Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Why is it considered fundamental to our existence?

Ben Shelley


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

When you have a relative coming over the first thing that 99% of people do the night before is clean.

  • To bring out the hoover and unwrap the sponges
  • To break out the sprays…
  • …and pretend for however many days that these relatives are staying over that the house is fit for a King.

Before this of course it would be undetectable from that of a slob. Sitting around in your pyjamas, picking crumbs off the carpet and living the best life possible. This is normal of course and acceptable across the world.

However, when you know someone is coming over to stay, the panic kicks in and you put on your best face. You make your funniest jokes and in turn, pretend to be something from which you are not.

It is in essence an excellent theatre production, in which you are the conductor and you are directing the orchestra of your own story.

The goal is nothing more than perception as realistically, most of the time by which your relatives are in attendance, you are stuck with one unavoidable truth, that they are here for one of two reasons:

  • They need somewhere to stay
  • or they feel obliged to see you.

They may look to pretend otherwise but it’s rare to come across relatives that are not self-serving in this nature.

There is of course good in everyone and there is of course an exception to every rule but as Joey or Phoebe (I forget which one) famously said on Friends, it is incredibly difficult to find a singularly (I added this word) unselfish action.

What we mean by this is that the act of cleaning your house a night before relatives turn up may appear unselfish but really, it is as if you are doing it to appear a certain way, to avoid judgement. You are not doing it because you enjoy doing it or feel as though it would be a nice idea.

Another example of this is giving to charity. In itself this action is beautiful and you are providing something to someone who has very little, which is fantastic but then again, is this why you are doing it?



Ben Shelley

Someone who has no idea about where their place is in this world, yet enjoys writing about books, education, entertainment and videogames