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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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cleaning

Summer Blog Day 4: Dust Shaming in Suburbia

I started a Facebook Group a few years ago for people that clean their house before a cleaning person comes.

I think we topped out at 3 members. All of them might possibly be related to me.

I rationalize this underwhelming response by assuming that they were all too busy cleaning to join.

Yeah…that’s it.

I mean, it couldn’t be that the idea was lame…

Shortly after forming the group, I told my cleaning crew to take a hike. The boys were getting older and should be doing regular chores. I was home more with everyone in school. I had this. No problemo.

Um, until I didn’t.

It turned out my house was the hamster wheel of cleaning. Round and round I went without getting anywhere. And there was no hope of catching up to any dust bunnies. Ever.

Fortunately, I married a man who is fastidious. Nary a sock on the floor, no dirty dishes in the sink and the paper fully reassembled before recycling.

It’s amazing to watch, actually.

But, there is the tiniest of chances that I wasn’t completely upfront with him about my love of piles before our I Do’s. Which was all well and good when we had someone helping with the cleaning.

Without my trusty cleaners, it was all too much for him. I gave it two years and countless tubs of Clorox wipes,
but I was fired.

Thank God!

So that is how the boys and I found ourselves straightening—ok, ok, panicking—before the cleaning cavalry was due to arrive.

I was used to tackling the house one level or task at a time. The thought of having to prepare the entire house was making my pits sweat and I hadn’t even started.

It had been two solid years since I had prepared for anyone else to clean but me. I had approximately 10 piles for every year.

I need an intervention. Well, not now because I worked for three hours to make the house clean enough to clean. But sometime soon.

It looked so beautiful right before they arrived. I mean as long as you didn’t open the laundry room door or accidentally bump into a couple of cabinets, I was Martha freakin’ Stewart.

When that familiar white van pulled up, I was giddy. After greeting each other, I had to retire to the deck with the dog who has a very strange fascination with feather dusters.

Freak.

Outside, I could faintly hear them chatting amongst themselves.

And laughing.

At me.

Remember the “Seinfeld” episode where Elaine knew her manicurists were talking about her in Korean? And she was right? My gut told me the cleaning crew was having a field day with the lame lady and her layers of dust. I’m proud of my Spanglish, but stuck outside, I had no way to confirm.

Sitting out there was killing me. I wanted to explain, but it was useless. The baseboards said it all.

So, I slumped down in my chair and did what everyone does when they are backed into a corner.

Played Trivia Crack on my phone.

Finally, the dog and I were allowed back into my lemon scented paradise. I thanked them profusely as they cleared out with promises to return next month.

As the last one turned to shut the door, he said, “Lots of dust, phew.”

He left and seconds later I heard the same cackles.

Aha! That’s it.

Tomorrow I start a Facebook Group for people whose cleaning people judge them.

Who’s with me?

Hello?

Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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