Sunday, January 24, 2010

Little Old Portuguese Lady: Cleaning Edition

It occurred to me, one Saturday morning a while back, that I am slowly turning into a little old Portuguese lady. I had gotten up, stripped my bed, cleared the towels out of the bathroom, and put it all in to wash before I'd even had a cup of tea. It's what I do every Saturday. As my grandmother would have said, "because I always do." I have my little routines, just like Gram had. I mentioned this to my brother, who said "Turning? Babe, you turned that corner years ago."

There may be something to that. I have caught myself saying things like "I can't stand it when my house is upside down," and yelling at people who track mud on my clean floors. Especially the floors. After the last big snowstorm, I found myself mopping my living room floor at ten o'clock at night because I don't have an entry hall and salt had been tracked in. On rainy days, I stop The Army Dude at the door and I do not allow him in until he takes off his boots (yes, he wears boots on his days off; also, his favorite color is green).

Yelling is an important aspect: first you yell at whoever is making a mess, then you clean. You can't skip over a step. Or maybe I don't want to skip over a step. It's very cathartic. There are few things in life I have any control over, but by God, if I've just cleaned my hardwoods with Murphy's Oil Soap, they are going to stay clean for a while. It's possible that control issues might be a factor in the little old Portuguese lady transformation.

I have an indoor cat, however - something no little old Portuguese lady I've ever met would have allowed. I also consider any garment with fewer than seven cat hairs on it to be "clean." The transformation is obviously not yet complete, although I know that at some point it will be, and I accept that.

You'll have to excuse me. It's Sunday morning, which is downstairs cleaning day, and I need to get to it. "Because I always do."

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