I wandered into the kitchen the other night to be met by Mrs P asking the question, “Can only gay men see grease?” which was a bit of a nonplusser.
She was running a nail along the edge of an oven tray I’d washed earlier, her nose crinkled in disgust. Flicking the residue into the bowl, she followed it up with, “Straight men are blind to it.”
Okay, so I admit that my approach to hygiene can be haphazard. I roll up my sleeves, put on the Marigolds and dive into the suds, but my standards are not high. Clear the surface grime and it will do. After all, we all eat a peck of dirt before we die.
Mrs P has more exacting standards, at least more exacting than mine, but where did this idea come from that gay men have higher standards than straight, or better eyesight when it comes to spotting the unhygienic? We’ve both had gay friends and acquaintances over the years and I’m sure we’ve seen the same variations when it comes to the domestic science bit.
There are real-life examples of slobs and saints I could name, but I won’t. Better a fictional one from the Archers — Adam Macy the pernickety one and Ian Craig, a 99.99% waste of space for all known germs. (Although he has an eye for wallpaper and soft furnishings apparently. That’s not me stereotyping, just one of last week’s storylines.
But if a real life example is required, how about Quentin Crisp:
“There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.” The Naked Civil Servant
So with one simple observation, I’m left to question my sexuality, at least in Mrs P’s eyes. Do I literally clean up my act and have her wondering, or do I continue my slobbishness and wonder myself? A third way is required in true New labour fashion. I just don’t have the roadmap!