Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reasons not to clean

The ladies at church had a "not your normal talent" night last week. I tried pulling the "I don't have any talents" routine, but they weren't buying it. Then it dawned on me. Every time someone asks how I find time to write novels, I reply "I have a messy house." (Not always true, but also not terribly relavant.) I decided my not normal talent could be sharing my many excuses not to clean my house (or at least postpone cleaning until I have children around to share the experience.) I'll start with my list and then move on to some of the comical suggestions I received from some other LDS authors.

Traci's top ten list of reason's not to clean:

1. I'm teaching my kids responsibility by having them clean for me.

2. The house is just going to get dirty again anyway.

3. I need to exercise and cleaning will tire me out.

4. The lady from the health department is on vacation this week.

5. Dusting makes me sneeze.

6. Doesn't sweeping kick up dust too?

7. If I run the vacuum, I might not hear the phone when someone calls for a ride. (Heather B. Moore also reminded me that my three-year-old will just carry a fistfull of crackers through the house five minutes later anyway.)

8. I'm reading. (I call this research any time it looks like I might be enjoying myself too much.)

9. I'm writing. (Surely someone needs a good book to read, and I just have to be the person to write it.)

10. I'm editing. (Also known as the moments when I let my sisters-in-law loose with a red pen.)

Now for some of my favorites from other authors:

I should put a plug in here for visiting teaching as many comments referred to that odd practice by the ladies belonging to my beloved Mormon church who go out and visit one another on a regular basis. I'm now convinced that the reason we are supposed to visit each other at least once a month is so that people like me will be forced into cleaning at least that often.

Heather B. Moore suggested that I stop having people over so often so that I won't have to clean nearly as much-- and that I should tell my visiting teachers that I'll meet them at the park.

Janet Jensen had the brilliant idea that if I leave the vacuum in the middle of the floor it will look like I'm in the middle of housecleaning so that my visiting teachers will be impressed.

Loralee Evans suggested that my reason not to clean should be because I've decided to run an informal animal shelter for all of those poor hungry mice and rats. (I think I'll pass on letting my house get that bad!)

I loved Allison Palmer's advice when she said I should tell people that I'm redecorating and I can't decide which way to go with it. I also liked her suggestion of having one room right inside the front door that can stay perfect. That way when people come over it's possible to look like the perfect housewife regardless of what the rest of the house looks like

And finally, I have to pass along Tristi Pinkston's suggestions for reasons not to clean. Hopefully you'll laugh as hard as I did!

...because you're promoting a healthy intestinal climate for your family by encouraging bacteria growth, both good and bad for balance.

...because you're too busy growing organic vegetables in your bathtub.

...because the Boy Scouts need a service project once a year, and you've decided you can best serve them by letting them serve you.

...because you have to maintain just one flaw, because you were about be translated and you decided you wanted to stick around for a while longer.

...because you want to be like me :)


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Those are hysterical! My house is in serious need of help . . . but I'm afraid there is no one to clean it but me. Sadness.

Traci, I read your other two books. Okay, the whole series ROCKED! I absolutely loved it. I look forward to your next book. (I know one just came out, but there you go!)

Josi said...

Hilarious, and worth remembering!

Heather B. Moore said...

Very funny! You should submit it to Reader's Digest or something.

Tamra Norton said...

These are so funny!!! And Tristi is a hoot!

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

How funny is it that as soon as I finished making this list, I got into the mood to clean? Maybe I can get it all organized before I finish editing my current projects. Once I start writing again, my house is doomed!

Candace - I'm glad you liked the books! Believe it or not, my next book, Freefall, is coming out in the spring. I'm so excited!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Can't wait to read it, Traci. I'm impressed with not only the quality but the number of books. Way to keep producing.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I love these. Made me laugh for the first time today.