Sunday, November 05, 2006

The floor, it's clean

Seventeen years ago, I used to have this argument with my mother about cleaning. Doing chores, to be more precise. My chores, or child labor, as I was convinced it was then, consisted of cleaning my bathroom, vacuuming the basement and keeping my room clean. It would be no stretch to say that I despised every bit of it.

Seventeen years ago, I thought it was because I hated cleaning. I hated the idea of scrubbing a shower and toting a vacuum up and down the stairs. I thought I had better things to do, like homework and extra credit, of which I finished every bit and then some because yes, you must get straight A's and then some, afterall this is the fifth grade and if you're not succcessful now then what can you expect for your future? Also, I wanted to watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air after school everyday, not clean the toilet.

I'd like to say this improved as I got older. I'd like to say I took pride in helping my family keep a clean house, a house presentable to anyone. But the truth is, without a lot of nagging and even some threatening at times, I didn't. Not that I wouldn't do a good job when I did it -afterall, chores are like homework and if you vacuum and dust well, that's like extra credit- but actually getting me to do it was near miraculous. Once, without being asked, I cleaned the entire house for my mother one Saturday while she was working and, I kid you not, she called all my teachers the following Monday to check my grades and attendance. I had just wanted to surprise her, but instead I made her suspicious for at least the next month.

That's right around the time I remember her starting to use the line: When it's your house, you will care. And she was completely right. From the time I had my first dorm room, to my first apartment and even now, I can't sleep if my bathtub is dirty. I can't walk into my house and sit down if the vacuum needs to be run. I can't look at the television if it's got a spec of dust on the screen. I no longer have homework, I have housework. And what's better, I am starting to like it. I don't like it when I'm dead tired from a day at work or a week of running, but once I get going, it's quite nice. If my life always stays this busy and I can justify the cost, I would like a little help to get my floors clean but until then, I find it quite theraputic. It's like running, except I am capable of actually being the best. I can't be an elite runner, but I can totally lead the pack in cleaning. The best, really. Clean clean, all the time. The Queen Cleaner, even.*

To my surprise, this isn't a secret to those around me. Along with some dinners and sweaters for my birthday last month, I received a couple gifts that could very well have me eating off the floor. And liking it.

What's more, it solidifies the fact that I am not the stereotypical don't-give-me-appliances-as-gifts woman. Yes, diamonds are beautiful and of course I would not refuse them but shiny gifts come in a variety of packages.


*I am now the Queen of Stretching and Floor Cleaning. No need to bow.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure someone didn't clone us when we were very small. My mother could have written that post about me. I'm not quite so into the cleaning appliances....but I think maybe I could be.

GirlGoyle said...

I like it neat and tidy but it never stays that way. Which drives me craaaaazy. There is always something to pick up, move, dust, clean, wash, dry, put away. However dirt...that is a pet peeve. I don't expect floors to shine but I look around homes when I visit. I can't help myself. I just can't. And I won't deny that there have been times at friend's homes where I wished I knew where they kept the mop so I could just attack that dust bunny that snuck across the floor.

Plus I just got a new weapon...aaaah the swiffer!!!

justrun said...

RGF- It just comes so natural, I bet you'd be surprised, too.

justrun said...

GG- Isn't the Swiffer great? I am not sure I could love it more.

Anonymous said...

Good to know I am not the only one obsessed with dirt, I wondered for my sanity. It did become too much and I admit to paying someone to help. But I can breathe again and that was worth it.

Anonymous said...

LOL - very funny. Expensive as a Dyson is, it's still cheaper than diamond!

skinnylittleblonde said... favorite wedding gift was a shop-vac! Although, my house is rarely clean, the shop vac is sucks up anything & everything.

Ginger Breadman said...

If you wanna be the queen of stretching and floor cleaning, at least you've got a clean floor to stretch out on.

And okay, I must be the bad apple in the bunch on your blog today. My house is always a mess, and I've decided not to care anymore. I have kids - 'nuff said? I think I gave up cleaning long ago. It just gets dirty again instantly and it drives me crazy.