Dear Joanie,

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I’m just not made for household work. Oh, what a curse it is to be with a fascinating and highly attractive, but penniless man. Not sure I’ll ever go that road again.
It is a tribulation, this cleaning. I decided to do some work around the bedroom, because Burke complained about “inches of dust” and dirty windows. I thought I might clean the window sills and who knows, if I had time, maybe the windows. So I got a big bucket from the garden, which I had once planned to grow plants in. These buckets seem to deteriorate with time, don’t they. It was strangely filthy, with a kind of disgusting grey jelly both on the outside and the inside. Dozens of woodlice sped off as I lifted the bucket, afraid lest the sunlight might turn them into something pretty.
I cleaned the inside, almost gagging, and then filled it up to its rim with hot water – I don’t like to bend down too much to reach in, when I start the actual work. That is such a drag. It was still disgusting on the outside, so I put it on the kitchen counter for further cleaning, balancing it precariously on the narrow ledge next to the sink.
They say everything happens for a reason, but I cannot fathom why that bucket had to fall down. Even as it went to to the ground, seemingly in slow-motion, I was in denial. I remember very clearly thinking, and meaning it: “This is not happening.” But it was, apparently.
I sat on my couch for a while, then a longer while. Ultimately I resigned myself to the fact that the filthy flood had to be dealt with. So I got a few tea towels, which weren’t remotely enough, then decided to use t shirts that were dusty anyway, and which I  decided on the spot I’d probably never wear again. I tossed the shirts on the floor at regular intervals, and hoped they would soak up the sea of slush.
Then, I head Burke at the door. I quickly gathered together the t shirts and tried to look heavily involved. “Just mopping the floor!” I said in happy sing-song tones, when he came in. He looked so happy. “That’s my girl. You’re really making headway, aren’t you?” Burke likes it when I apply myself; he’s old-fashioned, that way.
I didn’t tell him I’d actually made zero headway, apart from mopping the floor with filthy slick. It will only show once the moisture dries completely.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa,

I have that too! Knocking things over and going into denial during their fall. Football players have it too, you see. They make grand dramatic gestures to illustrate the fact that they know they shouldn't have missed the goal or the ball for that matter. There isn't a big difference between housekeeping and professional football. I say that all the time, but no one really understands.


Lisa on 12 August 2011 at 04:00 said...

Football is war, they used to say. In that case, housekeeping is war, too. You are so right. And of course most people don't understand...other people are - well, they're Other People. And Other People are no good, really.

Well, the water has dried up, and the floor looks a strange grey-brown. It will wear off soon enough, with people walking on it.

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