Sunday, March 13, 2011

Self Help - good ideas - good laughs!

I picked up a book this week: "How to Avoid Housework" - my first thought - oh, I could write this book! The subtitle: "Tips, hints and secrets on how to have a spotless home by organizing for everlasting efficiency; decorating for camouflage; building and remodeling to save time and money." - Well, maybe not!

Three things that made this book a bargain (it was less than a buck) and worth the hour and a half it took to read:
  1. Sidebar Quotes - comic relief to lessen the dread.
    • People who live in glass houses have to wash their windows all the time. - Art Buchwald
    • The best things in life aren't things. - Art Buchwald
    • Housework is like cleaning fish. No matter how often you do it - it still stinks. - Thelma Harper of "Mama's Family"
    • There are two types of dirt: the dark kind attracted to light objects and the light kind attracted to dark objects.-Ely Slick
    • Homes are built to live in, more than to look on. -Francis Bacon
    • Housework can kill you if you do it right. - Erma Bombeck
    • Don't let reading material swamp the bedside. Only one thing can be read at a time..                           
  2. The parallel of the "Barbie" Syndrome to the "House Beautiful" Syndrome.
Decorating Magazines also perpetrate the spotless-house myth. There are never newspapers, magazines, or mail strewn about, no bulging closets, no dirty dishes in the sink. Comparing our less-than-perfect surroundings with those of "House Beautiful" is like comparing our less-than-perfect bodies with those we see in Vogue.
We know that comparing ourselves to to itty bitty barbies is ludicrous; however, there are very few women I know who do not feel the pressure of keeping the perfect house while trying to enjoy a balanced, full life... maybe that's a little - well - unrealistic...  - maybe the house is a balance too - sometimes clean - sometimes not so much.

     3. What a lovely thing to say...
Few of us feel comfortable in ... monuments to housekeeping - "places where the furnishings flourish but the spirit surely wilts." 
I had a next door neighbor whose apartment was far from a paragon of order.  It seemed permanently littered with books, projects, and other paraphernalia.  There was also always a game or a puzzle set up somewhere, the the coffeepot was always on.  It was set up more to accommodate her friends than to impress them-the kind of place you could drop by, plop down, and feel perfectly at home.  I mourned when she moved and I hope she never discovered domestic perfection. - Witold Rybezynski Home, a Short History of an Idea

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