jayellebee's Blog

July 8, 2010

Mrs. Clean. Not!

Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 9:46 pm

     OK, I admit it.  Housework is not one of my favorite pastimes.  In fact, I’m so good at finding other things to do, I’ve been known to avoid certain routine chores for years.  Literally.  Take right now, for instance.  I was cleaning the kitchen before I sat down to write this.

     We have fluorescent lights in our kitchen.  The tubes are in a recessed space hidden from view by square, opaque, textured plastic sheets supported and framed by wood trim that matches the cabinets.  Very 70s-ish.  Dead flies and God-knows-what-else have been casting grim shadows through the squares since the last century.  I am sad to report removal of the deceased has finally risen to the top of my to-do list.  What I hate most about this kind of mindless activity is the inherent domino effect.

     I dispose of all the desiccated bodies, leaving semi-clean (or semi-dirty, depending on how full your glass is) streaks in the dust layer that has enrobed the plastic sheets.  So then I have to actually wash both sides of the plastic in hot soapy water to remove the greasy build-up resulting from these lights being directly above the cook top.  The now sparkling plastic shines a spotlight on the grimy wood framework and  I know in my heart if I clean that, my efforts will only serve to make the nearby cabinets look all the shabbier.  See what I mean?  One domino falls, and then another, and then….

     So, I round the last corner while cleaning the wood framework and notice what can only be dried blobs of splattered spaghetti sauce on the adjacent “white” ceiling.  This is why I make it a hard and fast rule to never, ever look up when I’m in the house.  No good can come from that level of scrutiny.  Mark my words, scraping off those few dried spots is going to lead to scrubbing and repainting the ceiling.  Man, I knew there was a reason I’d been ignoring the dead flies!

     The last time I went through all this trouble was about, hmm, twelve years ago.  I remember because then, too, I discovered a treasure trove of spaghetti sauce stalactites.  Or are the things that hang down called stalagmites?  I can never keep those two words straight.  Anyhow, our three sons were all still living with us at the time and happened to wander into the kitchen to graze while I balanced on a step stool chiseling bits of tomato and oregano off the ceiling and into my hair.

     “Oops,” said one of the teenage human replacement units as he studied my rarely observed cleaning technique.  “Guess we missed that spot.”

     “Huh?” I intoned, pausing to rest my arms which were by then numb from being stretched above my head.

     “What’s the statute of limitations when it comes to food fights?” another son asked.

     “Food fights?”  I’m lost.  The kiddos might as well be mumbling gibberish.

     “I think we’re safe,” the third young ‘un declared.  “Besides, what can she do?  There’s only one of her and three of us.”

     **** A random word of advice to any childless mothers reading this:  DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT allow the number of children in the house to out number the adults.

     “Need I remind you,” I asserted my maternal dignity while brushing fly wings out of my bangs, “that I’m still taller than all of you?  Well, as long as I stay up on this step stool anyway.”

     The threesome huddled and agreed I was all bluff and no buff.  That decided, they reminded me of the time we’d left them home alone while attending a friend’s wedding several years earlier.  Seems they not only heated the spaghetti I’d left for their dinner, they also used it to redecorate the kitchen.

      I was torn.  They were getting along so well reliving the event, I hated to put an end to the tender moment.  On the other hand, shouldn’t a conscientious mother condemn food fight behavior?  My head spun, but that might have just been vertigo from standing on the step stool.

     Today I’m remembering the dizzy sensation and fear of tumbling to the floor.  At my age, such a fall could result in a broken hip.  You know, I can hardly see the reddish-brown spots on the ceiling from the computer.  Think I’ll just toss the dirty rags in the laundry basket and move on to something else.  Wonder if I could find some loose chocolate chips in the back of the cupboard.


1 Comment »

  1. Been there, done that! Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Bee Hylinski — July 12, 2010 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

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