Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Some people are social butterflies.  Some are social smokers, and some are social drinkers.  Some people are just plain socialites.  Whatever that really means.

Turns out I am a social cleaner.  I guess it probably all started in my childhood, same as everything.  I can only imagine it's because I used to share a room with my sister, and so either we were in there cleaning up the room together, or I would be in there alone grumbling "why doesn't Mimi have to clean? This is her mess too. Life is so unfair. My parents hate me. I wonder if I could crawl out the window and run away."  You know, that sort of thing.  Then as I got older and we didn't share a room anymore I probably felt lonely and disconnected, after all those years of having someone, so instead of putting the laundry away I would just put it on the bed, to do later, so I could go back out and be with my family, or my friends. Or, let's be honest, read a book.  But quite often to be with people.

In college it just got worse.  My roommates were really good about keeping our place clean, and we liked to do it together on Saturday mornings.  Total social cleaning.  I had two good friends, and I am pretty sure that one of their main job descriptions as my friend included "sitting on Amy's bed while she cleans and organizes"  (You know who you are.)

And I really think that this whole social cleaning thing has merits, especially with children around.  You know, one to sweep, and one to stop the baby from crawling through the dust pile.  One to fold the laundry, and one to stop the toddler from unfolding the laundry.  One to scrub the toilet, one to stop the baby from falling into the toilet.  You get the picture, I think.

I found out yesterday that the husband of a friend of mine is out of town all week. Serendipity! Devin is out of town until Thursday!!  Of course I invited her over, sort of like a married with children version of "Single Women Alone Together."  I was looking forward to having her and her two kids come over and spending the day with us, and was thinking about what we could do.  We could go to the park, if it's nice. Or we could play in the backyard.  But as I looked around my house I knew. I just knew that I was going to have to warn her that if we stayed here, inside, with my kitchen table unwiped and the laundry sitting unfolded in front of the couch that I would start cleaning in front of her without even realizing it.  That's how hardwired I've become.  So I plan on warning her that if we stay here, that is what will happen.

Would it be weird if I offered to go to her house in return, just in case she's a social cleaner too?

Post-Edit: She came over yesterday. Before she got here I managed to get the dishes done, sweep the floor, put clothes on both girls, get dressed myself, tidy up the toys, and put all the shoes away.  So, that did leave the kitchen table unwiped and the clothes unfolded.  Clothes that I did start folding as we talked.  Ah, well.


  1. I am 100% also a social cleaner. It is just so much more fun to have someone to talk to while you clean. Perhaps it did begin from sharing a room with you. I don't know. :) I do know that some friends I've offered this too have not taken me up on the offer and others have, so I think that there are some other social cleaners out there, but it is not a universal phenomenon. :)

  2. I'm with you. I'm a social cleaner, social yard worker, social whatever ... even if the only one watching me is a cat. Life is better when it's shared. Work or play. Better when shared.

  3. I wondered at first where you were going with this. But as soon as I saw the words "social cleaner," I knew.

    And it is SO true.

  4. I don't have a fancy word for it, but I'm a "If I'm cleaning then you're cleaning too" cleaner. It's sort of social, except I expect things out of my sociality. Maybe that's only with Nick, though. I don't seem to remember expecting my friends to clean my room in college, but I guess if I were cleaning our kitchen or bathroom I'd wonder why they weren't chipping in.

    Oh, those high expectations of mine. It's not easy being my friend.

  5. im not gonna lie, i loved sitting there talking to you as you cleaned. it was relaxing in a way.

    Sorry Nicole, if i ever just watched you clean and you secretly hated me for it. lol we made it though. ;)