I realize my idea of clean is different from a lot of people. I also realize that clean, like pretty and witty, is also subjective. But when I came home the other night from my travels after letting a graduate student stay here for a month while she was in between places, my apartment was disgusting.

Since living in my own apartment, I have made travelling a mandatory part of my life. Not only is it necessary to heal a broken heart, but sometimes the best part about leaving New York City is the excitement that comes with returning to it. In the past, I have never had any trouble with a subletter. Whether I handed over my place to someone for a month or more, or did an apartment swap, everything went smoothly and I returned to a place that was just as clean as I left it, if not more so.

But upon my arrival home the other night I literally walked into a sty. There was food all over the counter and stove top (sticky something or other that looked like some sort of syrup), the fridge was reeking with a rotting something, wads of long dark curly hair were everywhere, mildew towels piled in the bathroom made the whole place stink, and based on the dark footprints all over the floors, I’m quite certain she never once bathed. The most ironic part was that she emailed me a couple days ago to tell me that she left the place in “mint” condition, and if I didn’t agree, she would send a maid. Mint condition, but she’d send a maid? How does that make any sense?

So true to my OCD cleaning ways, I stayed up until 4am cleaning. But should I take her up on the offer anyway as some sort of payback for how vile she left my home? I may be OCD, but I still think a professional maid could kick my ass in the cleaning department.


Photo: GalacticBinder