Because of our wildly divergent schedules — not to mention total disagreement in what foods are considered palatable — hubs and I rarely eat together unless dining out. Instead, most evenings I eat like a single person, petting my cat and reading a book while slurping down far too many foods that emerged from a box just minutes before. Two hours later, I watch hubs prepare and eat his own meal.
Recently, however, I vowed that this would change. Not the schedule, perhaps, but the cuisine. After all, I’m on the road to good health and inner peace. My horoscope told me so, and the calendar backs it up. ((Speaking of resolutions, check to the right for the newest poll. A new one goes up every week.))
After a little thought, I had the perfect meal idea. Since everybody knows that breakfast foods taste best after 5 p.m., I cased the refrigerator and cupboards for supplies, and soon I was chopping, whisking, stirring, and simmering until I had a lovely breakfast burrito — double wrapped for structural integrity, since I lack the gene that tells me when my tortillas are too full to tuck into without tearing. Two bites in, I had sour cream all over my fingers, Basil the cat begging for attention on the stool beside mine, and an empty paper towel roll in front of me. But the burrito was delicious, so I had no cause for complaint.
An hour later my husband came home, inhaled the remnants of cooked eggs, chiles, and green and red peppers, and declared himself hungry for a breakfast burrito of his very own.
Halfway through teasing him about being a follower, the good news struck: We finally have another recipe we both enjoy. I think that makes four.
Setting up a new toaster oven should not under any circumstances require the following ingredients:
1) A plastic spoon
2) Four paper towels
3) All ten fingernails
4) Frequent misting of household chemicals
5) 28 minutes
This goes double when above tools are necessary to forcibly remove a colorful, life-sized sticker whose only purpose is to tout the same product perks bragged about on the garishly-decorated box.
Everything I know about house cleaning could fit in a small mop bucket. Not that I own one, but I’ve seen them, so I have a general sense of the dimensions.
1. Host everything. Sometimes a little incentive’s necessary, which is why an impending audience is handy for motivating the terminally messy to pick up the pace and get the place clean.
2. Tackle the bathroom first. Nothing says I need a good scrubbing like toothpaste bits and water spots on the mirror. Plus it’s the easiest room in the house to sparklefy, especially if you employ the shower curtain in the manner in which it was intended: to hide a bathtub rim cluttered with shampoos, soaps, razors, and three types of conditioner.
3. Marry well. My husband is more sensitive to mess than I am, which means that he’s more than willing to pitch in and shovel out the clutter whenever necessary. His latest project? Mucking out both of our sheds. I came out one evening last week to find him vacuuming the rafters in the carport shed. When he noticed me watching him in astonishment, he cheerfully pointed out that he had “vacuumed up enough spider silk to make a blouse”. Although I kindly turned down his offer, I can see how cleaning can have other advantages I haven’t yet foreseen.
4. Squirt, leave, return. Household chemicals work so much better when left to settle for a while. A toilet bowl soaked in bleach-infused cleanser for an hour doesn’t even require a good scrubbing — a flush will do. Plus the lovely chemical smell adds to the illusion of a germ-free environment.
5. Mess is obvious; cleanliness is not. No one notices a nice, neat house. It’s not fair. Get used to it.
6. Learn how to apologize for the mess. I’ve honed this one to a fine art, asking people to excuse the mess, even if I’ve spent the last three hours tidying and the visitor in question is selling something and therefore won’t make it through the half-closed front door.
7. Hire someone. If only! Still, one can dream.
As I said — a small mop bucket of info. Other suggestions for the cleaning-impaired?