Today I have done all things domestic. I have cleaned the floors, washed linens, dusted the furniture, scrubbed the bathroom, and shopped for groceries. The only reason I’m posting this blog post is because I needed a few minutes for my hands to dry out from prune status.
I used to clean the house to music, but lately I find I clean sans musical accompaniment…talking to myself and God, sort of a three-way conversation if you will. Today between my prayers for my kids, my whining about a few things not worthy of mention, and God’s redirecting statements, we talked about different types of housekeepers. Ok, I was whining about not having a maid like Carol Brady had, and that led me to thinking about other TV women and how they cleaned their houses.
This is, sadly, how my brain works.
So the question today is “What kind of TV housewife are you?”
- Mary Tyler Moore – You’re single, sleep in a convertible sofa bed, and never have anything to clean because no one messes anything up except for the occasional bachelor who soils a single shot glass or ash tray.
- Shirley Partridge – You rarely have to clean the house because you’re on the road all the time. And when you do need to clean the house you just ask your kids to help out and you have a family sing-along while you scrub-a-dub-dub.
- June Cleaver – You pretend to clean the house in heels and pearls, but really you don’t need to do any cleaning either because you have two boys who pretty much live in their bedroom and take showers at the appropriate time each night and climb into their twin beds after donning their neatly pressed p.j.s. You didn’t have to iron those either; you sent them out to the cleaners.
- Carol Brady – You are the envy of every other TV housewife because you have six perfect kids, a rich husband, and a live-in maid named Alice. We all want an Alice. I want an Alice. But only you get to have one. Alice grocery shops with you so you have someone to laugh at the other people in the check-out line with, she cooks your meals so you can eat them without being tired of them by the time you get them on the table, and she cleans your toilets, because no one likes to clean a toilet. She also solves most of your marriage problems, counsels your kids, and puts the pets out at night. You’ve got it maid, I mean made.
- Donna Reed – I suppose you clean sometimes, but most of the time you’re attending bridge parties, hospital charity meetings, or school fundraisers. You’re very busy concocting schemes and dreams so you really don’t have time for scrubbing and dusting.
- Lucille Ball – You don a pretty little kerchief when you clean and scheme away while you’re at it. You mostly start cleaning, then your best friend drops by and the two of you have coffee and come up with a new hair-brained idea, and you traipse off to do something really goofy together. When you get home from your escapades your house (or apartment) has been magically cleaned by the TV producers – including all the flour that was all over the kitchen, the feathers that were flying all over your bedroom, or the smoke that had filled your family room from the kitchen.
- Margaret Anderson – You’re married to the father who knows best so life is a breeze. However, you actually do clean your own house and you even put on your scrubby clothes to do the dirty deed. You don’t have perfect kids, but even when they’re pretty cross they generally come around within 30 minutes or so. Still, you have to pick up after them a lot and they rarely finish the chores you assign them, so you end up doing them yourself.
Me? As much as I wish I had an Alice, I’m definitely a Margaret Anderson. I’ve always loved Father Knows Best and so average, typical, plain Margaret serves as my inspiration on many a domestic clean-up day. Perhaps some of you aren’t so fond of Father Knows Best, but the truth is I grew up in a home where truly father knew best. I had a good and wise dad, a loving mom, and “Bud” named Jim. My mom, even though she worked as a teacher, kept a pretty clean house the old fashioned way – she cleaned it. Of course, she also enlisted our help. So by the time I left our home, I knew how to clean by starting with dusting, moving on to sweeping and vacuuming, followed closely by scrubbing bathrooms and mopping. I knew to go from top to bottom, dry to wet, little to big.
I still wish I had an Alice, but I’m glad that between a mom and dad who raised me well, a Father who Knew Best, and Margaret Anderson, I know how to clean a house. I don’t do it nearly often enough, but I know how.
But I still want an Alice.