A common misconception amongst college-age kids is that our houses all look like the Delta Tau Chi fraternity from Animal House. However, I’ve waltzed into college houses that have sparkled and smelled of citrus cleaner in every room.
But these kinds of houses are nothing like mine. My home resembles the Delta Tau Chi house, and my roommates and I help keep the stereotype of a dirty, smelly college house alive.
In our modern era, the household is supposed to be an impenetrable castle, guarding us against the elements, and most of all: filth. According to my architecture class, homes are understood as spheres of civility and domesticity. A home is supposed to be a clean sanctuary from the polluted outside world. It represents civilization’s ongoing battle with dirt.
If this is true, then my home is a barbaric affront to civility. However, I love my house just the way it is. It’s dirty, and sometimes it smells funny, but it has character. A dirty house doesn’t equate to a bad house, and there are actually quite a few upsides to living in a pigsty.
First of all, everything is relative. Living in a dirty house gives you some insight into what ‘clean’ really means. The past two years I have lived in houses which I would not consider “dirty,” per say, but now that I have moved into a certified pigsty I can deal with a little filth.
When you live in a house that is continually trashed, you would be surprised at the small amount of cleaning you have to do to feel satisfied. For example: Usually my living room is strewn with cups, cans, and whatever else. I can pick up half of the stuff and feel pretty satisfied with how the room looks.
Example two: In my former houses, the living room was usually clean and devoid of trash. In the instance that it did fill with trash, I would have had to clean the entire room to feel satisfied with its appearance.
Basically, the dirtier your house is, the less work it will take for you to make it appear clean.
The main problem I have at my house, though, is that there is so much stuff everywhere. We have somewhere around nine couches, two televisions and way too many extra chairs and shot glasses. Wait a second, I take that back: you can never have too many shot glasses.
But seriously, there is an upside to your house being filled with junk. Just the other day, I was looking for something underneath my couch and in the process I found a dollar, my old coffee mug and a highlighter — which I sorely needed.
There is also a pretty continuous stream of unopened beers and half finished bottles that lay around the house. Although stockpiling objects around different parts of your house isn’t convenient, you’d be surprised at how often it comes in handy, especially when you’re thirsty.
You may also think that because I live in a filthy pit, that my house is a “party house.” This is actually not the case. It makes it really convenient, though. I can either say my house is too dirty to throw a party at, or I can use reverse psychology: It’s already dirty so why not? Either way it usually works in my favor.
I also appreciate my dirty house simply because it is so dirty. I have grown accustomed to living in filth. You may ask why this is a good thing, and it is because my standard of living has plunged like a phone into a toilet.
My future promises me very little chance of immediate success after college, so I might as well get used to living in a fleabag rat-trap of a house. Furthermore, conditions like these will help prime for any sort of apocalyptic situation. Germs and filth will have the rest of the populace terrified, but I will go about my daily business unfazed.
All I’m saying is there’s nothing wrong with getting dirty. We are living in an age of unparalleled hygiene and sanitation, and while you might think that it’s good to be clean, sometimes it’s not.
Any barber or stylist can tell you that washing your hair daily will damage it. Cleaning your house daily probably won’t damage it, but you’re also not going to have any fun doing it. Just take my advice, and get a little dirty with it.