Monday, 16 July 2012
By Lyn Burnstine
Once, a long, long time ago, I was watching a daytime talk show – perhaps Merv Griffin’s – and a well-known actress was the guest. I’ve forgotten who it was but I’ve never forgotten what she said when the subject of housecleaning came up.
She said, “Oh, I clean – why I never go by the pictures in the hallway but what I run my finger along the tops of the frames.”
I yelled at the TV screen, “Good Lord, What planet are you from, Lady? You think that’s cleaning? Running your finger over the rim of a frame?”
I was then a young wife and mother and in a period of my life when I maintained a seven-room house plus basement – cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, sewing, chauffeuring and shopping for a family of five and a cat - mostly by myself.
Segue to many years later. I am in a small apartment with a not-very-competent, occasional cleaning lady because I’m working outside the home now supporting myself as well as having acquired some further disabling effects from decades of rheumatoid arthritis.
Daughter #1 says to daughter #2: “Ya’ know, I don’t think Mom sees as well as she did – her house is not as clean as it used to be.”
Daughter #2 told me about the comment, laughing, because she sensed the answer.
I laughed, too, and replied, “Yes, it’s true that I can’t see as well. However, the reason it is dirty is that I just don’t give a hoot any more. The blessed bonus is that I can’t see it, anyway.”
I think of those two episodes often these days as I run a piece of wet paper towel over the rims of my picture frames that my wonderful angel aide had to skip because she has only three hours a week to do almost everything I used to do –laundry, garbage, changing linens, vacuuming, dusting, polishing silver, organizing and cleaning closets, scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen (including the refrigerator, stove and small appliances) and sometimes washing dishes and grocery shopping.
Lucky me! Who cares if she misses a picture frame or two?
My most frequent mantra these days is, “If Jill doesn’t do it, it doesn’t get done.” Oh, and by the way, I can see clearly since my cataract surgeries, so I would notice.
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