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Life on my own #21: Cleaning

Cleaning is fun, if you don’t have to do it.

That’s my theory for why little girls actually enjoy playing with plastic vacuum cleaners. They go “vroooooooom,” imitating their big brothers, only they’re using a pretend suction cleaning tool, not a Tonka truck. And they do so while wearing some cute little apron their grandmother gave them. If only their zeal for cleaning were paired with capability.

About once every other week, I decide there’s too much hair hanging around my bathroom sink and it’s time to clean. (The peanut butter smudges on the kitchen counter can also trigger a cleaning spree.) I even have an apron if I decide I don’t want to change clothes beforehand. It has brightly-colored cartoon flowers on it. Yes, it’s cute as far as aprons go, but no, my grandmother did not give it to me.

So I pull out various all-purpose cleaners and attack what grime and dirt I can find. Of course, most of the all-purpose cleaners contain some bleach in them… so I have to open a window about a minute after I’ve sprayed one of them. In winter, that’s no fun. But it’s either freeze or suffocate—which fate would you rather suffer? And when you’re cleaning, you work up enough of a sweat that it feels like a balmy 50 degrees, not the 30 it really is.

Unfortunately, sometimes the window also lets in a bit of a breeze, which wreaks havoc with the tidy little pile of dirt I’ve swept from various corners of the floor. Sigh. Freeze or suffocate, freeze or suffocate…

To keep my mind occupied while my hands are thus hard at work, I turn on the radio. Sometimes it’s to the local Christian station, or rather, one of the three that I’ve so far identified. There’s K-Love, of course, plus a couple of local ones, one of which (as I just discovered) runs some talk shows. But usually I go for the classical station. You’ve no idea how motivating a duet for two pianos can be!

After maybe an hour and a half—during which time I might have also decided the bathtub needed a soak, only adding to the strong bleach scent—I’ve finished all the cleaning I intended to do, including wiping off the grime from the stove and putting my couch and floor books “away.” (In reality, that means leaving them in neat stacks on either the couch or the dining table.)

By then, though I’m thankful to have done, my blood is pumping and I’m in the mood for another active project. Last time, maybe three weeks ago, that project was creating a new picture frame out of some miscellaneous bric-a-brac and the pane of glass from the broken frame. This time it was sewing. (See LOMO #20.) Why is it that cleaning brings on creative spurts?

Anyway, at least I don’t have to vacuum. Thank you, landlord, for not installing wall-to-wall carpeting.


mafia said…
you actually have a radio? where is it?
Sarah said…
Of course I do... that same little radio that would resemble Mom's old radio/tape player if she still had it. It's in the kitchen next to the coffeemaker.

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