be cleaned regularly, and they need to be cleaned well, because otherwise that’s just gross. But since I’ve gone back to work, I am cutting myself a *little* slack in the bathroom department. Now, instead of washing my towels every few days or so, I let them age like a fine wine. A fine wine that smells like a moldy hobo.

Trash. Changing the trash, which used to happen daily, has now become a fun game that I like to call “Mexican Standoff.” My husband and I spend days watching the garbage crawl out of the trash can and up the kitchen wall. Whoever gives in and takes out the bag is the L-O-S-E-R.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
WHO WILL CAVE FIRST? NOT I!

Laundry. I used to keep on top of our laundry. Not anymore. Nowadays I don’t do laundry until we’re all wearing bottom-of-the-barrel underwear and irregular “Simpsons” socks from Family Dollar. Even then I just wash whatever shit is laying on the floor next to the machine, which is usually some completely useless combination of a leg warmer, 59 pairs of tightie-whities, and one of my husband’s dress shirts. And what’s that, you say? Let the damp load rot in the machine for a week? Don’t mind if I do.

Mopping. My previous regimen was what I would describe as “mop early and often.” You could run your finger across my kitchen floor and not pick up a speck of dirt. Now? “Eh, no one’s going to notice that dried blob of pumpkin guts from Halloween two years ago. And even if they do, so what? Are the Housekeeping Police on their way? Am I going to have to pay a fine? No? Then who gives an ever-loving shit.”

Surface cleaning. I mentioned that I used to be a stickler for surface cleaning. Now I subscribe to the philosophy that since my tables and counter tops are always covered with crap anyway, what’s the point? No one ever sees them. (With regards to the TV screen, the important thing is that I can still *almost* tell what’s happening underneath all of the snot smears and Nutella fingerprints.)

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
The usual state of my counter tops. Also, feel free to straight up ignore the bottles of absinthe in the background. We aren’t that kind of family. *cough*

Organizing. It didn’t take long for my opinion about the organization of closets and drawers to go from “a place for everything and everything in its place” to “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Pajamas are now shoved in with underpants. Shoes are piled in a jumble on the closet floor. Toys lie wherever they were when last used. Why put that shit away when it’s just going to come right back out again?

Cleaning up cat barf. What cat barf? I don’t see any cat barf.

Essentially what I’m saying here is that if you’re a stay-at-home mom, and you’re entertaining thoughts of going back to work while at the same time maintaining an impeccable household, think again. Even if you end up working at home like I do, your threshold for what constitutes good housekeeping is still going to plummet. You just won’t have enough time to juggle everything.

And I’m here to recommend that you just OWN IT. RELISH IT. MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

Yes, your standards of cleanliness may not be what they once were. But you know what? A certain degree of freedom comes along with that. The freedom to slack a bit. The freedom to say “fuck it, the laundry can wait” when you’re feeling tired and meh. The freedom to tell your kids to do the chores, even though you know their idea of cleaning the bathroom is “wiping the toilet seat with a piece of Charmin.”

The next time you find yourself clenching your butthole about the state of your house, relax that ass and release that stress into the universe. Even better, take a turn at contributing to the problem yourself. Clog a toilet and leave it for someone else to deal with. Scrape some jam-covered toast crumbs into the sink, hide the mess with a soggy paper towel, and walk away. Fling your kids’ Legos and Hot Wheels all around the room, then wait for someone else to step on them. It’s an adrenaline rush the likes of which you’ve never experienced.

I have to say, I’m glad I decided to go back to work. Who knew being a slob could be so deliciously liberating? *wipes peanut butter on wall*

hard-returngif

An earlier version of this piece was published on BLUNTmoms.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

hard-returngif

Photo credit:
“Washerwoman”: Gabriël Metsu; PD Art – US; Source: “Catalogue of paintings removed from Poland by the German occupation authorities during the years 1939-1945. 1, Foreign paintings” / comp. Władysław Tomkiewicz ; Ministry of Culture and Art. Warsaw 1950 Editor: Ministry of Culture and Art – Modified

confessions of a dirty wife

This past week I found myself in a creative rut. No funny anecdotes were coming to mind. No hilarious stories were chomping at the proverbial bit, begging to be told. No charming quips or caustic barbs were on the tip of my tongue, waiting at the ready.

I was in a decidedly unfunny FUNK.

So I did what I have always done during such depressing times — laid in bed and played hours upon hours of video games.

But after a week of laying around doing nothing productive beyond amassing an overly self-indulgent number of ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!s, I eventually decided that I needed to… you know. Clean up my disgusting house. Do some chores. Return phone calls that I’d been ignoring for days. As you do.

It turns out that doing this stuff was just the kick in the butt I needed. Because suddenly, as I was doing laundry and trying to de-gross my house, INSPIRATION STRUCK! And that inspiration was this: I would take pictures of the ridiculous shit in my house and show them to all of my loyal so-and-sos.

Great idea, right? RIGHT?!

Let’s begin!

hard-returngif

Let’s start here with this humongous pile of clean laundry just hanging around IN THE MIDDLE OF MY LIVING ROOM. Why, you ask, is it hanging around in the middle of my living room? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because I got tired, dropped the baskets, and deemed the situation “Eh. Good enough.”

livingroomlaundrygif
For those of you who were thinking about blowing this picture up and looking for panties, don’t bother. My grannies are the size of bed sheets and are basically indistinguishable from any other laundry in these baskets.

In the living room, next to the piles of clean laundry that will take six weeks for me to fold and put away, we also have what I like to call The Dumbest Purchase I’ve Ever Made: the IRIS LEGO 3-Drawer Sorting System. For a mere $39.99 per three tiny drawers’ worth of almost no storage space, you can sort all of your LEGOs once… and then never again! (We have three of these useless shits.)

unsortedlegosgif
Oh, the careful and intricate organization of these LEGOs. Its beauty and composition almost makes one want to weep.

Moving into the kitchen, we come upon the following lovely tableau. I know, I know. You can barely tell it’s the kitchen, because the kitchen counter is covered with so much dirty CRAP you can’t even hardly see it. But trust me. It is the kitchen. We ostensibly prepare food here.

kitchencounter
Because the kitchen counter is absolutely the best place for a brand-new shirt and some… garbage.

Still, I like the above picture because you can *almost* see the BEST and most AWESOME picture my son has ever drawn for me. Here it is in all its glory:

jackskellingtongif
What? It’s a picture of Jack Skllnington. Don’t hate.

While I was touring the kitchen, I also noticed that the dishwasher was wide open. Yep, just wide open, with the top tray pulled out. At first I was confused, but then I remembered that I’d opened it about three hours before, intending to do the dishes. But then I was like: “Nope.” And walked away.

opendishwashergif
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Okay. So. I first noticed this next phenomenon in the kitchen but as I moved throughout the house I saw that it was more than just an anomaly – it was a PATTERN. And that pattern? Is that NONE OF THE CLOCKS IN OUR HOUSE TELL THE RIGHT TIME.

clock7gif clock6gif clock4gif clock5gif clock3gif clock2gif

clock1gif
Useful.

Hey. Hey guys. GUYS. I MADE THE BED, GUYS. This is how you do it, right? I mean, that’s where the blanket goes, right? On top of the pillows like that? And all the sheets and pillowcases should be different colors and patterns, right?

bedgif
Look at those hospital corners. You could bounce a quarter off those sheets. (If the quarter was made of a Super Ball and you flung it on the bed at 900 miles per hour.)

See anything interesting in the above picture besides the perfectly made bed? No? Are you sure? You didn’t happen to see… THIS?

urinatedgif
It’s an important question.

Our last stop is the best stop: the basement. Oh, the basement. Full of mementos and marvelous wonders, it never ceases to intrigue the mind and tickle the fancy. I know I could spend hours down there just combing through old memories if it weren’t for the fact that it smells like a MILDEWY PIECE OF SHIT.

Speaking of mementos:

momentosgif
“Ah yes, darling. Remember these… potty seats? They do indeed bring a tear of reminiscence to my eye.”

I also think it speaks volumes about my cooking habits that the roasting pan is a) in the basement, b) in its original box, c) hasn’t been used since Thanksgiving, and d) wasn’t used since the Thanksgiving before that.

roastingpangif
I really do make a mean turkey. I just make ONE A YEAR AND THAT’S IT.

And finally, over in the corner near the whatever that thing is, a delightful memory of Christmases Past:

basementgif
By the way, that dead fly and/or earwig was HUMONGOUS.

And that’s the end of our tour! Pictures that did not make it into this post include:

  1. A pair of my dirty underpants lying on the stairs;
  2. My husband’s limited edition Hellcat Records Fender guitar that he has played not even once (he never learned how);
  3.  A framed finger painting of my son’s with the somewhat disturbing title of “FINGER”;
  4.  The neatly stacked pile of gardening books sitting in the basement that I have never even cracked open; and
  5. The plungers in EVERY. SINGLE. BATHROOM. because our water pressure su~ucks. (Also we do big poops.)

hard-returngif

I hope you enjoyed this and remember! If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

lest ye be judged

Remember learning about Anubis in grade school? He was the ancient Egyptian god with the head of a jackal who hung around the underworld mummifying bodies and weighing hearts against feathers and whatnot. Here’s a picture of him holding court with some weirdos and a tiny bird-man:

scalesgif
Anubis weighing some shit.

I bring up Anubis and the whole ancient Egyptian “weighing your heart against a feather” afterlife doodly-doo because all of it offers some context to the following chat conversation I had with my sister Cheeks the other day:

annechat1gif
annechat2gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

annechat3gif

annechat4gif

….aaaaaand it does.

mummificationgif
Poor Anubis.

back in black

"back in black," in which est. 1975 explains the reason for her black wardrobe. #funny #humor #fashion #est1975 #est1975blog @Sarah (est. 1975)

If memory serves, and at my age it often doesn’t, I was about 24 years old when I made the Very Serious Life Decision to wear Mostly Black.

I use the qualifier “Mostly” for these reasons:

1. Black may be my color of choice, but as you can see from the picture below, my wardrobe actually incorporates black, white, and all the 50 shades of gray in between. (See what I did there? I made you think about sex.)

wardrobelayersgif

2. Sometimes I throw caution into the wind and try out an “accent” color. Subtle pieces, nothing crazy. A pink shell tank here. A pair of espresso brown ankle boots there. Tumultuous dalliances outside of my comfort zone that don’t last long. Goodwill ends up with most of these items within six months.

3. Pajamas don’t count. They’re not real clothes. I’ll wear any old clearance shit to bed, no matter what color. Who cares? Nobody sees that shit except for my husband, my son, and everybody in car line.

Anyway…. never mind all that. The important thing is Mostly Black.

So why did I make the decision in early 2000 to purge my closet of the flannel and chambray button-downs of the early 1990’s, the pastel sweater sets of the late 1990’s, and the peasant skirts and off-the-shoulder tops that were costume de rigueur at the time? Why did I turn my life into the Adventure in Greyscale it is today?

Here we go.

1. Black is slimming. Because I was SUPER fat back then. Like, RIDICULOUSLY fat.

I mean, I was a good 50 pounds lighter than I am now. And I could wear pencil skirts and button-down tops and other items of fitted clothing that now explode at the seams if I dare to even look at them. And I could actually shop at The Limited without every gay employee in the entire store rolling their eyes and stage whispering “oh girl” to anyone standing nearby.

NO, BUT REALLY GUYS. I WAS SO FAT. Just look:

skinnysarahgif
24 years dumb.

2. Everything matches. I don’t know about you guys, but I could not be lazier when it comes to accessorizing. Who has the time to match their lipstick to their fingernails to their purse to their pumps? Not me, that’s who – I have a fuck-load of a television to watch. But if all of your clothes are black, and all of your shoes are black, and all of your bags are black, and all of your jewelry is black or metallic, you’re good to go no matter what shit you slap on in ten seconds.

3. You don’t have to worry about your makeup. Smoky eye? That goes with black. Neutral lid? That goes with black. Some glittery, glammed-out, sparkles-and-unicorn-cum Ziggy Stardust concoction you came up with at 3 in the morning after drinking an entire bottle of Courvoisier? Girl, you better believe that goes with black.

Ziggy knows.

4. I was in mourning. After my son Edward VII involved himself in an unsavory affair with an Irish actress named Nellie Clifden, my husband Prince Albert was forced to travel to Cambridge to confront him about his misdeeds. The two of them took a long walk in the rain to discuss Edward’s philandering, and upon his return my dear Albert fell ill and died. I was absolutely sick with grief, and I wore widow’s weeds every day from his death in 1861 to my own in 1901. And if you haven’t figured out that I’m talking about Queen Victoria by now you seriously need to SCHOOL YO’SELF.

5. If all of your underwear and pants are black, you never have to worry about period stains. You’re welcome.

So that’s that. I’ve worn Mostly Black for close to fifteen years now, earning me delightful nicknames such as “Wednesday Addams,” “June Carter Cash,” and “Where’s the Funeral?” This same wardrobe has also prompted my grandmother to ask my mother approximately 2397234987 times when I am going to start “wearing a little color.” I’m sorry, Grandma. I love you dearly. But the answer is probably never. Seriously, did you read the thing about the period stains? And the slimming thing? And the thing about the makeup?

For real.

And speaking of Queen Victoria, watch this right now and laugh (language is NSFW.)

from That Mitchell and Webb Look (BBC2)

my weekend

I think these two quotes pretty accurately capture the gist of my weekend.

Me: “Why are you holding a gallon of milk up to my chest?”
Husband: “I’m comparing jugs.”

Son: *flings his dirty pajamas into my room*
“HEY MOM! HERE’S SOME DIRTY LAUNDRY FOR YOU TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT!”

Sigh.