September 4, 2012
I’m not the world’s best housekeeper. There, I said it. Oh I’m not filthy, and neither is our house, but I’m not one of those women who obsesses about shining, polishing, disinfecting, scrubbing and vacuuming every second of every day. If I don’t wear my glasses in the house, I can get by for several days without worrying too much about any of that. If I put my glasses on, forget it. I have to at least dust and vacuum.
The coming months are going to be very busy ones for me, with a lot of travel coming up and of course the holidays just around the corner. I decided this weekend that, in order to get the house clean and in order before all the excitement starts, I will tackle one room per day and thoroughly clean it top to bottom. I get distracted very easily, and there are days when I feel as though I’ve cleaned all day long, but nothing ever gets finished.
I’m hoping this “one room at a time” idea works now that our children are all grown; it would never have worked when they were little. A kid can make a mess much faster than a parent can clean it up. Any parent out there knows that.
Anyway, the first room I cleaned was our master bathroom. It’s a large room with lots of stuff in it, and it has a vast expanse of white tile floor. I bought several new cleaning products and tools once I had made the resolution to clean in this organized, orderly manner, and my choices were of course based on those awesome cleaning commercials advertisers feed women all day long.
One of the tools I bought was that floor cleaning contraption to which you attach a bottle of cleaner, strap on a cleaning pad, plug some batteries into, and off you go, cleaning just like the perfect mom and housekeeper on TV. They make it look so easy in the commercial; in fact, the woman is dancing and singing while she mops the floor. Let me tell you about my real-life experience with that same mop. At no time during the process did I dance or sing, though I think I may have invented a few new words.
The mop came packaged in that nuclear heat-sealed plastic that requires a utility knife, a chainsaw and a priest to open. I cut myself twice just getting it out of the packaging. Then, I had to figure out how to attach the bottle of cleaning solution to the mop handle. I sprayed myself in the eyes with it before resolving to attach the bottle to the pole with duct tape (or Alabama chrome, as I heard a ‘Bama fan refer to it Saturday). When I opened the box of cleaning pads, I saw I had bought the wrong ones, so I had to stop everything and go to the home improvement store to buy the right ones. Lost an hour there.
Once I got the whole thing assembled (I was sweating like crazy and crying off and on), I suppose mopping the floor was easy enough. I won’t even get into the nightmare of using the new shower-wall-scrubbing “system” I bought. I ruined a shirt, broke two nails and sprayed my little dog by accident. She’s still hiding.
Didn’t a mop used to be just a wooden pole with a lot of strings hanging off of it? I hope I remember how to use this new-fangled one when I pull it out of the closet six months from now. I don’t think I can go through all that again.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the humorous hit book “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured locally and nationally on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events. Her next book, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear,” is expected on book shelves in Fall 2012.