Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Anyone feel like cleaning up after this meal? I didn't think so.
Football announcers talk a lot about momentum, how one big play can be the turning point of a game, spurring the losing team on to fight until they squeeze out a victory, against all odds. It is the same with house cleaning. You go along, doing the chores you can, as you get to them, but at some point you get the crud and take sick day or two, or you cook a 7-course meal to try to impress the new yuppie neighbors, or the cat gets mad at you and pisses on a whole basket of clean, folded laundry, and suddenly the mess seems much bigger. These things make one lose momentum. It is more difficult to exert the energy required to wash a sink full of dishes if it is two days old and you know the spaghetti is going to be stuck on and it will take forever to scrape the dried-up lettuce from the salad off. So you plug the sink, add water and soap, and let it soak. For a week. Now, with your momentum lower than ever, you find yourself dropping garbage on the floor beside the trash can and neglecting to rinse the toothpaste out of the bathroom sink. And then it's Garbage Day, a holiday that comes around once a week, but since you aren't that religious, you only observe it a couple times a month. Ahhh, Garbage Day, what will you be? Just one more lost opportunity to put some order in this crazy world, or will you be a momentum changer? I choose change! You choose to march proudly out that door in your tattered bathrobe and stained slippers, carrying two bulging garbage bags to your 30 gallon bin, still waiting on the curb from last week, and hold your head up high as you heft the waste into the can and out of your life! And then you will return with the pizza boxes. You scour the house, top to bottom, until you have collected all the candy wrappers and empty toilet paper rolls, the fast food bags and empty Coke cans, the array of Q-tips from the bathroom floor, until you have gathered every last scrap and taken it to the curb. And then, once the garbage is out, you realize that the rest of the mess consists of just three things: shoes, dishes, and laundry. So, while you're on a roll, you might as well put all the shoes away, that's easy. There's no since tripping over them every time you walk by the door. And the dishes have been soaking for a week, they dried on crud has been soaking so long if you look at it wrong, it swims away, so that's no big deal. You don your elbow-length gloves (because, let's face it, that stuff has been in there for a week, there's no telling what is living under that pond-scum in the depths of your sink), drain the water, and replace with new, hot, glorious suds. In no time, your dishes are sparkling clean! Now, what's next? Laundry? Whoa... careful, there, that smell is ripe! You don't want that circulating in the air, there's no telling what kind of germs might be in there. Why don't you just Febreze that and give it a day or two to air out, that way the whole house doesn't smell like cat pee. And with that, you turn the ball over, yielding your hard-won momentum to the other team. You win this round, laundry.

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