My close friends know that I am generally a clean person. Therefore, it came as a shock to everyone when I chose to dedicate several days last week to cleaning my apartment. After all, in their eyes, my apartment is always pretty clean–especially considering that I am a single man who lives alone. Well there was a reason for it. That’s right, I was expecting a (female) visitor.
About a week ago, I got a message from her saying that she would be in town to visit and the second I read the message, I went into a panic. Sure bachelor pads aren’t expected to be the neatest places in the world, but that wasn’t the kind of impression that I wanted to make. Besides, I have a habit of countering my anxiety by cleaning.
The whole situation made me begin to think about what is really going on when a man cleans. Based on observation and my own experience, men are most likely to clean when they are trying to make a good impression. This could be a means of maintaining respect within one’s social circle. I do have some friends who will do a bit of cleaning regardless of who is stopping by their home. (I fall into that category, though I will admit that my cleaning had reached an entirely new level this time.) However, most of these single male-induced cleaning efforts are driven by a desire to come across better to the opposite sex.
Unfortunately, my cleaning got the the point where prior to her arrival, my visitor told me “You know I’m not going to judge you based on how your apartment looks.” By then, it seemed like almost every time we were on the phone, I was cleaning something. (That was likely driven by my anxiety more than anything else.) My response was that there were already a lot of things I had been meaning to fix around my apartment. It was true, the reality is that no one would have noticed those things needed fixing. Even my mom told me “I really don’t understand what you are cleaning because your apartment is always clean.” I wasn’t convinced.
In the end, when my visitor arrived, we only stayed in my apartment for about 5 minutes before running around the city. Still, I think it was all worth it to have her say “Your apartment is beautiful,” before we left. No complaints here.
Am I right? Are men most likely to clean because of women?