In recent months, I’ve heard the name “Flylady” thrown around the internet a fair bit, usually in the comments on a blog post ranting about how much the poster hates housework, how their house is always in a state, how their kids and/or husband and/or pets are constantly creating more mess, more clutter, more stress.
Some kind soul will comment, and it will say something like “have you tried the Flylady method?” or “Flylady says you need to do “X” in order to have a clean house and it worked for me!!!” or something similar.
I wondered in an idle way what the hell was up with this whole Flylady thing, but never actually bothered to find out.
Then recently my sister decided to try Flylady’s 31 steps (or 30? can’t remember) to a cleaner, more ordered home and life. It’s working well for her, and since I do find myself confronting more and more mess all the time, between my own kids and the dayhome kids and the dog and the incontinent cat who punish-poops everywhere, I decided to check it out.
Step 1 – shine your sink. Says Flylady’s website, “After you do this, you will keep it shiny by drying it out after each time you use it and making sure when you go to bed that it is shining so it will make you smile in the morning. This is how I get to hug you each day! That shiny sink is a reflection of the love that you have for yourself.”
Now, I don’t go for the whole positive-affirmation thing; it’s just too silly, and it makes me laugh in an uncomfortable fashion. BUT my stainless-steel sink is the opposite of stainless; it’s kind of scrungy and I regularly fantasize about replacing it, because it never seems to be completely clean and that is gross. So, I looked up her instructions on how to shine your sink, and followed them carefully.
AND HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, THAT IS ONE SHINY SINK.
Like, it gleams. It looks like new. It is so clean now in fact that I have discovered I need to buy new taps, because they are so corroded under the layers of yuck that as I scrubbed them bits actually came off where the tap assembly meets the sink.
I carefully dried my shiny shiny sink and folded a dry cloth on the edge as per instructions, so people can wipe water droplets out of The Sink when they get it wet.
HA HA HA HA HA HA
This is me collapsing on the floor in hysterics, because NO ONE in this house will wipe water droplets out of a sink. No one in this house will even adequately rinse coffee dregs down the drain, or the last few dribbles of milk from a glass, or anything else. The sink is a catch-all for everything that no one wants to deal with, kitchen-wise, and so I am fighting a one-woman battle to KEEP THE GODDAMNED SINK SHINY, because oh, it satisfies my slightly-OCD heart to come into the kitchen and see my reflection in that awesome sink.
The rest of the kitchen is staying cleaner, because I am cleaning it. A dozen times a day. Every time I wander through the kitchen, I clean some part of it, because everything else looks so much dirtier next to The Sink. My after-supper clean-up routine is taking longer, because I am doing a more thorough job, and also spending extra precious minutes cleaning and then buffing The Sink. The rest of the house is suffering because of it. The main-floor bathroom – oh, you guys, it’s a hell hole, no joke. It’s horrible. But by the time I’m done buffing The Sink I don’t want to clean the bathroom; I want to stand in the kitchen and gaze at The Sink some more.
Let’s not even discuss how I feel about the rest of the family when they have the nerve to use The Sink for sink-related things. I freak the fuck out. (Inside my head, because at least I’m self-aware enough to know that this obsession with The Sink is not normal). And the weird thing is, I knew this would happen. I told my sister, “the shiny-sink thing won’t work here, because everyone will think I am crazy and no one will help me keep the sink shiny”. I knew. And yet I went ahead and shined the sink anyway.
And now I am trapped, a victim of my own success, because I can’t go back. I can’t ever again have that dull, stained, scrungy sink, because now I have had The Sink of My Dreams, and nothing less will do.
So I say – fuck you, Flylady. I do not feel hugged by you. I do not feel that The Sink is a reflection of the love I have for myself. I instead feel that it is a shiny shiny monument to my own insanity, and a constant reminder of how I live in a house full of people who do not value cleanliness or order, and I will be living here FOREVER, doomed to buff The Sink continually like a hamster running on a wheel.
But at least my sink is clean.