Monday, June 22, 2009

All in a day's work

"My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire,
or block the refrigerator door, let it be.
No one else cares. Why should you?
Erma Bombeck

A little before 9 am ...

I'm up and just folded the clothes I washed last night. Got that chore done ahead of time. I'm on a roll. Well, sort of.

A little before 10 am ...

I feel angry. Or maybe I feel scared.
So far today I've broken lamp and the dog stepped on Sweetie's sore toe.

He growled. The dog ran for cover. I glared. If it had been the other way around and my sore toe had been trampled, I would have been on the floor blubbering. Sweetie, I think, would have tried to soothe me. I doubt he would have glared. Being in this cleaning/angry/scared/frustrated, confused state is not my best side.

I'm on a cleaning frenzy. I've vacuumed floor boards and headed for the front door. I don't remember when the threshold to our home was last cleaned. Obviously not recently. We live in Florida, mold creeps in where cleaners fear to tread.

I bleached the door. It's white. A white house with a white door. Does that tell you something about the people who live in the house? I wondered about feng shui. Is a dirty entrance keeping bad spirits away or just plain uninviting?

As I swept away cobwebs I wondered why I was feeling so out of sorts. Because Eugenia is coming? Because I'm not much of a house cleaner and I don't like facing the truth? Because Mom isn't here?

If mom was here I wouldn't be faced with entertaining Dad's first love - 70 years removed. If mom was here, the house would never have gotten in this state. If mom was here maybe Dad would not be dying. If mom was here, maybe I wouldn't feel so afraid.

To be continued ...

Around noon ...
I just finished hanging drapes. Drapes that have to be 25 years old if they are a day. I'm torn about feeling glad they didn't fall apart in the washing machine and grateful. Buying new curtains would turn into a "what's wrong with them they've worked this long they'll work til I'm gone" debate with my father. And since the house is to come to me, any updates such as replacing drapes that probably celebrated the country's bicentennial would fall to my checkbook. I'm just not in the mood for that one this morning.

To rehang the drapes I had to stand on a step step, arms akimbo over my head, trying to see under the valence (which I did not want to clean) by crooking my upper body upside down, attempting to get the drapery hook into the tiny hole in the pulley thingy. I suspect Helen Keller would have done a better job. I realized my dad was sitting in the dinette, casually doing a crossword puzzle and drinking coffee. Obviously he is not concerned about how the house looks to Miss Eugenia.

I think to myself, isn't that just like a man. I think he doesn't have a clue. And I think how my mom always did these things and I wonder if she ever got a compliment or if it was just understood that this was her job. Dad referred to me last week as the "hostess." One more of mom's roles I've been assigned. Is that just another way of saying you clean and cook and I'll relax? I feel like I am working for an A+ on my report card. Who, I wonder, will give me the grade. Dad? Miss Eugenia? or ME?

Am I a nut case?

To be continued ....

Around 4 pm.
I had an appointment to go to so I had to turn my cleaning attention to myself rather than the kitchen floor. The CD's that had been playing all morning were wearing thin. One can only listen to so much Tennessee Ernie Ford. The gospel music changed to country classic duets; still twangy but less religious.

My Sweetie and I passed in the hallway. He was still giving me a wide berth. But the music spoke to me and I asked, "wanna dance?" And, bless his heart, he said yes. He grabbed me by the waist. I put my hand in his and we danced. Mickey Gilley crooned ".... no I won't be afraid just as long as you stand by me" while Sweetie led me down the hall and around the vacuum. I closed my eyes, ignored my hurting hip and let him hold me. I think if a movie is ever made of my life with Meryl Streep as ME and Sean Connery (+ a few pounds) as Sweetie, this will be the theme song - the one you hum as you walk out of the theater holding hands with your own sweetheart.

Later ....

Going to the doctor can really slow down a girl's momentum. Getting another lecture on the need to stretch if I want my hip/thigh/thumb to stop hurting was not really what I wanted to hear today. But the message is beginning to sink in. I've told myself I don't have the luxury of a gym membership, or the time to exercise, blah, blah, blah. Clearly all my excuses fell on deaf ears today. Looks like I'll have to get as serious about me as I seem to be about everyone else. What a concept.

It's almost 5 pm. I think I have time to vacuum up kitty litter before dinner!

To be continued...

After 11 pm.
If I hustle I can get the kitchen floor mopped before midnight. It's been a long day. Tomorrow I'll finish what I didn't get done, plus go to the store to stock up on the hard core liquor old people drink.

I'm no longer feeling so angry; a by-product of physical labor?

Good night,
Merry ME aka Cinderella

P.S. Did I forget to mention the check engine came on in my car just before I headed over the bridge in the beginning traffic hour and I realized I'd left my cell phone at home so I needed to call for help I would have been shit out of luck? (What the hell did we do before we had cell phones that we left on the kitchen counter?) I could have panicked, but instead I did what Sweetie did the other day when the light came on - kept driving. But in an attempt to pacify the check engine gods, I turned off the air conditioner which meant that it took only minutes before my fear of stalling on the top of the bridge comingled with a weather-induced-hormonal flash of heat that sent my anger tolerance level which was already at a low point plummeting.

P.S.S. When I got home I took Sweetie right back to the conference room and laid it on the line. I'm pretty fed up with that car and could he please do something to see that it's fixed once and for all. Do you know what he did? Calmly and rationally he looked me in the eye and said, "okay."
God you've got to love a guy who can diffuse a crazy woman in distressed damsel mode.


Fire Byrd said...

Sounds like the day from hell, with a dance of love thrown in for good measure and an understanding sweetie who knew what the right answer to the question was...

Fire Byrd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.