Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mrs. Clean

I’m not a neat-nick by any means. I can leave the dinner dishes in the sink and sleep just fine (albeit I may regret it the next morning). I can go for weeks ignoring the toothpaste on the counter. I can walk by the same pair of shoes left by the door day after day, until, suddenly, it hits—a cleaning fit.

I never know from whence it comes, but once it strikes, I’m at its mercy. My family must be able to see it in my eyes when I wake up in one of these moods. It usually starts at the breakfast table.

“We are getting this house cleaned today,” I say.

Silence. I can imagine the glances they are giving each other when I’m not looking.

“I mean it!” I say, which is always followed by frantic eating.

Then I get up from the table and pull out the Clorox, which leads to panicked looks in their eyes, causing my husband to declare that he has some important work in the garage to do. In fact, anytime I want the garage cleaned, I should just pull out the Clorox.

Of course, since I’m not raising any fools, my kids quickly say, “We’re going to help Dad!”

Then they are all out the door before I can pull out my scrub brush. Of course, I don’t blame them one bit. During these fits, I cannot rest until the house is cleaned from top to bottom. And when I clean, I clean vigoursly. In fact, today I actually hurt my knee cleaning out the bathtub—don’t ask.

Some of my neighbors have maids. I had a maid once—I mean it literally—once. It was too much trouble trying to clean up for her first. Plus she missed a few spots.

So, it's just me and my cleaning fits. During these times, my kids will innocently ask, “Are we having company?”

They have a point. I should invite everyone I know to come over and see because, unfortunately, when these spurts leave, they are gone.

And I’m left with the satisfaction that although I may not wash a dish or a stitch of clothes tomorrow, today my house is clean. Sorry, you missed it!

1 comment:

Angela McRae said...

Wow, can I relate! Once, around the holidays, a friend who knew how I stressed over cleaning in anticipation of "Christmas company" offered to give me the services of her maid for a few days as my Christmas gift. I told her no way, it would stress me out even more to have to clean in anticipation of the maid's visit!

BTW, I went on a cleaning binge Saturday morning and went over our (allegedly) white kitchen counters with bleach, my favorite cleaning aid!