It's all Breda's fault: I spent, oh, geesh, an hour and a half last night bein' domestic, clearing kitchen countertops (so that's where the pocket blowtorch got to! An' the Red Army messkits and my orange hair-ribbon and the old light fixture and...), hand washing stemware and the delicate and pretty Japanese tea set that showed up at a yard sale up the road two weeks ago, etc. etc..
I don't know just how it works. I can sit in awesome squalor watching "Trading Spaces" or almost any decorating-and-home-ec show, and never feel the least twinge; but let my Mom, a co-worker or even one of the bloggers I read regularly start speaking of domesticity and the itch to redd up* the place becomes overwhelming.
This is an example of custom (or something akin to it) being better and stronger than law or rules. I'm quite sure I've had kitchens the Board Of Health would've shut down, especially when I was younger and poorer; I have studied all manner of rules and strictures covering husekeeping and still, it's knowin' that other people who are real to me are doing the housewife thing that sets me to work.
Fortunately, if you do a just little housework, the urge goes away.
* See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Pennsylvania_accent for an explanation. My dialect bears a striking resemblence to this'n. Oh, those are dulcet tones!
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago