People who’ve visited my house in the past have commented on how clean and organized everything was. I never let them in on my dirty little secret.
I had a housekeeper.
It was a total luxury, I know. But as a full-time working mom, it was a bi-weekly indulgence that I relished. I looked forward to coming home every other Monday to a house that smelled like Pine-Sol. The toilets were cleaned, the beds were made, and carpets were freshly vacuumed. And the only finger I had to lift was to pull out my checkbook. Well worth it in my book, I tell you.
Alas, with some recent changes at my day job, we’ve been looking at places where we might be able to trim the fat a little with our expenses. And so we went through the checklist.
Gas budget? Um, have you seen gas prices lately?
Eating out less? What? And skip our weekly Red Robin rendezvous? But I love those bottomless steak fries!
Eliminating beer? Hell no.
Housekeeping? Sadly, yes. Since I was staying home more, we conceded that the housekeeper should be a thing of the past. It was all up to me.
The only problem? In the two years that we’ve had a housekeeper, I’ve gotten spoiled. Lazy. I no longer know how much time it takes to clean the house. Or exactly where the cleaning supplies are kept. Or how to use them.
Such was the case when I went to dust off the vacuum the other day. And I discovered a few things.
- Vacuuming really does burn a lot of calories. Forget the treadmill. I was sweating like a hog by the time I was done.
- Judging by the fruit loops ground into the carpet, my kids don’t listen to me when I tell them “no eating in the living room.”
- Judging by the Cheetos ground into the carpet, my husband doesn’t listen to me when I tell him “no eating in the living room.”
- My vacuum cleaner might just be smarter than I am.
To clarify point #4, let me explain.
We have a Dyson. And while it cleans really well (that’s the rumor I’ve heard, at least), the damn thing just has so many buttons and gizmos, I need to get the manual out each time I use it.
One such gizmo is a telescoping hose that you can use for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots. And while I eventually figured out how to get the thing to go up, no amount of cajoling, pushing or cursing could get the hose to go back down.
So, after 20 minutes of figuring out how the vacuum worked, followed by 45 minutes of vacuuming, followed by another 30 minutes of trying to put the vacuum away, I was left with something like this:
The best I could figure, my vacuum cleaner was just really happy to see me.
I wish I could say the feeling was mutual.