I have been on a cleaning rampage ever since I watched Grey Gardens on HBO last week. When I saw the original documentary in college the thing that stuck with me was the sad and strange eccentricities of both Big and Little Edie. But now, seeing Grey Gardens with mom eyes, with homeowner eyes, all that sticks in my head is the filth, the complete and utter squalor of their living conditions and their total lack of awareness. My husband was so grossed out he couldn’t watch, but I had a different thought – maybe I’m not seeing my apartment in an honest light. What would fresh eyes say about our home?
I had ignored the ever growing piles of books multiplying next to the already full bookcases. I turned a blind eye to the stuffed animals taking over my daughters’ bedroom. I shuffled around the picture frames and remnants of Mothers Days past that littered my vanity table. But, now I could not deny the proliferation of stuff that was mocking me, practically daring me to try and pretend that the specter of Grey Gardens was not lurking among the dust bunnies under the bed. So I grabbed the Seventh Generation spray cleaner (what’s the point of cleaning if its not green?), the paper towels, the sponges and the vacuum. I rustled up garbage bags, shopping bags and boxes. I was on a mission to take spring cleaning to the extreme.
Four days later here are my stats:
Daughters’ bedroom: conquered. donate total: 3 bags of stuffed animals, 2 bags of clothes, 2 boxes of books and toys
Bathroom: conquered, though still waiting for the building to repaint after our upstairs neighbors’ bath leaked into ours.
Master Bedroom: 1/2 conquered. My half. Now my husband has to clean out his half.
Living Room/Dining Area: conquered. Even the windows. donate total: 1 bag of books and games
Kitchen: conquered. donate total: 1 George Forman Grill. (if the Edies had known about QVC there would’ve been a whole other mess to deal with)
So, all in all I am feeling more Martha Stewart than Grey Gardens. Though that hall closet is calling my name. Funny how it has that old WASPy accent.