I am amazed, fascinated and somewhat aghast by the speed at which my everyday life can transform into an episode of I Love Lucy.
I decided to clean the bathrooms. Just a quick once-over because I have company coming in. I had the balcony doors wide open to the gulf breeze and the day was warm, sunny and perfect. The word “perfect” should have been my tip off.
It was indeed warm. As my “once-over” became a sweat-drenched scrub, I realized that the temperature inside the house had warmed to something just inside the seventh ring of hell. I relented and turned on the air conditioning. And decided to make myself a cooling, protein shake. Healthy and delicious. Don’t worry. My virtuous streaks soon reap their own reward.
Now, you must watch the progression of multi-tasking at this point because it is amazing to behold. As I am making my shake, I remember that the ice maker is jammed up. A friend told me to pour hot water through it. So I did. And I know what you are thinking. Yes, I had a container on the other side catching the water as it went through. Or most of the water. And a couple of chunks of ice.
My shake is still in the blender, whirling derviliciously so I figure, “I have time.” I pour more water through. Things start to break up. Empty the container. Pour more water. A little more on the floor each time until… yes, we have de-iced.
And we also have a rather large puddle of water on the tile floor. “No problem,” said I, with a naivety that belied my advanced years. I will just do a quick mop of the floor. Check the blender. Shake gives me a reassuring nod. I grab the Swiffer Wet Jet.
The commercial flashes through my mind. The happy, slender housewife dancing with the Swiffer, cleaning her floors in the blink of an eye. Just squeeze the trigger and a stream of cleaner comes out. I squeeze. It does! They did not lie! And it comes out. And it comes out. And it comes out.
I now have waves of white foam across my kitchen floor, cabinets, baseboards. The trigger isn’t stuck; it’s just not stopping. I run for the bathroom—don’t want to waste this! I try holding the entire mechanism upside down. Still spraying, I artfully manage a lovely even mist over everything below four feet. My floors vaguely resemble the rapids in Deliverance. I mop faster and faster but the stuff keeps spraying out.
Then it taunts me. Suddenly it seems to stop spraying. I think “Good. I can just start actually mopping now…” only to have it start spraying again like a male cat doing well, what male cats do. But with a fresh, clean scent, of course.
I drop the entire mop to the ground, pinning it with my foot so I can use both hands to try to leverage the canister out of its holder. It is wedged in there so tightly that the spray actually comes out with more force, even though I find it hard to believe there is anything left in there.
And it stops. I put a wooden stake through the canister, duct tape it and bury it in the trash with a clove of garlic. Can’t be too careful. I stop the blender, which by now has the tired look of a prom queen the morning after and set to mopping. And mopping. And mopping. My raccoon slippers are soaked.
I would love to tell you that my floor sparkles. And it does. If you look at the streaks at just the right angle. On the plus side, if I take a running start in my socks I can slide all the way down the hall. But I know what my limitations are. I am not and never will be a dancing with a mop kind of gal. I’m okay with that. I vow to ply my guests with wine from the moment they arrive. And hope they don’t look too closely in the corners.