The Origins of Spring-cleaning, or Along Came Eve


I always know when April makes its yearly debut without consulting the calendar because my wife usually says, "Let's clean out the garage today.


Somehow, her "let's" has a funny singular ring to it and we had, if I remember correctly, a double ring wedding ceremony. Hers is on her left ring finger while mine somehow ended up in my nose.


For some reason Spring brings to women, wives in particular, an uncontrollable urge to clean something. It doesn't matter what that something is, it has to be cleaned. Moreover, it does not matter how clean or dirty that something is or when it was last cleaned, it must be cleaned again.


This represents a basic philosophical difference between men and women. In the beginning, man was perfectly at home with dirt, then along came Eve and introduced Spring-cleaning.


Thus began the yearly ritual known as Spring-cleaning. This tradition has been handed down from mother to daughter since the beginning of time. As far as I can ascertain, no father on record has handed down to his son any way of putting a stop to this nonsense. And don't think I'm not just a little upset about that.


I think our forefathers could have found a fifth father to help come up with a workable plan to get rid of this yearly onus.


Every year I ask the same question: How in the world does Spring get so dirty? And, more important, why do I have to clean it? I didn't mess it up.


I believe Mother Nature ought to clean her own Spring and not push this responsibility onto husbands like me who have better things to do with their time.


Spring-cleaning would not be so bad if I could use my definition of clean rather than my wife's. One man's clean is his wife's "When are you going to clean that?"


In our house, the annual Spring-cleaning focuses on the garage. When my wife gets it into her head to clean the garage, I get it into my head to get clean out of her way. In the scheme of things, how important is a clean garage anyway? It's not as if Martha Stewart is going to make a surprise visit.


My philosophy is simply, a dirty garage is a happy garage, it just doesn't make my wife happy and when she not happy neither am I, so I am willing to live with an unhappy garage. These are the compromises enabling husbands to survive generation after generation. At least, enabling this husband to survive Spring-cleaning one more year.



My idea of cleaning the garage is opening the garage door and the back door and let nature take its course. However, when I suggest this, an ill wind blows my way, if you know what I mean.


My wife insists cleanliness is next to godliness. If that is so, why did God create so much dirt?