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  1. By Helene "Mr. Natural" Gresser

    Last night, the guy I've been seeing left me alone in his man-cave while he ran an errand that would take approximately an hour and a half. "Perfect!" I said, in response to his wondering if he was being rude to leave me alone,"I will use the time to write my blog and then we can have the rest of the night free to watch one of the bootleg DVDs I bought from a Chinese man in Howard Beach."

    I know what you are thinking: "Oh -- no she di'int!" And I didn't. I did not write my blog. And no, I did not use the time to poke through his things and read his email and log on to his Facebook page to view pictures of his ex. Yes, the thought crossed my mind, as every woman alone in her new beau's abode will confess to having the urge to snoop. But what did I do instead? I Sneakily CLEANED.

    Sneaky Cleaning is different than the obvious Massive Cleaning. Sneaky Cleaning involves doing small things that are barely perceptible to the single heterosexual male's eyes (unless you are my friend Ash or my other friend Harry -- they would immediately notice something was different and probably be pretty pissed I dared to edit a thing in their private islands), like swabbing down the terlet so the rusty (lordy I hope it's just rust) toilet "ring" and pee spots are no longer threatening my ladyparts dangling perilously close to liquid agars of bacterial fun. I have done this twice with my dude's bathroom and not a word was uttered. Whew.

    Some people want immediate thanks for such gross tasks -- but I am relieved that he just thinks I've "straightened some things up." I don't want to offend him or change him -- it is purely a selfish motive I have. I want to get up in the middle of the night for a brief walkabout and climb back under the warm sheets with clean soles and cold toes to press into his calf muscles. I want to smell his scent and not the lovable dogs' undercarriages. So I grabbed a broom and mop and went to town on his floors. I also polished all the mirrors and yes, the dusty lightbulbs, so I could see my creased and squidgey morning-face and adjust myself before he saw the Horror, the Horror. I lit an incense stick I found. I washed those floors until the rinse water was somewhat less murky, and quickly put the bucket and mop back where I had found it.

    He's an orderly guy, and cares about my comfort. He is not a slob, not unclean, just single and used to his own little world, much as I was in my former hovel. He changed his sheets for me, and gives me his "good" pillow so I can sleep comfortably. He is used to wearing slippers to head to the "head" and I keep forgetting, only to realize that he is the kind of man who loves my peasant toes and may see or smell or god forbid taste the bathroom floor on them. Ugh, you might say, but no, do not say Ugh. Until you have been with a person who likes your body and scent just the way you are, not suggesting you lose weight or go to the gym or power-wash before each touch, you have never felt truly at ease with someone.

    I don't care if he sees what I've done. My only regret was not getting my blentry done on time. I like that he trusts me alone in his cave with his dogs and his stuff and knows that I won't snoop - or does not have anything to hide from me. I hope I did not betray his trust by Sneaky Cleaning. My ladyparts and toes are free from hidden cooties, though, honestly, he does not care about anything except my comfort and having fun. I am not some freak about cleanliness, as my habits when living alone will horrifyingly attest. (Can habits "attest?" Shut up.)

    When my guy walked through the door, he did not say "WHAT have you been DOING IN HERE?" All he said was how happy he was that I did not mind he left me alone so long. And half an hour later, he said, "Oh, something looks straightened up in here" when he ambled into the bedroom. After the metrosexuals and control-freaks and "don't touch my hair while we are having sexy-times" guys, the guys that need to shower IMMEDIATELY after the dirty dirty deed is done, and then douse their junk in alcohol (yes, THAT happened,) it is an extraordinary relief to have someone who is comfortable with all the mess and sweat and armpits and smeary mascara and morning breath. That is being human, being an animal, being a part of Nature. Holy crap, that is something else.

    I have spent most of my life thinking I need to lose twenty pounds, my thighs are gross, my boobs are small, my armpits are something to be reviled, my waheena is a constant battle of shave-notshave-wax-trim-grow-irritation bumps-whatthehelldoyoulikedownthereness and finding the perfect perfume to woo the male species. My "Viking legs" - as my mother calls them - are not doe-like and spindly and I once heard a homeless man tell another homeless man I had CANKLES in a barely disguised stage whisper. I have hated my nose and considered "taking that bump off" after the Ear-Nose-Throat doctor -- whom I was seeing about a terrible sore throat -- graciously suggested he could do so whilst jamming a tongue depressor against my uvula. It's hard to let go of all this self-loathing and be all "Que sera, sera" and stop the fear persisting inside that I will never be perfect enough to be loved wholly, completely.

    I may never stop the Sneaky Cleaning. I am learning to be natural again, like my days as a summer camp counselor or when I was hiking for weeks in the Tetons and had to forgo soap and shampoo (not good for the fauna and flora in streams, apparently) and razors and make-up, and just be me. Unperfumed, curvy, soft, sexy me. Pudgy Fred Flinstone-toed, strong-legged, smeary, bed-head, doggy-hair and cat hair sprinkled, smart-mouthed, stout little French horse, loving me. No one asked me to mop, and I may have to just lie back and not pull my toes away from the warmth for fear of a spot of dirt being happened upon.

    Give it time, girl, give it time.


  2. 7 comments:

    1. JenHeyden said...

      Love this one, Helene. It's revolutionary in its own right. You always remind me to laugh, mop, and find warm calves.

    2. Good stuff, Helene. As always . . ..

    3. Unknown said...

      Hilarious, Helene- from the cankle remark to the peasant toes... I too had an ENT doc tell me he could "help" me out with my nose- and I was only twelve! Boy, was my mom pissed when I told her in the car on the way home... xoxo

    4. RHC said...

      Does that alcohol rinse really work or just sting like hell?
      Can I get that light dusting, mop & straightening up for the price of a

    5. RHC said...

      How did you get the text so nicely between Mr. Natural & Fred?
      When I tried to get all artsy fartsy it ended up looking like the fitful attempts of a blind ADD sufferer...

    6. Anonymous said...

      Love this blog Helene!

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