Let’s get something out in the open. I’ve never claimed to be the world’s best housekeeper. Dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes - they’re all necessary evils that I avoid like – well, like laundry. There is, however, one chore I definitely detest more than others. Mopping.
In this house it is a constant battle to keep the kitchen floor even semi-clean. I wish I could say it’s just because of the animal fur and mud being tracked in, the normal pet-owning, spouse-tolerating reasons you would expect. But you know that’s not the end of it.
My kitchen floor is a magnet for disaster.
Case in point: I finally got around to washing the floor last weekend. Please note, I will not be responding to any inquiries regarding how long it had been. The act of washing the kitchen floor requires moving furniture, shaking out the mat everyone is supposed to wipe their feet on that is never really free of grit even after vacuuming and slamming it against the vinyl siding(which now has a big gray blotch on it), sweeping, and washing the blasted dishes in the kitchen sink so I can soak the mop in it. Really, I just wanted to nap by that point.
After blocking all doorways and forbidding any living thing to enter for the next 20 minutes, my kitchen floor was clean. Practically spotless. You could eat off a 2-square-inch spot of that floor… for about 30 seconds. Then the Golden Retriever walked through and little fur puppies once again wound their way around the table and chair legs. The cat appeared for her evening snack and left morselettes in the corner under the cabinets. Spouse wandered through leaving tiny droppings of dirt and other unidentified matter from the bottom of his fake Crocs.
As if that wasn’t exhausting and traumatic enough, the next morning I reached into the refrigerator to take out eggs for breakfast. I hadn’t noticed that the carton was ripped. The carton went one way, the eggs another, and the next thing you know...
“I’ll have a half dozen raw eggs spread across my clean kitchen floor and under the fridge, please.”
Not to be outdone, the following evening the kitchen cabinets decided to stage a coup, and chose the canola oil to be their representative. As I was about to pour a small amount into a pan, the oil pushed itself out of my hands and flowed as quickly as it could onto the gas stove before lunging for the floor. I caught it in the nick of “What’s going on here??” It took twice as long to clean up the oil as it did the eggs from the day before, and I swear I could’ve just lit the dang floor on fire and cooked the already scrambled eggs quicker.
If I happened to love housekeeping, these little mishaps wouldn’t rattle me in the least. I would have a comprehensive collection of cleaning products in place of the rags that I currently neglect to shake out until I have to declare the dust as a resident. I would toss the used vacuum bag more often rather than wait until something claws at me through the nozzle. Visitors would no longer be able to write their name in the particles on the television stand.
Best of all, the mop head would never look used because, naturally, I would wash the floor so often there would be no dirt to dredge up.
But I’m never going to love housekeeping. I am more of the mindset of my hero, Erma Bombeck, who said, “Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.”
What’s my solution to avoid this fate? I’m just going to collect the dog dust bunnies, spread them around the floor and claim that we installed a shag rug in the kitchen.
(Journal Tribune 10/5/14 edited)