A few years and one house ago, I bought this book. I guess it's clear that anyone who would buy such a thing ... needs it. I loathe housework. I'm not so very good at it, either, apparently.
The author is a kook--afflicted with the same heritable insanity, perhaps, as this guy. My favorite quotation:
The truth is that we are all made in the image of God. God is not a God of disorder. [...] When God first put Adam in the world, He told him to have dominion. We need to take that position in our homes--we are going to have dominion. I believe it is God's will that we take control of that portion of our lives which is our responsibility and rule it competently and well.
But I read the book anyway. It may be pertinent (who knows?) that at the time I was probably clinically depressed. Putting aside just for a moment the author's lunacy, the book was helpful in some ways. And for a short time, we had this kind of thrillingly orderly and tidy house. In my opinion, the effort expended was something like, ummm, uh, Herculean. I would get pissed off at SuperHusbandMan because he wouldn't wipe the counters down when he cleaned the kitchen, or put away tiny little things that were marring the vast horizontal expanse that I wanted to continue, undisturbed, to the horizon. In short--it didn't last.
Now the tome which has been gathering dust (heh heh) for I think about 4 years, has been plucked from the shelf again. I have finally finished the incomplete course from last fall, after about 12 weeks of procrastination. Is it possible for me to have dominion?
Maybe it's just a pusillanimous heart that inspires my wiseass self to mock the conqueror's tone, the imperialist spirit of the scary quote above. What's wrong with taking responsibility? I don't want to imply that Felton's books don't have any redeeming qualities. For one thing, this 'manual' helped me realize that there's an element of self-esteem in tidiness (that sounds a little freaky but bear with me here). For one thing, I observe that I absolutely kill myself trying to whip my home into something bordering upon presentable--heck, even hospitable, attractive, pleasant--when I have anyone visiting; so why wouldn't I do that for myself? Clearly, I enjoy the place more when it's looking good. It's my home, dammit--I ought to derive more pleasure from it than my guests.
It's. Just. That. I. Find. Housework. Demoralizing. And. Exhausting.
Fall of 2003, when a lethal combo of 2 graduate courses, full-time work, and mothering a kindergartener was rendering my life into something resembling the various musty and multicolored crumbs festooning the backseat of our car, I could inspire the pity of outsiders. Oh. How ridiculously overloaded your life is. No wonder your household is a sight to strike terror in the hearts of women and men, and you won't let even your friends open your refrigerator door. Now, those days are behind me--no more classes until I quit my job; and anyway, it's possible that we'll have to put our house on the market in a matter of a month or two, if SuperHusbandMan gets the job offer, so it's time pull out the stops and turn it into the Pottery Barn palace I know it could be.
I haven't got any better resource to turn to than this madwoman, so, off I go. Will report periodically on results.