The Sin of Sloth in Action
…it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I have made it come to pass.
The other day a man gave me his seat on the bus. I congratulated myself on my devastating femininity. Then I realized I was sitting under a sign saying ‘PLEASE OFFER THESE SEATS TO THE ELDERLY OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.”
RETURNING TO OUR TITLE TOPIC…
One of my Numerous and Aggressive In-Laws, Sister Catherine, posted a video made by a teenage boy, demonstrating how his mother freaks out while getting the house ready for guests. (No, I can’t link to it; you should realize that by now.) The resemblance to my in-laws was, in fact, eerie, complete with dialogue like, “If you kids haven’t made your beds by now, throw them out! It’s too late!…No one should think we sit!!…I need a bird feeder at every window!…Somebody stick seashells on all the doorknobs!”
It’s not exactly like that at our house, even though I’m married to Sister Catherine’s brother. The only holiday we are responsible for is July 4th, because our house is so small that we can’t entertain when it’s cold and people can’t overflow into the yard. (Digression: commercial for WFIE weather: “Sometimes cold weather isn’t pleasant.” Sometimes?) Here, at any rate, is how I clean up for guests. I’m counting on everyone forgetting I said all this by July 4th.
BATHROOM: Remember that Rom said he’d take care of it. Breathe sigh of relief.
HALL: Surely a hall doesn’t need cleaning? Note dust on baseboards. Resent its presence. Reflect on the need to do something about the hall closet so I can actually locate something when I need it. Then realize I don’t even remember exactly what’s in there anymore.
BEDROOM: Remove obvious dead leaves from large houseplant. Cat Esmerelda strolls in, hoping I’m doing something interesting, realizes yet again that it’s something boring, leaves. Cat Glamour resents that I’m removing the things she most likes to noisily eat on Sunday mornings when I’m trying to sleep because I have to get up early for church. Dust all the stuff on my chest of drawers. Wish I had less stuff. Note that Ez’s toy mouse is on the floor again, toss it up on top of my clothes chest (yes, I have two chests full of clothes, plus one closet) where it belongs. Realize there are spiders under the table with the houseplant on it, resolve to finish the rest of the job at some hour when spiders are less likely to be active.
MY ROOM (office? study? den? lair? guest bedroom, although it has no bed and rarely contains guests?): Become dismayed by all the books I own that I haven’t read in years or at all. Discover that there are silverfish behind some of them. Decide that taking them all out and dusting behind them would take too long, and no one’s likely to look closely at them anyway. Dust bric-a-brac, wonder about the derivation of the term bric-a-brac. Light scented candle, get paranoid about leaving it unattended, as all candle labels warn you not to do. Note profusion of perfume samples, resolve to find my signature scent, as I have been trying to do since 1969.
LIVING ROOM: Another large houseplant with dead leaves. This one exudes droplets of sticky fluid that won’t wash off. Weigh merits of taking everything off the coffee table first or just dusting around it all. Decide there’s no time for the former option because I put all this off until July 3rd anyway. Dust every small decorative item on the shelves, curse each one individually. Remember that I actually alphabetized my CD’s this year, proving that I can finish something that I start. Worry about the younger generation thinking, “You still have CD’s?”
KITCHEN: Attack kitchen table, to make room for large quantities of food. Discover that the stack of magazines next to my place at the table contains the Walgreen’s ad from six weeks ago. Peruse it and attempt to determine the frequency with which items I need go on sale, taking a long-term view. Note that Secret Romantic Rose deodorant is featured in the illustration, feel reassured that it hasn’t been discontinued. Discover there is cat hair on the table legs, become irate because vertical surfaces shouldn’t need dusting, because of gravity.
I can’t remember who it was who said our housekeeping resembles the Addams Family’s, but there you have it. The weird thing is that I am actually capable of laser-like focus (capable of it? more like, incapable of anything else), under the right circumstances. “Right circumstances” = “something I want to do.”
SPEAKING OF CREEPY AND KOOKY…
After vowing that he would never do it, “for the sake of my sanity,” Nick looked in my window–“to my everlasting horror,” he said. What horrifying thing was I doing? Reading the Bible. I knew he was coming by, to pick up some table scraps we’d decided to toss him, but since he hadn’t texted me yet, I wasn’t expecting him right then. So there came a furtive tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping on my chamber door, and I am pleased to report I didn’t jump. Because I’m not the nervous, twitchy type.
This blog still gets intermittently investigated by people who Google Halle Berry, just because I did one post long ago that mentioned her. So…HALLE BERRY HALLE BERRY HALLE BERRY. That’ll triple my readership!