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Whatever you do, keep it clean

This great nation of ours is made up of all kinds of people.

I won’t try to describe the theories, beliefs, or actions of any particular category that people fall into, except to name a group in order to get my point across.

One group that comes to mind, I refer to as the perfect housekeepers. These people find happiness in chasing dirt.

I think they picture themselves as Dutch women, with brush in hand, chasing dirt. A note on the Old Dutch Cleanser can reads, “it chases dirt.”

People who belong to this group have immaculate homes that I feel very uncomfortable entering with my shoes on, for fear of carrying in a dried up blade of grass, or dirt from the floorboard of my car, or some other type of filth that I dare not mention.

Everything in the house has a particular place, and there it stays. Junk mail is deposited in trash cans immediately after receipt, and a cardinal rule of the perfect housekeeper is that no newspaper be allowed in the home that is more than 24 hours old.

The perfect housekeeper’s favorite greeting to a person coming to visit is, “Come on in if you can get in for the dirt.”

After hearing that statement, one can be almost certain that dirt will be the last thing found in that house.

As a usual thing, perfect housekeepers are children of perfect housekeepers, and they are almost always women. Nearly all of these people both spring clean and fall clean. I have wondered where they find the dirt.

Between these major cleaning times they have periods of painting and repainting. In my exhaustive study, I have learned that the perfect housekeepers follow a practice of, if it doesn’t need cleaning, clean it anyway. If it doesn’t need painting, paint it anyway.

I have found that by some strange phenomena, perfect housekeepers draw husbands who are perfect car keepers and perfect lawn groomers.

When not mowing, clipping, Weedeating, and raking, these gentlemen can usually be found bathing the family car.

They spend a lot of time complaining because rain came as soon as they got the car washed. But deep in their hearts, they are happy, because as soon as it clears up, they get to wash it again.

It’s the same way with the lawn. Many of them spend the winter fertilizing it, then complain all summer because the
grass grows so fast.

Perfect housekeepers don’t need to make any apologies for their pristine neatness if that’s what makes them happy, and if they are taking care of the needs of their families.

As for me, I’m perfectly comfortable with a little dust, a bit of disarray in the house, and if coffee cups pile up in the rear of my car with the rest of my trash. It just doesn’t bother me. At least I am not throwing them out on or beautiful Virginia landscape.

As Edgar A. Guest might have very well stated, ” It takes a heap of living in a car to make it ride well.”¬†Of course he didn’t.

If you forget everything I have said today, just remember one thing. Whatever you do, keep it clean.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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