do I read? or clean?

A fab party last night for our outgoing grad prog director yielded this conversation with another toward-PhD mom:

me:  Well, since you’ve got a new house, you should have us over for dinner.  <grin>

she: Uh, no.  My house, however new, is a mess.

me:  Yah, like we care.  I’m certain our house is messier than yours.

she: I wouldn’t be so sure.  There are days that I think, "Should I read, or clean?  Read or clean?"  And I always read instead of clean.

me: Ah, well normally I CLEAN instead of read, and my house is still like an earthquake came through, wore every stitch of clothing, dirtied every dish, walked around eating crackers and popcorn a la cookie monster, brushed the cats and shook the vacuum bag, and for good measure crayoned fifteen-thousand pictures and stories on notebook paper, tore them out of the spiral, and left the pages (and the spiral scraps), in various states of wrinkle and crumbled-up-ness, in every room.

OK, so I didn’t say all that, maybe.  But I am getting ready to take a large trash can, put it in the middle of the house, and start a-chucking, even though my aggregator is full and I have a crap load of writing to do.

I clean instead.  Or rather, I throw stuff away. Garbage in, garbage OUT!


7 thoughts on “do I read? or clean?

  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the mess. I agree, it’s like a tornado hit mine too. Instead of readin’, this morning I got up cleanin’. So there, I did it. It’s not exactly how I want it, but it’ll do.

    I still have a shit load of reading, and some writing to do. Guess I’ll be burning some midnight oil. Oh, but I’ve gotta eat! Who’ll fix dinner and keep us happy? Guess I’ll look to Dad for that. It’s the weekend, and the rest of it belongs to an attempt to nurture my brain.

  2. The same thing happens to me, and I don’t have kids. I get accused of cleaning for procrastination, but things can only get so dirty before it affects your thought process, y’know?

  3. used to be that reading would win over cleaning. but when i started to run out of forks on the regular, that’s when i knew it was time to make some changes. now, the reading gets done in between laundry loads, office/closet organizing, and sweeping…when i clean, i know there’s an end in sight…not so much with the reading…(do you ever confuse site, cite, and sight? i do.)

  4. I think you’re talking about MY house. Where the earthquake also takes all kid books off the shelves and strews them about the floor.

  5. I don’t want to complicate this with gender (I guess I already did by saying that, huh?)… Krista’s procrastination comment is funny. I do the same thing. I like to loiter around the house with a broom and a dust rag when there’s a stack to be read somewhere. Want a really good excuse to avoid class work? Tackle the garage or the laundry room. You can kill three, maybe four hours and actually feel like you accomplished something.

  6. I am like the woman who reads instead of doing the work. And then I am the woman who runs around like crazy before my husband puts his key in the door.

  7. The problem with cleaning is that it just gets messy again and then you have to do it all over.

    But once you’ve read a book, you’ve accomplished something and you only read it again if you choose to ….

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