Thursday, June 25, 2015

What do you pretend to do?

English: Manufacture of self-sealing gas tanks...
English: Manufacture of self-sealing gas tanks, , . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have often thought about pretense. According to Barbara's Questionable Dictionary of Words, the word pretense means:
pretense: The act of pretending to do stuff while not doing them at all. "The pretense of cleaning was all she could muster. It was evident when you walked through the door she had never cleaned anything."
Back in the day, women talked a lot about cleaning this and that. Spring cleaning, fall house cleaning and scrubbing floors was actually the subject of conversation at any gathering for women. Washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday and then the week moved on from there.

I always loved the idea of cleaning. But the truth is my husband and I had not spent more than a month together as husband and wife that I figured out that cleaning and being a working women was not easy! In fact, from the first weekend until this very day, my goal has been to find easier ways to keep up the pretense that I actually am very clean.

Let's be clear here. There is a very big difference between being "neat" and being "clean". The former takes attention to the small stuff but is easy. The latter is just plain hard. But...if you are neat your house actually looks clean. How cool is that?

Another job that took so much time was ironing. Like making the bed, all I could think was that we were just going to wear the clothing and it would appear to be ironed for about 5 minutes. For many years I pretended to iron. I left the ironing board up, kept a ironing basket and dreamed of a laundry room. But, the reality was I ironed twice a year whether I needed to or not.

But now there are very few pretenses at my house. I take the clothes out of the dryer and put them on a hanger in my closet. The ironing basket is always empty. I haven't let myself dispose of it yet. Maybe someday soon it will go away. I declare without shame that I do not iron much anymore.

I have also discovered the wonders of:

  • the leaf blower (no more outdoor sweeping)
  • week killer in a large container with a sprayer (no more hoeing and weeding)
  • dimmer switches inside (dark hides dust)
  • carpet the color of dirt (every fleck of dirt doesn't show)
  • the all-in-one window cleaner from Windex (no more squeegees) 
Yes, I do make my bed, clean the shower, vacuum and dust (occasionally). There is no escaping some things. When there is a way do those things with less effort, I will be the first to jump on the bandwagon. Life is good!



  1. New follower here. :)

    You are my kinda gal. My (now ex) husband used to joke we ought to have people over more often because that always got me to clean house. (no, I did not divorce him simply for that reason alone. LOL)

    That being said, I recently read Marie Kondo's book on the art of decluttering, and it transformed my home and my life. Following her principles, AND not touching my pack rat darling husband's stuff, I got rid of dozens and dozens of bags of stuff, and it's much easier to clean when you aren't bursting at the seams. ;)

    I blog at:

    1. Thank you for stopping by Gwen. We have often shared that "company is coming" joke at our house. Martha Stewart used to say that we should clean "after" the company is gone. With advice like that I may never clean again! :)


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