A few months ago my mom and sister booked a girl’s trip to Europe. My invite must have gotten lost in the mail because last week they boarded a plane to Paris and I found myself not on a plane to Paris. Instead, I was planning for three weeks of watering other people’s plants and working for my sister. The watering of the plants is easy, the cleaning of complete stranger’s toilets…not so much. Before I start complaining like a toddler about how hard it is to shine faucets all day, I will preempt this by saying that my sister does this work 40+ hours a week, five days a week, all fucking year long. She did me a solid by cutting back the schedule to 20 hours a week while she was gone and informing her clients that some tragic asshole (me) would be subbing for her while she was eating croissants at some cafe in Paris. My complaint: I’m not cut out for this work. I can work, I can work like a motherfucker. I’ve pushed carts in hail storms, bagged groceries for angry old ladies and made coffee for irritable businessmen. I have rubbed hairy backs, filed random bullshit papers for doctors and been yelled at over ad copy. But cleaning for hours on end in houses that are full of precious pottery and expensive watercolors, I’m not that girl.
It’s a lonely venture this house cleaning gig. As I deep clean cupboards, shine microwaves and talk to the pets of the house about how their day was, I realize what a nutcase I really am. Yes, I’ve become that lady. “Oh, hey little J. How was your nap? Any big plans for the afternoon? Do you think you should be eating that razor?” The pet of the house usually licks my shin and moves on to more entertaining company. Like the hummingbirds in the backyard. Due to the fact that I am a screwed up, neurotic writer, I use these hours of silence to concoct stories and questions and random scenes in my head. Did you ever see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? That’s me. My husband was annoyed to no end by the fantasy scenes in that movie. My thought was “Dear God, I’m not the only one.”
So for your entertainment today, I will list a few of the fucked up things I think about while I lemon oil stainless steel and hand mop bathrooms. You’re welcome.
“Do I have this many knick knacks? Oh God, I do. I need to get rid of that shit because dusting this ugly crap is worse than having an enema. Will I ever need an enema? God I hope not. Who would give me an enema?”
“What percentage of the population has stuck their hand inside a toilet? I bet it’s low. I bet it’s higher in minority populations. Why would I think that? Does that make me racist? Hey Universe, I’m not racist, so please don’t hold that against me.”
“How rich do you have to be to have a wine fridge in your kitchen? If I’m ever that rich, I’m gonna skip the glass front because that’s just a pain in the ass to clean. Do they track how much wine is in there? Not that I would ever drink that wine, I wouldn’t. Universe, I wouldn’t steal that wine, I promise. Do I have any wine at my house? How many hours until I’m at my house?”
“If I’m ever rich enough to have someone make my bed, I’m gonna save that money for a trip to Peru, because who gives a flying fuck about hospital corners. What is a hospital corner? Oh, if I’m ever in the hospital for a long time, I’m gonna make a big fucking deal about having hospital corners on my bed. Does that cost more? Will my insurance cover that?”
“Why would you purposely put shiny, white cabinets in your kitchen? Is that a pubic hair? Oh God, I don’t want to touch that. How does a pubic hair get on a kitchen cabinet? Do old people have sex in the kitchen? I’m never gonna be old enough to have sex in a kitchen without dry heaving. How old will I be when I die?”
“Those are really nice decorations. How do these people work all day and have a beautifully decorated home? Do they make Pinterest crafts after work every day? What do I do after work every day? Drink, yes. Smoke, yes. Maybe I’ll make a cute craft for my house after work today. No, I won’t. Did I let the dog out before I left today? God I hope he didn’t poop on the carpet again. How many minutes until I go home?”
“Do maids at hotels clean sinks like this? Man, they have to clean like 100 sinks a day. That makes me feel like a dick cause I’m feeling pretty angry about cleaning four sinks. What kind of toothpaste is that? Oh, my kids would love that. Maybe I’ll remember that brand and get some at the store for my kids next time. No, I won’t remember. Did I fold the toilet paper in the last bathroom? Fuck, I didn’t.”
Interesting isn’t it. No. For the next three weeks I will scrubbing toilets, folding toilet paper and shining faucets, so I hope you will be checking back for more random thoughts by yours truly. Until then, I’m going to go make a beautiful Pinterest craft and measure my cabinets for a wine fridge. Not really. You can find me on my porch with a beer wondering how many more days until my sister comes back from Paris. I’m considering making a countdown to Christmas type craft with construction paper and loops, but that would require me to make an effort. I’ll just use the beer bottle countdown.
Last year, I wrote a post about cleaning a butter dish. You should read that shit, because that is real life. If you hire someone to clean your house, they will clean your butter dish. If you are rich enough to have a butter dish. Which I’m not.
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