Monday, May 23, 2011

Running with (Angela) Jean

Normally, it's me who's the sentimental, nostalgic one around this blog. But, Barbara (Ruth) picked tonight's double-post topic, Running With Scissors.
The way I understood it, we were to write about the things we do now that are in keeping with the 'way we were raised' and the things that are...well, not.

Let's start with the not, shall we? The nots are always more interesting.

I grew up in a very clean house. Very. We had four kids in our family and occasionally things were untidy, but they were never, ever, dirty. I don't remember there ever being dirty dishes in the sink. I don't remember a night when the kitchen counters weren't scrubbed, the floors swept and everything put in it's place before we went to bed. We were all expected to pitch in, but I know my mom did more cleaning than the rest of us. I have distinct memories of my mom taking all the crystals off of the chandelier and washing them. Rugs were regularly taken outside and beaten with the mattenklopper. I also remember my first realizations that not everyone lived this way. When I became a teenager I started to babysit and saw all kinds of homes, some clean enough, and some well...not so much. I chuckle to myself when I think of what those parents must have thought when they came home from a night of mixed doubles bonspiels, to find that I had organized their playrooms, washed all their dishes and dusted their electronics. No wonder I got so many gigs....

My house today does not meet my mother's standards. The only time it comes close is when I know she's coming over. I shudder to think what would happen if she 'dropped in'. Luckily she lives 2 hours away so even if she called to say she was coming I would have enough time to at least run around like a maniac and clean. Don't get me wrong, my house is not a pigsty, at least not on a regular basis, but my standards are lower than my mom's. For instance, I do not clean my shower with tile cleaner after every use. Sometimes (gasp) there is hair on my bathroom floor. I don't swiffer my stairs every day, I can't remember the last time I dusted, there are usually finger prints on my patio doors, and I don't even own a mattenklopper. If you came over right now and lifted one of my couch cushions I would be nervous.

Sigh. I feel like I've outed myself. You're all judging me now, aren't you? Fine. I'm coming to look under your couch cushions.

There are some things I do, that would make my mother proud. Like laundry, for instance. I am very good at laundry. I won't let my husband help. In fact, I have been doing his laundry since our first date. Not a word of a lie. (Shawn, my editor,  says this is an exaggeration). I have very specific sorting criteria: pure whites (excluding delicates), delicate whites, lights, brights, pinks (I usually have at least one full load of pink a week), darks, pure black, bedding, and tea towels (I have a full load of these a week). Each category has a corresponding water temperature and wash cycle as well as a specific detergent. Some things are hung to dry, some things go in the dryer, but again: Very. Specific. Criteria. I love folding clothes and ALWAYS do so as soon as they come out of the dryer. I only do the laundry when I know I have time to fold. I hate folding cold, wrinkled clothes. Folded clothes are sorted by owner and put away neatly. Unlike lifting my couch cushions you are welcome to do spot checks on any drawer of clothing in my house. I iron stuff too....not clothing so much, but weird stuff, like table cloths and tea towels, bed sheets and pillow cases. Always.

Now that I've told you my deepest darkest secrets I must go. My mother is coming over tomorrow (it's true she really is!) and I have a lot of work to do before I go to bed.

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