Fashion Magazine

La Donna Delle Pulizie – My Italian Does It “cleaner”!

By Reasonstodress

If you are a North American woman planning on marrying an Italian, PREPARE YOURSELVES IN ADVANCE!!!

I always thought that Italian guys in Canada were bad, and by “bad” I mean stereotypical things like

  • Their Italian moms make their beds for them
  • Thy are used to good home-cooked meals ALL THE TIME
  • They are spoiled because they don’t have to do anything because their mom does it for them

But NOTHING I experienced in North America could possibly have prepared me for the real deal.  A real Italian man is a totally different beast.


Not only is he used to being well fed, but he is also well-groomed, used to a spotless environment and slightly obsessive compulsive!  Often sacrificing fun and going out for staying in and making homemade pasta or cleaning the bathrooms “come si deve” (how they should be cleaned).

When I first moved in with my husband (then boyfriend), his lack of knowledge on how to “do things” was enough to drive any woman CRAZY.  At the time he was in his late 20s and had NEVER lived on his own.

He didn’t know how to use the washing machine, he didn’t know how to iron, he didn’t know how to MAKE A PLATE OF PASTA (what kind of Italian is he anyway???), but EVERYONE in his family bragged about that one time, when he was like 12, when he made a fried egg.  My reaction ?  “big deal!”

Our first year living together was rough, I was so exhausted, working full-time until 8 pm, coming home and cooking and cleaning.  He was totally incapable.  For a long time he brought his LAUNDRY to his mom so she could wash, iron and fold it for him (fine by me!).  And then one day I said “You really need to learn how to do a few things!”.  And so began the lessons.

This is a washing machine. This is an iron. This is a sponge. These are the clothes lines. This is the toilette.

And so on and so forth until, time passed and I created a monster!

One relatively uptight Italian + cleaning skill = Obsessive Compulsive Neat Freak

He does things better than me, he is cleaner than me and his idea of “fun” is windows.

Now any normal woman would be like “just enjoy, what’s your problem?”

And it’s true….technically I’m not complaining….I’m just stating a fact….he has NO LIMITS!!

We spent last weekend IN THE HOUSE CLEANING.  Saturday, Sunday and holiday Monday.

He can’t wait for a weekend with no plans so that we can stay in and clean the oven.

I though Gay Men were supposed to be Clean?

Last year, for my son’s first birthday, we went to Canada so I could see my family.  Instead of staying with relatives in the suburbs, we decided to stay downtown and rent an apartment.  I chose the gay neighbourhood in Toronto, I thought; “Perfect. Gay men are supposed to be clean!”

Alas, when we arrived (after 20 hours total in transit, from driving to Milan, taking two flights, stopovers and getting there from the airport) my husband REFUSED to EVEN SIT ON THE COUCH UNTIL WE CLEANED THE WHOLE ENTIRE HOUSE!!

Here I am cleaning the toilette!



Oh and it gets better!  My man refused to use the guy’s broom, vacuum cleaner or  sponges. We had to go to the store and BUY OUR OWN SUPPLIES!!!


See the happy look on his face as he sanitizes every inch of the place!


My man loves CLEANING!  He even separates his dirty clothes from ours so I don’t accidentally wash anything of his!!  God forbid I use the wrong water setting, or a spin cycle that might damage the fiber integrity of his artisan sweatshirt.

La Donna delle Pulizie

For a country where everyone makes relatively little money, how is it that EVERYONE can afford a cleaning lady – la donna delle pulizie?  We don’t have one, and every week that goes by someone tries to convince me to get one.  I get questions like:

“Who washes the windows weekly?” ….wait…..Weekly?

You mean….EVER!

Italians are OCD about cleaning.   I have one Italian friend that wakes up at 5:30 am and washes her floors DAILY.

I once saw a mug in a museum gift shop that read “A clean house is the sign of a wasted life”, and that really stuck with me.  Every moment spent cleaning was a moment that I could spend doing something else.

My husband counter argues this with “Our home represents our life and relationship, we have to keep it clean”.  Ugh, 1 point for him.

I’m now faced with the decision of spending something like 30 euro a week for a cleaning lady….but I can tell you right now that is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  From an economics perspecitive, this is like buying a new car….it depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot!..

First of all, if a cleaning lady comes I have to pre-clean anyway.  Washing the floors is NOT THE PART OF CLEANING that TAKES TIME…..

The part that takes time is:

1) Picking up the 247 plastic animals that have been strewn all over

2) Taking my dirty underwear out of the spice drawer

3) Finding the other hidden places that my son put my dirty underwear

4) Concentrating on cleaning instead of concentrating on EMERGENCIES like the one that happened today, where my two year old took the toilette bowl scrub out of the washroom and used it as a GIGANTIC PAINT BRUSH ALL OVER MY WARDROBE, WALLS AND BED.

Yeah.  Let’s just say I would have more time for dishes and what not if I didn’t have to deal with that!

5) Painting over the permanent pen stains on my couch with nail polish (my couch now looks like it has stretch marks!)

What I’m trying to say is, the idea of a stranger coming in to do remedial tasks for a few hours, when I’m positive that a few hours later all of that work will already be undone is a waste of money!! 30 euro a week each month is 120 euro a month or 1,340 euro a year! Why, I could go to Portugal for the entire month of August with that money!!

Do you have a cleaning lady? What about your partner, are they a neat freak?  How do you divide up the chores?

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