“My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag” by Jolie Kerr

barfMy husband read something on the inter webs about Jolie Kerr’s My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag and Other Questions You Can’t Ask Martha. Whatever it was, it spurred him to borrow it from the library. He quickly abandoned it, though, because it made him feel bad about the level of filth we live in these days.

I used to be a clean person, like Jolie Kerr. I’d pretreat my laundry and clean the bathroom once week. While my house might get messy, it would not be actually dirty. Then, I had a child. And another child. And a nasty bout of depression. I learned that being a clean person wasn’t as important to me as things like reading, writing, and sleeping. Thus, cleaning fell on the priority list. And it’s been falling ever since.

After G. abandoned the book, I picked it up. It also made me feel bad about our dirt. But rather than overwhelming me, it made me want to be a cleaner person. It also made me laugh.

If you find that you have sticky spills to contend with–honey is a common offender–grab a rag and soak it in hot water, as hot as you can stand. Wring it out and press it on the honey; the hot water will liquefy it, rendering it easier to wipe up. If there are greasy spills, such as oil, ammonia is the ticket. Just be sure that you’re not using another product that contains bleach, as bleach + ammonia = sudden death. Okay, not really sudden death, but the two in concert produce a lethal gas, and that is no joke. You’ll hear me bang on about this again because it’s a super important cleaning lesson to learn: NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH AMMONIA. It will kill you. And then you’ll be dead, and your house won’t be clean, and people will judge you, THE END. (12)

Note, I did not say, it galvanized me into cleaning my whole house!

Note, I also did not say, it made me want to be a clean person again. CleanER. Little steps.

Kerr’s book is probably targeted at 20 somethings living on their own for the first time. But,with kids and a busy life, I’ve regressed, and can definitely use a refresher. Kerr is funny yet thorough as she guides the reader through the proper way to clean the kitchen, bathroom, and house. She offers detailed analysis of stains, and what to use on them. I tore through this useful little book in a plane flight, often laughing aloud. Then I returned it to the library early and bought my own copy.

In conclusion my house is somewhat cleaner, except for a couple windows which are WAY cleaner. I spilled some navy nail polish on my favorite tablecloth and mostly got it out. I am going to try and be a cleaner person. After I read my book, take a nap, play with my kids, and do some writing.


Well, crud. I was going to show before and after pictures of the windows and tablecloth, and now I can’t find them on my computer. Gah. Will have to update later and should also put in funny quote from book to further entice you to get it.

One Response to ““My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag” by Jolie Kerr”

  1. Ritalee Says:

    I read this out loud to my husband because we are also living in a new level of squalor post baby. I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning or running, but I enjoy the contact virtue from reading about them. Cheryl Mendelson’s Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House is a favorite. I’ll have to request this one from the library.