Each house is as cluttered, colourful, messy, freakishly organised as its inhabitants. More often than not, since it’s the female species that takes a psychotic interest in the colour management of the cushions with the carpets, expresses displeasure at the highest decibel level when she discovers a well hydrated toilet seat cover and is far from appreciative of various articles of clothing strewn around the house – let’s conclude for the time being that a home is more an extension of a woman’s personality than a man’s.
Men are a highly evolved species and they know exactly what they want. Unlike a woman, he has accepted that a clean house is a state of mind - all you have to do is close your eyes. He doesn’t break into tears when the maid doesn’t turn up for three days in a row and is perfectly at peace with the unwashed pile of pots and pans and grime stains on the kitchen slab.
It didn’t take him long to realize that the key to happiness is selective blindness.
Unfortunately for the woman, God didn’t just give her eyes but an X-ray vision that can spot dust under the table-lamp just as she’s about to sleep, under piles of books when she’s about to cuddle up with a book, on the blades of the fan facing the ceiling when she’s searching for the meaning of life. The sight of unwashed utensils gives her the sinking feeling. It's as if those smelly pans are not in the sink but on her chest, making it difficult for her to breathe.Try throwing crumpled wrappers and papers on her floors and she'll come charging at you like a bull.
She may be dog-tired, ready to drop off dead, but she’ll ask for a 30-minute grace so she can tidy up the house before she can die. It’s a curse she has to live with. If she’s about to leave for a vacation, she makes sure she leaves behind an immaculately clean house, in case robbers decide to drop in.
She knows everything we see will turn to dust and has quietly accepted that everything she sees will have dust.
A woman’s mind is a fertile ground for anxieties that multiply like rabbits, most of them fiction than reality. It’s always busy making meticulous plans for events that may or may not take place in the future. She has many fears, most of them unfounded.
So, every time the clutter in her head becomes too much to tolerate and she can’t bear with the mess, she sets out to clean the world. She unsheathes her broomstick, climbs on the step ladder and attacks cobwebs with gusto. She goes where no man has gone before and vanquishes mounds of dirt under beds and tables, empties closets and drawers and spends hours rearranging them, attacks grime and stains from all angles, rubbing and polishing with flourish, till she breaks out in a sweat.
She feels like a triumphant warrior who has just vanquished her enemy. Her heart soars like a bird as she walks around the house and sees her reflection on doors, windows, table tops, cupboards she has coaxed to their shiniest best.
Only a cleanliness enthusiast can spend hours labouring over her home only to see it become dirty again. Only she can appreciate the beauty of neatly stacked books, stretched bedcovers, shiny table tops and floors that look clean enough to lick the crumbs off it, while the rest of her unfeeling family will say – Oh, I thought the house looks the same!
In her quest to wipe the world of all its ugliness, she’s always on the lookout for her comrade-in-arms. Not for her the useless store bought fluff but someone with character that’s seen it all and done it all. So old that it has become loose and sagging, but so soft that it greedily soaks up the grime and dust with just one swipe. Her quest for the elusive one is never ending. Every t-shirt, worn out skirt and faded cotton nighty beckon to her, begging to be enlisted in her crusade.
So, if you wife tears off your shirt, screaming, I want it, I want it, don’t start getting ideas. She basically needs your baniyan to use as a dusting cloth. And, if she wants you to talk dirty to her, just whisper – top shelf, kitchen cupboard and her eyes will blaze with unbridled passion. Just make sure you hold on tight to your soft as a baby's bottom pajamas.