Sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in.
For instance, “spring cleaning” apparently isn’t “doing regular chores with the windows open.”
I’m not saying I thought this was the “official definition” of spring cleaning ... but I kind of did ... by way of never taking any time to Google the matter or ask any questions about it.
Today, though, I received a press release about a cleaning service along with some helpful hints for spring cleaning.
I’m so arrogant that I almost deleted it.
“Spring cleaning? Meh. I did that last weekend.”
Except I didn’t even have all the windows open. There’s one I have to keep closed at all times because it’s near a walkway that my 22-pound-dog closely monitors for undesirables.
In other words, he went through the screen once and hopped around Scrappy Doo style in front of a startled woman tethered to a fluffy dog ... and then I ran out screaming his name as if he were the victim in this.
It didn’t look great for either of us. But I got the screen back in the window before anyone who can charge me for that noticed.
This is what matters.
I’m sure my neighbors hate us both equally and at all times, though.
Anyway, these spring cleaning tips I received today were so off-putting and much more involved than they ought to be, in my opinion.
For instance, “move the fridge” was one of them. To which I say, absolutely not, I don’t know what’s back there.
Though I’m 95 percent sure it’s a grizzled old Vietnam veteran of a mouse, wearing a flak jacket he’s grown out of and hoping that one day I will finally notice he’s there so he can tell me some hard-core stories that would blow my mind.
So I think I’m going to keep looking the other way on that one for now.
Same goes for the oven.
Except in that case, I’m guessing it to be a Nostradamus-esque “You’re going to faint, hit your head then die” message scrawled in the dust under there, giving me no choice but to faint, hit my head and become a one-week meal for Scrappy Doo and his cat brother.
I already know the cat will be the first one to take a bite because he causes me to trip and stumble forward a lot, which causes me to insult him a lot and I know he gets the gist of what I’m saying and is absolutely taking note. I’ve got this covered, though. I’ve already told the dog that, should the sad event of my passing ever occur in his presence, he is allowed to enthusiastically partake in the post-mortem dining of my body no sooner than one full day after his last meal so long as he also eats dessert.
Which is obviously the cat.
You can clearly see at this point that it’s not a great idea for me to follow any traditional spring-cleaning guide, but you should know it’s also because “do lots of things with vinegar” is on this list.
I don’t want my apartment to smell like vinegar for two reasons. One, it’ll smell like vinegar. And two, Proust’s madeleine.
Just reading the word “vinegar” makes the childhood memories come flooding back.
It’s a tragic tale. But I’ll share it with you.
My mother made me spring-clean once.
The windows were open ... because, like I said ...
And she was showing me how to wash a wall with diluted vinegar.
She was wearing yellow gloves.
She came closer to me.
And she told me ... she told me I was doing it wrong.
“Wash the wall from the bottom up so it doesn’t streak.”
It was at that very moment I realized in my heart that I never, ever wanted to learn any more “wall-cleaning strategies” and that my parents had clearly kidnapped me. Likely from a very wealthy family that lived on the Breakers in Newport, R.I., and could afford an entire staff of spring cleaners.
I’ve spent the past 35 years trying to prove this, mostly through begging my mother to tell me.
“I just want to know the truth. I promise I will NOT call the police on you. I’ll ask again. Did you and/or dad steal me from the Bouvier family? Am I supposed to marry a Kennedy?”
I mean, maybe Jackie O had to do some spring cleaning as a kid. I don’t want to jump to conclusions about the rich.
But I think I’m right to assume she never fluffed up a carpet with the side of her silver spoon.
Another helpful hint! Though the list didn’t specify silver! Because they’d likely advise you to polish it first!
Actually, I might use that tip ... I kind of want to be one of the seven people in the entire world who can say she’s done that with a spoon.