A retired Vegas Showgirl walks into a bar…….

Manual Labor on My Day Off from Manual Labor

“You’ve worked too many hours this week.  Sorry.”  My request to pick up an extra shift at the brewhouse was turned down.   The denial was completely justified.   I already gave up a day off on Sunday to make my credit card debt a little smaller.  But despite their justification, I was a disappointed I wouldn’t be working to pay down the phone bill too. 
 
So I had the whole day to myself.  I poured myself my first cup of coffee and wondered what shopping trips or culinary experiments lay ahead.  I wanted to hang some peg board in the kitchen.  I had the ingredients for homemade marshmallows waiting patiently for me to put them together in the correct order.  A day of mindless television parked on the couch didn’t sound so bad either.  Claude rubbed up against my legs to say, “Bonjour,” and “J’ai Faim!”  I reached down to scratch his velvety ears and that is when I saw and I knew.  With 24 hours of no commitments, I no longer had an excuse not to clean my kitchen floor. 
 
The worst part about scrubbing my floors is not the actual scrubbing.  Once the floor is clear of loose debris I can bang that sucker out in under 30 minutes.  Rendering my floors debris free is the real trick.  Somehow, I have thick, long hair.  I preface the statement with ‘somehow’ because I find strands and strands all over my bathroom sinks, my car, my carpets, my kitchen floors and surprising there is still plenty coming out of my scalp.  Along with cat hair and my adventures in cooking for the week, brooms and vacuums can’t hold a candle to the amount of stuff my tile grout can hold.  Anthropologists could find a enough evidence for my full biography just walking around my kitchen with their heads down, “She liked onions, wore sneakers, owned pets, and had thick, long hair,….damn, that she must have shaved off in this very room.”  
 
I credit myself for being a clean person.  I do.  But when I got on my hands and knees, I was able to read the splatter marks on my floor like an archaeologist reading hieroglyphics.  It’s like a diary without words.  I’m able to recall the meal, the setting and the emotion from something as simple as a grease smudge or cake batter spatter. 
 
Today’s splotches and drips gave me a time line that allowed me to calculate how long it has been since my last cleaning bout.  The onions skins were probably stray from the cassoulet (that was last week), the tiny bright red sticky clumps were definitely the cranberry pear gelees (few days ago). the darker red could be from the ancho chili puree in the Texas chili (early this month) please let it be the anchos and not the rhubarb from the compote.  Rhubarb is a springtime harvest. 
 
I got half the floor clean and took a mini break.  I texted Ken to see how his city adventures were and then I finished before the scrub water got cold.  I threw an exercise dvd in and pumped iron while floor dried.  58 minutes later I rolled my kitchen island and bar stools back into place and admired my accomplishment.  The floors shone a bit brighter and so did my disposition. 
 
With clean floors and exhausted delts I no longer regretted the money I could have made after all, there is always tomorrow night.  I might still be months away from being debt free, but tonight I can fool anthropologists into believing I am a domestic goddess and that is priceless.
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One response

  1. Mom Cat

    I really hate scrubbing floors…..I’d rather dust; however,it was just the opposite with my mother.
    You must take after her!!
    Loved the way you write. It was soooo funny!

    November 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

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