Monday, June 19, 2006

The myriad emotions experienced while cleaning my house

Alternate Titles:
The Bloody Munchkin vs. The Vacuum Cleaner's Green Light of Cleanliness
1. Determination - "This kitchen is gonna gleam damnit!"

2. Frustration - *Tromp Tromp Tromp* "God Damn It FIghting Nun! Swiffering Here!" *Tromp Tromp Tromp* "I. AM. SWIFFERING!" *Tromp Tromp Tromp* "Pick A Room! Stay In It! Respect the swiffer!"

3. Confused Frustration - "O.k., so let me get this straight. I've vacuumed over this part of the floor at least thirty times, but theevil Red Light of floor dirtiness on the Vacuum cleaner hasn't gone off and the Green Light, representing all that is good and clean in this world has not come on? Why? I mean, I've vacuumed over this spot several times. It can not be that dirty. Can it?

4. Guilt. Guilt and Shame. - "O.k., maybe the floor really can be that dirty. I mean, when was the last time I vacuumed? Has it really been that long? Yes, yes it has been. This floor has to be absolutely. There's probably enough dog hair residing in this carpet to build a couple other dogs, or a sweater, or perhaps knit a blanket. I am so horrible. I can't believe I haven't vacuumed in so long that the floor will now be perpetually dirty. The dude from Dirty Jobs is now going to host a show in my carpet because it is that dirty. I am so horrible. I've had this house only, what, three months and now the carpet is so dirty that it will never get clean. I am horrible.

5. Contrition - "O.k. God, or the carpet gods or whatever. I promise from now on. to clean the carpet and vacuum every week if you see it fit to just make the clean light come on for just a little bit so as to verify that the rug is just a little clean. Please that's all I ask."

6. Anger - "What the hell do I have to do to get the FREAKING Green Light to come on so that I know that the carpet is at least somewhat clean for Christ's Sake? I just. HATE!!! HATEY HATE HATE!!!

7. Scientific Analysis - "It seriously can not be me and the floor. There's gotta be a reasonable explanation. Maybe the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced or I need to empty out the container...."

8. Dirty - This isn't so much a feeling as it is actually a physical state, because when I pull out the container and the filter, a huge mushroom cloud of fine silty dirt and dog hair came out, covering me in a thin layer of whatever's been residing in my carpet since the last time I vacuumed. I look like a badly assembled muppet that wasn't assembled with felt but with dog hair and flour. Actually, I look like... O.k. so remember that scene in The Sandlot when they're trying to get the Babe Ruth baseball out of the clenches of the beast and they use a vacuum cleaner, but then the beast pinches the hose and the vacuum cleaner builds up and explodes and covers all the kids in dirt? Yeah. Like that.

9. Triumph - "Ha Ha. Green Light of Cleaning success!!!! I am not a horrible cleaning person thingy! Yeah!!!"

10. Repeat Emotions 4 - 9 a good five times. I had to empty out that vacuum cleaner and clean the filter the same amount of times because I have a dog. Who is shedding. Shedding the equivalant of this body weight in fact. All over my carpet. And has been doing so since the last time I vacuumed which means I could build at least five little dogs out of the amount of shedded dog hair I cleaned up.

11. Commiseration - "Oh, Dirty Jobs Father's Day Marathon, how much you have brightened my spirits. I'm so feeling him right now."

12. Glee - At the same time I was cleaning, Fighting Nun and his dad were doing manly things and working on a car. And when you work on a car you get greasy. They asked me to help them get clean, which meant running the hose and doling out soap, which meant... In best Harvey Kietel voice "Well, now I'm sure you've both been to county." Then I sprayed them with water and cackled. It's not often i get to use that one. It made me inordinately happy. No, I do not know why. Yes, I will be seeking therapy. The second moment of glee came when I watched somebody twelve-point park a mini van in the Target parking lot. It was a cross between that scene in Austin Powers where he gets the golf cart stuck and like some stranger performance art.

13. Inadequacy - I can only blaim my feelings of inadequacy on the fact that my battle with the vacuum cleaner had left me feeling just a little bit vulnerable and shaken, but when I went down the cleaning supplies aisle, I felt my unworth just a little bit. My inner monologue went something like this "Dude, that is one big broom, and the little hand held broom with the dustpan." "What would you even use that for. You are not an umpire." "I know but it's all cool and tidy like. Ooh, look a the aweome little soap dispensing scrub brush. I want one of those." "You do not need a soap dispensing scrub brush." "Yeah I do... Oh look, a squeegee!" "You do not need a squeeqee, what would you even use it for any way." For squeegeeing stuff, and to get to say the word squeegee alot." "YOU DO NOT NEED A SQUEEGEE." "But look at all this stuff. No wonder I don't have a clean house, I am missing the important tools with which to do my job!" "Fine. Grab the soap dispenser thing and let get out of here.

14. Frustration - "God damnit Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You are supposed to be the magical solution to all my marked wall problems! I demand! You Supply, Magic Eraser Thingie. Obey Me!" "Aren't you supposed to get it wet first?" "Really?"

15. Admiration - "Look at that, the markings on the wall came off!"

16. Urgency, followed by panic - So you know that rule about whatever can go wrong, will? I think that rule is trying to play itself out in our house. We sprung a leak, or more to the point, the second bathroom shower sprung a leak that decided to drain out through a hole in the eve overhanging the garage, which totally freaked us out. And made us curse up and down that we weren't more organized with our paperwork involving our warranty or whatever.

17. Control - One call to the warranty guy later, I felt in control of the situation, which isn't much like me at all...

18. Indignation - "Damn It dog! I just vacuumed! Did you have to pick this particular moment, right after I could build a to scale replica of you WITH YOUR OWN HAIR to shed the equivelant of another muppet costume? That's it. You're getting a B-A-T-H."

19. Commiseration - "I know you don't like getting a bath. But it's really not that bad. You're outside, see, so it's o.k. You'll get to roll around and lay in sun all you want once I've desasquatchified you. Really."

20. Wet - Not once, in the 6 years of owning this dog have I figured out how to fend off or avoid "The Shake" altogether. He shakes off water, I get wet. These are the facts.

21. Contentment/Exhaustion - "The house is clean, the dog is clean, unhappy with us, but clean, we've warded off domicile apocolypse for the time being. I think I'm gonna take a nap..."

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