I had a magic soda bottle that I could rub and out popped a genii who helped me clean the house. Now that my wife has returned to the Philippines for family reasons, I have apparently lost the bottle. So far, digging through piles of junk in the library and my bedroom have only resulted in more mess. I could’ve sworn I left it under the bed. Part of the problem with cleaning in the library is the fact that I can’t pick up stuff for more than ten minutes before finding a book I have to look at or re-read, or put on my re-re-read pile.
Part of the problem that leads to the need for a genii to clean is the responsibility of the family dog. And she doesn’t do her share of the housework. Jade the dog seriously believes that she can be a people if she eats enough people food. So she steals from the pantry when my kids invariably leave the pantry door open. She will pull out the Pringles cans, the half-eaten bags of chips, the powdered chocolate milk packets, and all sorts of other packages to dismember and shred behind the sofa and overstuffed chairs in the living room. And no matter how many times I lecture her about it, she never picks that trash up. She just sulks like a teenage girl, hating me for my fuddy-duddy old dinosaur brain. But I occasionally have to remind her that people, the group she so desperately wants to be a part of, don’t pee on the living room rug when they are impatient to go out.
So, I am just guessing here, but I think the time has come to stop searching for magic bottles and just roll up my sleeves and do it myself. Time to pick up the trash. Vacuum the floor with the aging vacuum… a device that does not work well at all, but ironically doesn’t suck… and then shampoo the carpet with dog-stain remover. I need to reorganize book shelves, dust behind TV’s, some of which no longer work, pick up and do laundry, actually wash the dishes in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher to do to them whatever mysterious cleaning magic a dishwasher actually does… (Have you ever noticed that if you don’t pre-wash dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, they don’t get clean? What does this machine actually do?) Anyway, the only workable solution is to actually clean the house. Children and dogs who want to be people help in small ways, mostly by cheering you on and supportive comments and eating stuff you find behind the couch… and the dog helps with that last part.
Since today is a hot summer Saturday, too hot to do neglected yard work (a whole ‘nother post it seems) I will start today. And I suspect that Clean Gene the Cleaning Genii is off visiting his cousin, the guy pictured on bottles of Mr. Clean, in Cleveland so that he can see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now that they have finally enshrined Steve Miller even though Mr. Miller never really wanted to be.