“Why do we have to help clean the house if the cleaning lady is coming to do it tomorrow?”
I would ask Mom this question repeatedly as a teenager. This was the silliest idea in the history of the world to me. My mom taught second grade, and my father was a school administrator. They didn’t make a ton of money, but enough to afford one of the neighborhood ladies to help Mom once or twice a month. As a male teenager, I had no clue how much work it was to keep up with all the housework. I still don’t as a senior citizen, but that’s another story.
Fast forward to present time, and my wife decided the house needed a thorough spring cleaning. I went along with the plan because it is getting more difficult for her to do some of the work. It’s almost impossible for her to clean the tub in my bathroom, and I have no interest in scrubbing the tub or the toilet. I’ll give it a quick once-over occasionally so it’s not totally disgusting, but it needed a thorough cleaning. I thought it would be a perfect ‘gift’ for her to have the house cleaned by professionals. I didn’t ask about the cost but assumed I wouldn’t have to sell one of my antique Packards to cover it.
The cleaners were scheduled for Tuesday morning, and of course I spent most of Monday picking up stuff that we use everyday and normally leave in places with easy access and finding places to hide said items, emptying the trash, removing some of the three-inch thick dust from the shelves in my office (there was more dust in my office than in the entire state of Oklahoma during a dust storm) and doing my best to make the house look somewhat presentable. I didn’t want to be totally embarrassed, or have the cleaners call the EPA because our home was detrimental to the environment. The pros were arriving at eight o’clock sharp, so I set an alarm for four-thirty. I wanted to go over the house once more. After hitting the snooze button for three hours, I tumbled out of bed and checked the time. Dagnabbit! I had fifteen minutes to shower, eat breakfast, do the dishes, finish checking the entire house for cobwebs (which grow to the size of football fields overnight in the basement), make sure the house didn’t smell like thirty cats lived there and shared one litter box, sweep the sidewalk and front porch because our one cat liked to leave presents for us (in the form of dead animals) and… shoot! I forgot to wash all the windows.
The cleaners arrived. I took a look around the living room and realized my wife hadn’t tidied up her area. Oh well! Too late to do anything about it now. I opened the door and watched the army of ladies carrying their cleaning supplies up the driveway, around the corner of the garage and up the sidewalk to the front porch. They entered the foyer, surveyed the area and set their supplies down. I was relieved they hadn’t refused to do the work. My wife greeted them like lifelong friends and gave them a quick tour of the house. I retreated to my office and tried to think of all the places I should have cleaned but didn’t have time.
Fortunately for me, the team of cleaning professionals knew exactly how to tackle the issue of cleaning our home. No, they didn’t run away, or set it ablaze – which had crossed my mind. They started at the far end of the house and efficiently and methodically moved from room to room with the precision of a team of open-heart surgical specialists. They arrived at my office and my heart sank. Surely now they would realize the futility of trying to make it look presentable. It would be easier to remove asbestos from an ocean liner the size of the Titanic than to clean my workspace.
But somehow they worked a miracle, and the entire house looked cleaner and shined brighter than a 1958 Chevy in the showroom. I walked through the kitchen and my jaw dropped. I had to step outside to make sure I was in the right house. Places that had been ignored for decades appeared to have new life.
“It looks brand new!” I exclaimed inspecting the sink and faucet. “Now I don’t have to buy new ones.”
The kitchen sink and faucet shone brighter than the brightest star in the Milky Way.
My wife commented, “This house has never been as clean, or looked half as good.”
If she was happy, I was happy. Then she left to pick up our daughter-in-law from work, and I was left to pay the bill. I thought about offering them one of my classic cars in payment, but, fortunately, the price was affordable. All I had to do was sell a thousand copies of my latest book, and I could cover the cost.
In case you are unfamiliar with most of my blogs, they are usually written in jest, but now it’s time to be serious. The professional cleaners were good friends from church who happen to be very good at what they do. Thank you, Angela and Janet. The house is cleaner (and smells better) than ever. I gave Angela one of my Emmy books because she feigned interest. Who knows! Maybe she will like the series, and I can recoup some of the money I spent.