Spring Cleaning? Deb Linda Imagines the Possibilities!

When it comes time for spring cleaning every year, TG and I just blithely wave our hands and wait for our maid, Fifi, to do it.

And wait … and wait … and wait …

Because she never shows up. You see, Fifi is imaginary.

(Admit it. You think I’m making this up. Sadly, I’m really not. Fifi has been a part of our lives since we were first married. This should really come as no surprise. I mean, I play with imaginary people all day. Why wouldn’t I have an imaginary servant?)

Now, you may not think an imaginary maid is very helpful when it comes to keeping a house clean—and you’d be right about that—but Fifi does have some good qualities:

1. She’s surprisingly affordable.

2. She can look however you want her to.

This is how I envision her:

(Yes, my Fifi is modeled after Hazel, from the 1960’s sitcom of the same name. If you can remember her, you’re probably old. Er, sorry. I meant to say, “You’re a classic!”)

But I’m pretty sure TG sees her more like this:


( Whatevs. I’m just happy he doesn’t expect me to wear a get-up like that.)

3. She’s a great scapegoat.

If something isn’t getting done in a timely manner (oh, like cooking or vacuuming or dusting or laundry or grocery-shopping … really, the list is endless), then we just blame Fifi.

For instance, take these typical conversations at our house:


TG: Doesn’t look like Fifi is going to make coffee this morning.

Me: Nope. Guess she’s taking the day off. Again.

TG: *sighs* I suppose I’ll make the coffee myself …

Me: Only if you want some, dear.




Me: Fifi didn’t get to the store today, so we don’t have anything decent for dinner.

TG: That lazy bitch. Maybe we should fire her.

Me: You really want to go up against the Imaginary Maids Union?

TG: Nah, not worth the hassle. Let’s just go out to eat.

Me: *beams*


See how it works? What Fifi lacks in efficiency, she makes up for in entertainment value!


Fortunately, TG and I have adopted an old Swedish saying:

That translates loosely as “A little dirt in the corners is better than a living hell.”

Which is pretty much how I feel about housework in general. Keep the house clean enough that people aren’t tempted to don decontamination suits before they enter, but don’t sweat the dust bunnies.


So, what kind of housekeeper are you?

A. I put Martha Stewart to shame.

B. With a little notice I can produce miracles.

C. If I shut the blinds nobody notices the dust.

D. I gave the dust bunnies names and told the kids they were pets.

E. Enter my house at your own risk.

35 Replies to “Spring Cleaning? Deb Linda Imagines the Possibilities!”

  1. Ha! Oh, Linda, Fifi rocks–no matter what form she takes!

    As I have confessed MANY TIMES here I am in the D to E category (though I employed C just last weekend when I ran out of cleaning time!) We live in an apartment nestled among some gargantuan homes. I suspect Fifi is a busy girl around these parts. I wouldn’t want to bother really with my small space 😉

    Here’s a to a lovely and dusty holiday weekend, my dear!

    1. Thank you! Another housekeeping trick–er, I mean tip: greet your guests on the porch with a pitcher of martinis, and don’t let them in until they’ve downed at least two. They’ll never even notice the dust. 😉

  2. I’m with you. Life’s too short to spend too much of it cleaning, especially if you hate it. AND I love the Fifi as a scapegoat. SOMEONE should be to blame for a non-spotless house.

  3. I need my own Fifi. She sounds fabulous. Especially that scapegoat part. I’m probably somewhere around the middle of the list. When people are visiting, I’m a Martha Stewart maniac. I rearrange, I declutter; basically, I go insane. The rest of the time? As long as it isn’t hazardous to my kid’s health, I’ll get to it later. (I usually clean on Saturdays and through the week, my house is a warzone.)

    1. Sounds like a good system to me. Besides, I read somewhere that keeping your house TOO clean is hazardous to the immune system of children. Right then and there I decided I couldn’t possibly risk my children by keeping the house as immaculate as I otherwise would. *virtuous grin*

  4. *snort* You two are too funny.
    I fall somewhere between D and E. I HATE housework. I do it, because, y’know, it’s better than being sick. But I hate every second. My goal in life is not necessarily to become a bestselling author, but to make enough money to hire someone to mop, fold laundry, and scrub the hard water stains out of the tubs on a regular basis.

  5. I’m a B. I’ve got my technique down so I can produce an apparently sparkling clean house in two hours – as long as no one looks closely at the floorboards or inside anything closed. I figure Caveat Snooper on that. Don’t look if you don’t want to know.

  6. IF I knew company was coming, I could have the house spotless (don’t open the closets) in two hours. If you drop by unexpectedly, enter at your own risk.

    1. Company is always great incentive. When I need motivation to clean the downstairs, I invite someone over for dinner. It takes overnight guests to get the upstairs taken care of. 😉

  7. Does Fifi have cousins who are gardeners and pool boys? (Someone has to clean the imaginary pool!)

    What is this ‘dust’? You don’t mean the protective coating on the shelving do you? Around here, we try to keep up with the dishes and laundry. Everything else is a bonus. The dogs do keep the kitchen floor clean from any spills (it’s a tradeoff with the hair they shed on the carpet).

    1. Fifi’s cousin is my imaginary cabana boy, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Hugh Jackman. But shhhh … TG doesn’t know about him. 😉

  8. Um, E? Not my house, really, because my husband is neat most of the time. But my bedroom… and my CLOSET? enter at your own risk.

    I love Fifi! And love even more that TG is such a sport!

  9. I’m going to go with D. Especially because I love Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Anne Krentz) books where dust bunnies are pets. They are cute fuzzy little pets except when their second set of eyes come out and they become vicious hunters who protect their humans. Don’t ya love it?

    1. Really? Cool! I’ve read Jayne Anne Krentz books, but not her Castle books yet. I’ll have to give them a try.

    1. There’s a lot to be said for shutting the blinds, huh? A simple, yet elegant, solution to the dust problem. 😉

  10. LOL You turn everything into fun! I would say I’m a B housekeeper. It’s not perfect because I have kids and dogs, but I keep it good enough that if somebody said they’d be by in an hour, I could make it look decent:)Things *might* get tossed under beds and in closets, but…yaknow.

    1. Ha! I do know. Anyone who looks under the beds or in the closets around here will feel a lot better about their own housekeeping, is all I can say. *grin*

  11. What an awesome idea! I am getting right on hiring my very own imaginary maid. I have a big very hairy dog and a little digger dog. There is no way to keep up with the hair and dirt. I’ m learning to go with just keeping above ground surfaces picked up.

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