Coffee heat rising

Women and Their Ways

So in the setting of the Great Job-a-Day Scheme, today was clean-the-bathrooms day. This worked exceptionally well and also led to cleaning a few other realms that aren’t on the list. The interesting thing about this little effort, though, is the insight it offers into how much women differ in their ways of doing the most routine things.

Luz, best known as The Cleaning Lady from Heaven, brought her own cleaning products and devices, which she stashed in my garage cleaning-gear cabinet. In her emergency, she has left them behind. Most of these — no, all of them — work just fine. They’re just not products and gadgets that I personally would use.

At first I thought I would just use up the stuff that she left behind and throw out the doodads that get worn out rather than consumed. But then this morning, as I thought about what I was gonna clean the bathtub and wash the mirrors with, decided…nope. Noooo way! I’m usin’ my own stuff, by golly!

If she comes back within the next month or two, they’ll be here for her. If she’s gone like Poor Ole Charley on the MTA, then after two or three months I’ll donate them.

Luz and I differ very distinctly in our opinions about what works to clean a shack. She absolutely positively will not use my perfectly fine, highly effective (…imho…) home-made glass and tile cleaner — which contains the same ingredients as Windex except for the perfume and the blue dye. No. Glass cannot be cleaned effectively by any solution that is not blue, and that is all there is to it! By golly!

Furthermore…floors cannot be cleaned without the appropriate cleaning device: no mere sponge mop will do. Nor may they be dusted with stupid microfiber rags. Lamps and door frames and light fixtures cannot be dusted without the correct gadgetry. Toilets cannot be scrubbed without the right scrubber and the right ferocious chlorine-laced cleaner. And so it goes…

Then there are the habits that we follow. I tend to ignore the mirrors if they’re not dirty. Luz polishes them to a high shine whether they need it or not. I wash the windows when forced to it. Luz cleans them every time she’s here. But Luz seems not to notice the dog-fur smears along the pooches’ well-worn tracks. This morning while cleaning the back bathroom I noticed Ruby’s nest was stained dark and dingy where she has cuddled against the wall under the toilet, and that the wall opposite, where Cassie liked to nest during the day, was also darkened with dog-fur rubbings. A-a-a-a-n-d come to think of it, those hallway walls that I just repainted a few months ago also bear dog tracks where the pooches like to rub against them as they traverse the distance between the kitchen and the back rooms. Hm.

Scrubbing that off took some doing. I suspect that may be a cultural difference: rural people tend to keep the dogs outdoors. I doubt if my father would have allowed a dog in the house if my mother hadn’t insisted…and the minute he got a chance to get rid of her chihuahua while her back was turned, he gave it away. That, I suspect, is an attitudinal artifact of growing up in cattle country. Well…if you’re not used to having dogs residing inside with you, how would you know they deposit wall trails along their habitual pathways?


So…there’ll be some changes made around this place. Not necessarily for the better: just for the différance.