giant floor-cleaning slippers

How not to be a domestic goddess

Last night, as I waited for Terry to finish doing the grocery shopping online (they only charged us £5 for last week’s shop after the whole non-delivery debacle, by the way – result!) and make me dinner, it occurred to me that:

a) I am WAY spoiled

b) The whole “being a wife” thing? I totally suck at it sometimes. Really.

You see, although I like to obsess endlessly over the state of the floors, empty Terry’s wastepaper basket as soon as it has ONE PIECE OF PAPER in it (or as soon as Rubin pees in it, whichever comes first), and generally am a bit of an asshole about neatness, I am totally domestically challenged. As in, there are some things I just CANNOT DO, no matter how hard I try. For instance:

1. Cooking

Can’t. Won’t. Whatever. Actually, I’m sure I could probably cook if I really wanted to, but it’s just that I… don’t want to. It bores me. Rigid. My mum has a saying about this. The saying is: “why slave over a hot stove when there are books to read?” This more or less sums it up for me. If it takes more time to prepare it and clean up after it than it does to actually eat it, I just don’t want to know.  Also: toast is just fine as a main meal! Really! And so it is that I have managed to reach… the age I am… without ever having cooked more than a handful of “proper” meals in my life. And most of them ended up in the dog, to be honest. Moving on…

2. Cleaning glass

As far as I’m concerned, the art of cleaning glass is one of the great mysteries of the universe. And trust, me, I’ve tried. I’ve Googled it. I’ve done the whole “newspaper and vinegar” thing. I’ve tried every product on the market. My mother has given me glass-cleaning lessons. Terry has given me glass-cleaning lessons. Hell, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Rubin was able to give me glass-cleaning lessons, because let’s face it: no one could do this worse than me. Any piece of glass I try to clean ends up looking much, much worse than it did when I started. I have this knack of just spreading the dust around and making a big o’ smeary mess. No, I have no idea how I do it. But I do know that living in a house with lots of mirrors, a glass shower-screen, mirrored wardrobe doors (although when Terry broke three of them I was secretly pleased. And I made him replace them with non-glass doors.), a glass table, glass panelled doors and, er, windows, really takes its toll…

3. Putting the duvet into the duvet cover

HOW?! How is this to be done? And again, I have Googled it! I have had lessons from people who actually know how to do it! And yet, every time I try, I end up inside the duvet cover, howling with rage. When I was in university, in halls, they used to make us change our duvet covers every couple of days, and my friend Stephanie used to have to come and do mine for me. Now Terry has to do it. Because I suck, clearly.

4. Cleaning up vomit

Now, clearly this is something a lot of people dislike, but a couple of weeks ago Rubin ate something he found out on his walk (some of the local Banditos throw stuff out for the birds, like bacon sandwiches and mouldy pizzas and stuff. Which is stupid, because seriously, how often do you see birds calling out for a pizza delivery?) and threw up a few times. And every single time, even although I was worried about him, I had to get up and run from the room instantly, gagging all the way, and leaving Terry to clean up the mess. I know this isn’t really a “domestic” thing as such, but it is one of the many reasons I know not having children is the right decision for me…

In my defence, though, I am really good at ironing.

How about you? Domestically challenged or domestic goddess?

  • Would love to have a 'who takes the longest to put the duvet in the duvet cover'? contest and see who spontaneously combusted first. I am crap at most things around the house, including ironing and cleaning but I do enjoy cooking. Kids seem happy enough even if their clothes could do with being washed a bit more…not that they smell and get called names or anything…honest.

    September 26, 2008
    • I swear the duvet bag is one of the mysteries of the universe, too. WHY is it so difficult? And I totally agree – when I was a kid I had far more important things to worry about than whether my clothes were pristine or not, and I'm sure yours will have, too!

      September 28, 2008
  • Nicky


    I'm with you on the glass thing. Well almost. I can clean any glass object that's flat so windows and mirrors are fine but washing up glasses that you drink out of? Forget it. I can't even bear to have them in the vicinity when I'm washing up a sink full of dishes. I have to make a separate pile wayyyyy over the other side of the worktop. And this is where they stay waiting for my boyfriend to deal with them. And this does get to be quite a problem seeing as so much wine gets drunk in our house so at any one time there's a least 3 drinking vessels in need of a wash just hanging mindlessly around the kitchen.

    It's good to share oon a Friday afternoon…..

    September 26, 2008
    • Oh my God, yes, drinking glasses are the worst. In fact, they totally defeat me – Terry has to clean them, too, otherwise we'd never be able to drink out of them!

      September 28, 2008
  • Mhairi


    Hey Amber

    Definately with you on the whole glass cleaning thing, I am enlisting my mum to come in and clear all our glass because I just cant do it.

    I love cooking though. The best thing for me is to watch other people enjoying the food that I have cooked.

    I just wish David would do some more of the housework, giving me more time away from it.

    Have a good weekend

    September 26, 2008
    • My mum has had to do this, too. She's also probably going to have to come and deal with washing and ironing the curtains when that becomes necessary (actually, strictly speaking it's ALREADY necessary, but … meh) because I can already tell that's going to be the Task From Hell. I'm quite lucky in that Terry enjoys cooking, and also seems to have mysterious knowledge of how to clean glass and stuff because it totally defeats me…

      September 28, 2008
    • Yes, you are a domestic God. Now go and do the ironing 🙂

      September 28, 2008
  • Heehee @ Terrys comment 🙂

    While I am good at cooking and baking, I really suck at cleaning the flat. Because: I am lazy. I am the laziest person in the world, my poor boyfriend has to do most of it. Haha! One thing I would never ever do is clean the bathroom, I hate that. When I finish studying and have a job, I will instantly hire a cleaning lady. And get a dishwasher. For sure.

    September 26, 2008
    • Oh, I've been wanting a cleaning lady for YEARS. I'm too embarassed to get one, though, because we're at home all day, so she'd actually have to clean around us, which could be really embarrassing 🙂 We don't have a dishwasher either because we don't have space for one, and I have honestly considered just buying paper plates. Or eating out of our hands…

      September 28, 2008
  • Steph


    Domestic disaster in my case. I live with my dad and he does everything, because if he left it to me, we would slowly slide into a pit of filth. I can't cook, I can't vacuum (I'm a weakling, and I can't control it, it runs away without me) and I can't iron either. I am bone idle, but I fib and say that I'm just concentrating *really hard* on my studies..:D

    I can hang out the washing, and dry the dishes, but that's about it. My poor ole Dad…

    September 26, 2008
    • I was exactly the same when I lived with my parents. Now my dad always threatens to come round to MY house and mess stuff up, just so I know how it feels 🙂

      September 28, 2008
  • Well, a bit of both, I suppose.

    I'm excellent at cleaning and organizing other people's homes…but my one room I can't keep straight. I think it's because I have an apartment's worth of stuff in it.

    I can bake, but not really all that great at cooking. At any rate, I rarely do either. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are things I could live on. I'm good at ironing and getting out stains in the wash, but I absolutely refuse to do dishes (HATE the way it makes my hands and hair feel afterwards…yes, hair). As for the bathroom…I don't like cleaning it, but I don't trust anyone else to do a good enough job. I second your opinion on the vomit.

    Also, I'm suprised that they made you change your duvet. At my university, they could care less about the cleanliness of our rooms as long as there weren't bugs coming out of them.

    September 27, 2008
    • It surprised me about the duvet cover, too. But it was this really posh hall and I guess they wanted to make sure we maintained standards or something. I did try just storing up the clean duvet covers they'd leave and not changing them, but then they started hassling me to give the old ones back, so it didn't work out…

      September 28, 2008
  • Stephanie


    I am definitely a mixture…..

    I actually like doing the dishes but not other people's….like when they leave bones or random bits and just set it in the sink = RUDE. C'mon people, scrape it off, rinse a little and I'll clean it up better, shhhhheeeesh.

    I can clean pretty well and cook well enough…but…I don't enjoy it much. Most stuff I leave to the man 😉

    I always say "Why do today what you can have your boyfriend do…everyday?" 🙂

    September 27, 2008
    • Ha, yes, excellent saying! And oh my God, yes, the little scraps food that start floating around the sink and get caught in the plughole – those actually make me gag…

      September 28, 2008
  • Well, aside from the cooking, I'd have to agree with you there. Especially the bit about the vomit. Ugh. And I like cooking, so it's okay if I do that.

    September 27, 2008
    • I suspect no one really *likes* cleaning vomit up 🙂 I just can't stand it, though – I only need to think about someone throwing up and I'll be doing it myself…

      September 28, 2008
  • I'm going to be just like that seeing as I have ZERO patience and 'slaving over a hot stove' will just never appeal to me.I, however, have a Simple Solution- I'll just have to marry a nice chef!

    September 28, 2008
    • It's definitely a good plan. I did the next best thing and married a Greek guy who'd been well trained in cooking 🙂

      September 28, 2008
  • I was just telling my fiance today that I would be willing to do all the cooking, if he did the cleaning. I HATE CLEANING. The problem is, he's good at both. Sometimes, I think he was meant to be a woman.

    Btw, I love your layout!

    September 28, 2008
    • Well, hey, if he's good at both, he should totally get to DO both 🙂

      And thanks – glad you like it!

      September 28, 2008
  • Lisa I.


    Read this post to my husband, laughing the whole way through it. I laughed even harder when I realized I was having to read it to him very, very loudly, because he was in the next room . . . cooking my supper.

    My cooking has a bit of a reputation; Nuclear Spaghetti, anyone? (I do so love my habanero peppers!) The upside of this is I am rarely expected to do much in the kitchen except show up with a plate.

    September 29, 2008
  • I like to cook, it keeps me focused a lot of the time. But duvet covers? I end up crawling inside the cover and straightening out the duvet that way because it never works

    June 5, 2014