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Nothing inspires cleaning like a visit from the parents…

August 1, 2009, 11:45 PM

My parents are coming by early Sunday afternoon. Both of them, this time. Mom comes fairly regularly, but Dad doesn’t come nearly enough, and I’ve told him that. So we’re meeting up here, and then probably going out for lunch somewhere, likely in downtown Silver Spring. So they’ll be here for maybe an hour, tops, before we go out for lunch.

And so the cleaning begins. I don’t care if they’re only going to be here for an hour. This place will be clean. At this point, I’ve done everything except vacuum the rugs, and a Journal entry is a good reason to take a break. Now, though, you could eat off my kitchen floor, though the question remains: Why would you want to? And besides that, I wouldn’t let you, because then I’d have to clean the floor again. And cleaning the house is no fun.

But you know the drill. Attack the bathroom, and make everything all white and shiny. Soft scrub is our friend, but make sure the fan is on, because the bleach smell can be overpowering. Then attack the kitchen. Stove, counters, microwave, fridge, floors, etc. Gotta make it all nice and pretty. Then dust the living room. And finally, vacuum the rugs. All in the name of cleanliness. After all, one does not want one’s parents to see how one really lives. They saw how I really lived when I lived with them. Now I like to at least make it look like I keep things a little neater now that I’m living on my own than when I lived with them.

Of course, one big benefit of living on my own, and living alone for that matter, is that when I put something somewhere, it stays there. One of my mother’s favorite habits is to put things places in the name of straightening up and not tell anyone where she put them. Goodness knows how many things of mine got misplaced due to their getting cleaned up and put somewhere.

And then once I get everything all clean again, I barely have time to mess it up again, since I’m going to be at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland for the next four days. Work is having a staff retreat, and I’m staying over. Sure beats the hell out of commuting there, that’s for sure. And that’s another reason to clean. I hate coming home to a dirty house after coming home from an overnight trip. Seriously, when I come home after being away for a while, I don’t want to look at housework that needs to be done. I want to just come home and see a nice, clean apartment. My biggest cleaning sprees have been before various trips out of the house, most notably in December when I went down to Stuarts Draft for a week, and went so far as to shampoo the carpets.

Meanwhile, speaking of cleaning, you’d think my coworkers would know I mean business when I’m cleaning the refrigerators. I cleaned out all three refrigerators at work last Thursday, promising to dispose of all spoiled and abandoned foods, and gave a very specific definition of what constituted “abandoned”. I even told them that I wasn’t opening containers, and so if food was destined for the trash, the container was going, too. I wasn’t about to have a repeat of the fetid rice from December, thus the no-opening-containers policy. However, if anyone needs to remove some wallpaper, I’ll gladly lend you the food I toss out. Open all the containers and wait five minutes. Meanwhile, despite seven Emailed warnings to my coworkers explaining in detail exactly what I was doing and how I was doing it, you should have seen the flurry of reactions to the cleanout. Some people were mad because I threw out their unlabeled food. Some even went so far as to rescue their food from the trash and then label it, and then yell at me for tossing it out. That last part I found expecially amusing, because when it comes to discarding abandoned food, I have little sympathy. I did exactly what I said I would do, and gave a lot of warning. If they didn’t follow the procedures and lost their food… well, that just sucks, doesn’t it? And since they didn’t follow the procedure up front, they ended up having to rescue their food from the trash. Kind of warped priorities, there. If I knew that food was going to get trashed if it wasn’t labeled, I’d label it. Once it hits the trash, yuck, since you don’t know what’s been growing in that trash can and has now been in contact with the food.

Meanwhile, my refrigerator at home is neat as a pin, and very well-organized, thank you very much. If my coworkers would keep the work refrigerators as neat as I do my home refrigerator…

So there you go. Now I must vacuum…

Web site: All about cleaning a kitchen

Song: Simplifying Summer: Togs or Undies? Explains when speedos are speedos (referred to as "togs" in the New Zealand-made video), and when they become underwear. Basically, if you're within roughly 1000 feet of the water, your speedo is a speedo. Beyond that, you're wearing your undies in public. My favorite part of the video is where they show the truck going by, and suddenly, with the water temporarily out of sight, the togs become undies.

Quote: Okay... enough procrastinating. The vacuum cleaner is telling me it needs attention.

Categories: Family, House, Work