Sparkling January put me in the mind that clean showers and shaved legs might last forever. Impossible–you say, but a new year made me want to
start take over as a Rosie the Riveter kind of gal instead of the laughable Wimpy Whiner a fellow Miss Sunshine housewife insinuated I was when I confided in her (quite desperately in fact) that it seemed like all I ever do is cook and clean! “Pshht,” she summarily dismissed my rant, “That is the job description.” Really? Wife and Mother has a job description? I don’t remember signing a contract for being an unpaid maid, cook, chauffeur, tutor, judge, seamstress, etc, even though I did somehow assume all of those roles and more. I don’t think I slack too badly at my detailed job most days, but there are others when my kids do eat breakfast cereal with a fork. Would it kill them to wash a single spoon to feed their face? Aha! There was that time my husband bought me two sets of spoons out-of-the-blue! Okay, okay. Admittedly I settle for “good enough” or “get ‘er done.” On more than one occasion I served pancakes and eggs for dinner in a scramble to hide the fact that I hadn’t gone grocery shopping, but hey! No one died (though I’m almost sure that an infusion of syrup and chocolate chips can’t be good for anyone’s health). For twenty years I’ve taken charge been trampled over by my household of six but never, never in two decades can I ever say that I have cleaned the shower. You heard me, not once. There are a few others things I’ve done in a shower (TMI and ew, gross), but far from Paradise by the Dashboard Light, this declaration of my no-clean zone is my Meatloaf stand in marriage stating I Would Do Anything for Love (but I won’t do that).
What do I have a husband for if he can’t do one stinking household chore, right? So, he did this job for me throughout our marriage (while I did everything else). He did it satisfactorily until the kids were old enough that he could pawn it off to them. Our third child bit at his dangling carrot of cash. She did it for a while. A novice. The shower noticed, but we didn’t say anything. Didn’t want to offend the help. I suspect my husband cleaned up after her. Then, he got back problems. Man down! Now he couldn’t bend over to do a proper finish job in the shower (or walk or sit, but this isn’t about feeling sorry for him). The shower suffered too. Pink residue clung to the grooves between the white fiberglass squares. At first I thought it was dried shampoo slough, but it was more of a stain than a swampy area. The tempered glass doors turned a foggy white and I could read the girls’ doodles etched into it a day later. Hmmm, not my job, I thought as I tried not to touch the walls.
Twenty years ago when I was still single, I learned from my training as a marriage counselor that one should not enter into marriage expecting it to be like a business partnership where there is an equal and mutual trade of goods 50-50. Instead, each spouse is to give their respective 100%. Playing tit-for-tat games is not loving and conducive for a healthy covenant bond. Hmmm, am I giving 100%? Curse that expensive education I’d received! Had I bought into it though? Inspired by Good God and last month’s magazine issue at the optometrist’s office I went out and bought a $5 top-rated cleaning product for bathrooms: Scrubbing Bubbles and an extender scrubbing eraser pad for ceilings. I was still a smart girl. No more would I be showering in a scum bucket rinsing shampoo from my hair while mildew clung to every surface like athlete’s foot between toes. Eee gads! Could I contract some foot disease? One mighty lime green canister would do my absorbed job for an entire month. It took one full can, but I sprayed the whole thing into every nook and cranny until it looked like my shower was flocked with snow. It smelled good. Er, clean. After I’d finished wiping and declared it open for business, my husband tells me he’s never seen anything more beautiful. That’s what family is all about–serving until your finger hurts from pressing a nozzle. Don’t judge.
Let me start over, come clean. “I’m a wife and a mother. I clean showers. Yes…I’ll do that.”
Anyone feel like Meatloaf tonight?
- How to clean your Bathroom in 15 minutes (shinypigeon.wordpress.com)
- Peeing In The Shower? Easier Ways To Save Water (greenearthbamboo.com)