Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trouble in River City

I have issues. It centers around dirt. And my huge aversion to it.

For a while I thought that I might have OCD*. When I see dirt, mess and clutter in the house, I have a physical reaction to it. My body tenses up and my blood starts to boil. MRN says that he can see it building up and he hightails it to either tidy or to get out of the room (the latter is probably the better option...). I try to hold it in-- I know that it's happening, and know that it's irrational but I can't help it. I hate dirt and I hate things to be dirty.

This does not bode well for a super handy and wonderful husband who is single-handedly renovating our really old house.

Yes-- rationally I do understand (and endlessly appreciate) that construction yields mess. And that all the mess is for the good and it's making this house more live-able (and ultimately sale-able). And the fact that MRN does the work himself saves us loads and loads of money. And the reality is-- he is NOT messy. He's extremely, extremely clean, in fact. He always, always cleans up the building mess and he even does laundry and cleans the bathroom (well, every once in a while). He's actually a much more thorough cleaner than I am. But even with all this, when the dust, dirt and grime starts blowing all over my clean house, I go a little crazy (okay-- a LOT crazy).

The most recent blow-up (it really is the only time we argue-- and poor MRN, it's due to my crazy) was about dirt from a project he did in the attic. He was fitting a new fan in the bathroom and spent 2 days in the cramped and really, really dirty attic / on the roof putting in new ducts, vents and the lot. And there was dirt EVERYWHERE-- all over the walls, dark streaks an inch thick ground into the tan carpet in the hall and all the way down the stairs-- all over the kitchen-- floors, counters, EVERYWHERE. Even though the sane side of me knows that it has to be done and it's going to make our house so much better (and fix the damp problem we have upstairs due to the lack of an extractor fan in the bathroom), I only saw red (or in this case-- black). I needed to clean. MRN's argument is that you wait until the end-- or else the project takes forever. My argument is that you clean as you go-- it saves time at the end and creates less mess that you can't get out at the end. I've even tried to clean while he's doing the work, but it drives him crazy (and admittedly, I can get in the way and stop progress altogether). An argument I will lose every time.

Soooo-- in order to appease my crazy, MRN thought it would be a good to take our fancy vacuum in the attic to, well, vacuum some of the dust away. Disaster. Not only did it break the vacuum-- it actually created MORE mess, with the exhaust fan from the vacuum blowing more dust out of the attic into the house. Plus it clogged up the filters making it unusable and covered the actual vacuum in filth. Good intentions... poor results. Now, my shoeless house is so dirty that my feet are black from walking around-- despite scrubbing the floors. Ugggghhhhh... not good for my crazy.

On a happy note, reading the vacuum manual I was not only able to fix the vacuum myself (go me and the DIY) but also discovered that the whole darned thing comes apart so you can SCRUB IT CLEAN!! MRN came home to me doing just that... and it looks brand new (to his credit, he just shakes his head and stays quiet. I'd like to think it is because he is affectionately bemused, but I think it may be more him wondering what he's gotten himself into with me). Once the filter is dry (12 more hours), I should be able to vacuum up the rest of the dust (come on Dyson! You can do it!). Bonus? I think this recent bout of crazy has finally justified a carpet cleaner to boot.

The lesson? Happy wife=Happy husband.

*Don't worry-- concerned that I had OCD, read a bunch of books about it a few years ago and have self-diagnosed that I do not; I'm just really, really, really--annoyingly so, anal.