How Much Cleaning Do I Need to Do to Be a Real Woman?


Dear Universe,

How much cleaning do I need to do to be a real woman?

Television depicts squeaky clean, cute homes where dishes never seem to need washing. Women’s magazines showcase dust-free living rooms with perfectly up-to-date furniture. Nobody ever has clutter or an unmade bed—ever. I have understood since I was a child that in order to have femininity, my house would need to be perfect.

So two hours per day? That would seem to do it.

Cinderella Stock 4


But here’s the thing—I like relaxing for two hours instead of cleaning. I like to enjoy a glass of wine and an episode or two of The Mindy Project.

So I’ll make a deal with you—I’ll do some other womanly things if you cut down on my cleaning requirement.


How about I eat more chocolate? I already eat some, but I’d be happy to eat a little more if you give me a break. How about for every 100 extra calories of chocolate, 15 minutes less of cleaning. So if I eat 2 chocolate bars per night, we can cut it down to an hour of cleaning a day.


KittenHow about I look at more cute animal and baby videos instead of watching the news, like I should? My news consumption is dangerously low already, but I’d be happy to fit in an extra video or two of fluffy kittens or breakdancing toddlers. So if I do that twice more per day instead of looking at my Twitter news feed, I think that’s worth about a half hour more of cleaning.

Okay, so there’s a half hour left, which is a lot more feasible. But…it would be nice to watch one more episode of The Mindy Project. The dishes can wait until tomorrow…or the weekend. What other girly things can I do?


How about this—I will buy new clothing with verve, only to get sick of it four months later? I can easily spend more time feeling frustrated with my wardrobe, if only for less cleaning.


So then, my cleaning regimen comes down to:

frantically wiping the grime out of the bathroom before company comes,

doing my dishes just enough to stave off pestilence,

and vacuuming the cat hair when I can no longer see my carpet?


I think I can handle that. As long as I’m still a woman.


Drinking tonight: David Ayikoshi 2013 Moscato.



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