Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dirt

Dirt: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House, ed. by Mindy Lewis

I found this on my bookshelf, and I have absolutely no memory of ever reading it.  None.  I am therefore counting it as a TBR read, because I think I have never read it. 

It's a collection of essays or short meditations on housekeeping.  A lot of the essays are about the various writers' mothers' mental issues, usually something resulting in fanatic cleanliness, which then leads to rebellious slobbiness in the child.  Then that kind of backfires when it turns out that living in filth really isn't very fun.

There are some pieces that do not fit that mold, though.  A couple meditate on historical, economic, or political implications, some talk about the pleasures of cleanliness, and so on.  The last one is a really lovely essay about the important work of making a home for the people you love.

The one that made me laugh out loud in astonishment begins by introducing the writer's second home in Mexico:
My husband and I bought this house six years ago, and we're deeply attached to it, although we're able to stay here just a few months of each year.  Our demanding jobs back home in New York City, where we living a two-bedroom apartment, approximately one-fifth the size of this house, preclude longer vacations.
Poor hard-working New Yorkers, so driven that they can only vacation a few months out of the year.  It's sad, really.

It's a readable collection, but I don't think I will bother with it again.


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