Monday, April 18, 2011

World of Inferiors

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I came home last Monday from two big installations; exhausted - hungry, with an afternoon alone in the apartment (!) a half eaten block of manchego and Babs and Barry on the record player. Let me tell you this right now; there is no better music to arrange flowers to than Barbara Streisand. You can argue this with me, but I like to think I know what I'm talking about. I got this down.

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I had left-over flowers. A fuck ton of them. And so things started getting interesting, scarves strewn, ribbon unraveled. Dresses tried on then discarded in heaps on the floor. Petals dropping, dogs sighing. Remember I told you I've been trying to practice everyday..

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This was all fine and dandy until the sun set and I realized the magnitude of what had happened; the mess was epic. As I began to tidy up, I kept finding more and more cleaning to do. And then I went deep.

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To get the record straight - to give you a fair idea - I must admit that I have not really cleaned my apartment in 2011. Sure, the occasional swiff. The midweek dusting of the coffee table for cocktail hour. But a deep clean doesn't happen around here. I got other shit to do. Cleaning is for sissies. Like umbrellas.

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But Monday I was on a tear. The sort that happens when you have been running on so much adrenalin and momentum that when it comes time to rest, to take some time off - you simply don't know how. Can't stop. Won't stop.

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And that is how I found myself on the floor, behind the refrigerator scrubbing moldings. At some point I misplaced my rag and started using the bottom portion of my T-shirt. I became a human mop - a spitting, scrubbing, writhing mess on the linoleum. I had succumbed, slipped down the emotionally charged rabbit hole and entered the void: women's work.


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Alarmed and disgusted at myself (who am I? why can't I relax?) I put on hiatus plans to clean the oven, to dust under the bed, to clean all the windows.
I have a pattern of working myself into the ground and then feeling exasperated. When I start to feel bad for myself, Eric does this thing where he puts his pointer fingers and thumbs together and pretends to play the tiniest violin. The saddest music in the world. It's a hilarious (sometimes) reminder that feeling sorry for myself gets me absolutely no where. And it's unattractive. So there it is. Dear Diary - I'm working on being less of a perfectionist and learning how better to relax in my free time. Which is why I just gave myself a manicure - a reversed french one...
Real
women's work.

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27 comments:

cecilia fox said...

thank you you make me feel like it's not just me

Susan said...

I always felt there were SO MANY more important things to do than clean.

but while you're on a tear...could you clean for me this weekend. you know how I hate it.

Mom

Mlle Paradis said...

feeling like cleaning at all the wrong moments....?

that could be me!

Meg said...

Well thank god I'm not the only one.

Michelle Stiles said...

You space looks so precious!

sandra said...

do you ever listen to kate bush whilst arranging?

laura said...

HA. I love the part about cleaning behind the fridge. I am like this when I have the rare day off, but feel like I have to hide it and not clean when my roommate is home, lest I feel like a FREAK. This is why I am moving out May 1-so I can clean behind the fridge WHENEVER I WANT TO!

Miz.November said...

Cleaning is such a pain in the ass. As a matter of fact, my last post was about cleaning the bathroom. Exciting life I live. And I've been planning on painting my nails for months now and it never happens.

Love your photos. Especially the one before the last.

Shelly said...

If I lived close by, which I don"t, I would trade you cleaning for flowers any day. I am GREAT at windows and floors. I LOVE polishing silver. Wanna trade?

L A M A R T I N É said...

i have been thinking about having feety pajamas made for my kids in that microfiber cleaning cloth stuff...so they can roll around and clean... fun-haha!

but ,until then i have a plaque on my wall that reads...

MY House is Clean Enough To Be Healthy
And Dirty Enough To Be Happy.

take care sarah
xx kimberly

monster cakes said...

This just made my day. I'm a freaking busy women conquering the world, so why do I get down on myself because I haven't cleaned my woodwork in two years? Thank you! Btw, new to your blog, and totally smitten with it.

katie said...

your home is truly incredible. and the pink! the flowers! that bedside table. swoon.

and lamb!
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/dining/20lamb.html?ref=style

PS...need an intern?

kristy said...

Babs is the best. My mom used to play her records all the time when I was little. When the holiday season rolls around, you should definitely rock shit out to her version of Jingle Bells. Also I die for that Xmas album cover. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0000024TV/ref=dp_image_text_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

"Cleaning is for sissies. Like umbrellas." -- Excellent.

Lara Kasabian said...

the first picture is AMAZING... :)
Lara

skong said...

nice pizza box

b_maria_why said...

i feel the exact same way.......i'm always convincing myself NOT to clean. because honestly, i don't really care. i'll clean when it's disgustingly filthy. until then, break out the paints!

Kate Holt said...

i am two days behind you and your minor freak out, clean like mad calendar. mom's coming to stay next week. i'm paralyzed my my messiness. but goddamn, i can't do everything around here! still...somehow I always do. drinking to our collective will to do women's work (even when we don't really want to) tonight!ps. I'm gonna try the barbara streisand thing next week.

catbird said...

those are my favorite kind of olives.

Melanie said...

Sarah, I think this is the way cleaning should be done. I have a question about your chair in the photos; did you recover it yourself? I have an awesome chair with terrible fabric. Your chair has inspired me to reupholster it without taking it all apart. If you did do that chair could you give me a few tips on how you did it? I love it.

Sarah said...

Melanie - It's a piece by Nightwood in brooklyn
you will love their stuff if you have not seen it

Melanie said...

Sarah—I checked the Nightwood Brooklyn gallery out online and you were right, I do love their pieces. Thanks! I now have many ideas to work from.

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muebles lleida said...

The dude is completely just, and there is no skepticism.

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