Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I recognized the words as English

but the sentence itself made no sense to me whatsoever.

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

Now, I don’t have Mel’s dislike of housework but I’m no real fan of it either.

(Back in the early 70’s when I was a little girl a woman & her son moved in up the street aways. Mom & the other wives found her very fascinating because she was divorced, said in a whisper with a hand half over your mouth as if to avert a bad omen from yourself while naming the evil aloud & I always imagine Mel doing the same thing when she says housework)

I sweep. I mop.

Sometimes I dust.

I do lots of laundry.

I clean windows fairly often.

Twice a year I get down on my hands & knees and scrub the hell out of my slate tile and then dry the hell out of it as well.

I wipe down surfaces.

I move things from being ‘in the way’ to being in other places. Often those places are whatever random basket has room for them, but still… things are ‘put away’.

I consider my house to be clean in the general run of things & for the most part I enjoy the cleaning (even the scrubbing)

But then I overhear these sentences from random women in Target or Starbucks.

“I find vinegar to be a good weekly rinse when I wipe down the kitchen cabinets”

“This works great for polishing baseboards.”

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

Every one of those sentences is in English and correct grammar.

I know what they are saying but I don’t understand a word of it.

Let us parse the first one shall we?

“I find vinegar to be a good weekly rinse when I wipe down the kitchen cabinets”

The first thing that leaps to mind is WEEKLY. This is apparently something done every week. RINSE, implying there was a wash first. WIPE KITCHEN CABINETS. Really?

I have to go look at my (unphotographed, sorry) kitchen cabinets. They are slightly dusty, but I cannot imagine needing to wash & rinse them weekly, let alone wipe them down that often. They are up above the counter. How dirty can they get?

What does that woman do in her kitchen to need what I consider to be a CSI level of cleaning done on a weekly basis?

Then there is:

“This works great for polishing baseboards.”


Looks around the room for a bit.

Oh yeah! Those boards at the BASE of the wall.

You’re supposed to polish them?

Maybe if they were metal. Or unpainted wood. But mine are painted.

And the only things I polish in this house are my nails.

Even before the baseboards were painted.

Then there is my favorite

“A good use for old toothbrushes is to clean out the tracks of sliding glass doors”

It begins with the assumption I need a use for old toothbrushes, which never occurred to me. 

But I have no desire to get toothbrush close to the stuff in the tracks of my sliding glass door. I’d actually have to touch it & have you seen the stuff that gets gunked up in the tracks of sliding glass doors?  Better to just run the hand vac over it and hope for the best.

Scrubbing out the tracks is a level of cleanliness that will never be attained in my house.

Even my mom, who’s home (apart from my bedroom) has looked ready for a visit from House Beautiful’s photographers every day of my life, never scrubbed out the sliding door tracks.

That’s just crazy talk.

What sentences do you read/hear but not understand?


scrappysue said...

Stacey, your post absolutely cracked me up! I really have no understanding of those sentences either! Reminds me of when my FIL's Chinese wife visited once and asked how I got my curtains down to wash them. I'm afraid I couldn't stop myself from laughing. I don't think I have ever taken curtains down to wash them. Ever.

SciFi Dad said...

Maybe the cupboard lady is one of those people who thinks "don't use the blender without the lid" is a suggestion not a rule.

Cheri Andrews said...

too funny Stacey. I don't even look at the tracks of the sliding glass doors, much less consider cleaning them. Maybe there are a lot of germophobes in your Target store?

Wendy Bukowski said...

Lol, life is too short to clean those tracks. Great post.

Andrea @ The Creative Junkie said...

"I clean windows fairly often" ... to me, this sounds exactly like the grownups' WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH on the Charlie Brown specials.

Michelle Saunderson said...

I understand those because my mom made me do all those when I was growing up. The funny thing is that I don't think they have gotten done at my parents' house since I moved out. Now, for punishment, I may make my kids clean the baseboards, but never have I made them polish them.

Lizziemade said...

Wonderful! This is just fab Stacey! Me too... in fact, I think you do more housework than me... a lot more!
The sentences I don't understand generally relate to sport... hum.. but those ads on tv that describe "wonderful cleaning products" do come a close second! Anyway, what's wrong with hot water and elbow grease?

Lizziemade said...

In fact... just after I posted this comment, I realised what I really *do* "hear but not understand"!
DS said ..."something-or-other-about I need some more skinks and a slan lord and some jungle swarms...." Eh? Wot? Pardon? Like, who changed the English Language so it could include such statements?
He then had me log on to a particular Website, that said "Warhammer" at the top.. Ooohhh, I seeeeeeee.. he was talking about those model-thingies he collects, assembles, paints and obsessively and crazily plays with (y'know, grown men play with those models too.. .hmm... but then, me and my friends play with bits of paper and sticky tape, but no-one seems to think we're strange...).
When I start talking about paper and glue, DH's eyes kind-of glaze over... DS doesn't look so bright either...
I guess it takes all sorts. Wouldn't life be dull if we all liked (and understood?!) the same stuff?

Beth Zimmerman said...

GREAT post! Absolutely cracked me up! And I'm right there with ya sister!

Cari Wegner said...

Too funny, I'm right there with ya! If the dishes get into the dishwasher, and crumbs (just the big ones) are wiped, I'm good. I'm all for the appearence of clean. Closet stuffer I am.

robbieandmelissa said...

This post had me laughing from the get-go! I wipe down my kitchen cabinets twice a year, but I don't rinse them afterwards. LOL

humel said...

Yep, I literally laughed out loud :-) Truth is I avoid saying the h-word if at all possible, but if I am forced into it, you pretty much got the idea ;-)

A good use for old toothbrushes is to keep using them because I forgot to get new ones. A good use for vinegar is to put it on your chips (that fries to you - only chunkier than fries really!) And the vacuum cleaner is great for shifting the dust on your skirting boards (baseboards), who on earth would polish them? Nope, I just run the multi-purpose vacuum attachment over them every 6 months or so when I get the vacuum cleaner out...

Carole said...

My house is clean enough and tidy enough. Mostly. Life's too short to spend all my spare time cleaning, especially when there are so many books waiting to be read :)
And I don't like the smell of vinegar...

Karen Moss2 said...

What a fantastic post and very much a woman after my own heart. There are always plenty of other things to do before the cleaning in our house. As long as it looks clean and tidy then that's fine by me and besides what are cushions for other than stuffing things behind when an unexpected visiter calls?

Alison said...

This DID make me laugh! I clean the insides and tops of my kitchen cupboards once a year,if they are lucky..though I DO wipe obvious marks off them:). I was just telling my MIL that I happened to have my glasses on when I passed a unit in our living room yesterday-and actually cringed when I saw the dust on it...must remember to stop wearing glasses as I pass my furniture...and I have 'thoroughly' (in my book) dusted today

Alison xx

N Stevenson said...

I saw a sign available in our local market it says, 'A clean house is a sign of a broken computer' lol. Loving this post (came here via Mel).

Jimjams said...

I popped back here thanks to Mel - thanks for the laugh! I've never understood the whole housework thing and the phrase "Her kitchen is so clean you could eat off the floor" does nothing for me ... eat off the floor - poor hostessing skills!

Miriam Rogers said...

I came over from Mel, your post is fabulous and made me laugh, I totally agree with vinegar is for chips, toothbrushes for your teeth and my favourite, a clean house means my mac is down!