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I’m a German Cleaner

You see sweet, beautiful faces. I see Jenga
blocks and light sabers running amuck!

I’m one quarter German. This makes it hard for me to allow too much Schmootz to gather in my home. I’m a German Cleaner who comes from a long line of German Cleaners. So when my friend Long Luscious Lucille arrived from Mexico City with her brigands, Lyla (9), Miles (7) and Ellis (5) to stay a week at Haus Shannon I greeted them at the door with a Shark cordless vacuum and a bottle of 409 in my yellow-gloved hands.

“Come in, come in,” I welcomed from behind my painter’s mask. “Make yourselves at home.”

Here is what I did to prepare for our house guests. I dug out all our old paper party supplies and plastic utensils. NO ONE was going to eat on real dinnerware as that would create a backload of dirty dishes in our tiny kitchen. I know Al Gore! That’s not GREEN! It was just one freakin’ week you zealot. I’ll start composting used kitty litter to make up for it. I got sidetracked.

I also made Henry help me drag our daughter’s desks out to the garage. We have a 1900 square foot home. There’d be nowhere to walk with those desks in here. Nowhere to BREATHE! I thought about kenneling the cats but Henry just looked at me. For a very long time. Without blinking.

We blew up an air bed and dragged the trundle mattress to another room to create a more peaceful Feng Shui. I cleaned out both of my daughter’s closets while they were at day camp. They don’t need those damned BABY BLANKETS! They take up five inches of square footage. (Okay, my kids didn’t have any baby blankets, but that dinosaur set HAD TO GO!)

Best fedora-sporting buds.

I cleaned out cupboards and bookcases so our friends would have places to put their stuff. Because it simply could not be STREWN about. What else, what else? Oh yes, I over-tweezed my eyebrows. They were bushing out everywhere.

I could be worse. My grandma Ann, who was 100% German, once brought her vacuum cleaner to my childhood home in order to vacuum out our fireplace. Dad? Is that true? Or just urban legend? I think it’s true.

Long, Luscious Lucille and her brigands left yesterday. As I watched them get in their minivan to go I cried out, “You can stay one more night!” The 25% Frau Blucher inside of me was screaming, “Let them go, you mad woman, we can finally mop the ceiling!” But my friend had already committed her beloved family elsewhere. (Damn that Tracy!)

Lucille, must you be so tall?  If you really
loved me you’d stoop!

This morning I haven’t put away the mattresses, I haven’t moved the desks back in, I’m still using the paper plates, I haven’t vacuumed anything. Usually as soon as the door closes on the butts of visitors everything is cleaned in 15 minutes, leaving no evidence of the fun that was had, the friends who reconnected, the families that came together and the love that was shared.

For some reason this morning I need the evidence to remain. At least an hour longer. Then out comes the Wet-Vac.






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6 comments

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  1. Kyra
    Kyra 23 July, 2011, 12:55

    Haha – love the image as you open the door. My Dutch origins have been sadly Americanized. My gramma ironed the sheets, I'm lucky to make the bed. I've scrubbed the streets in the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival parade, but my own floors inside my house…Yikes, wat een pijnlijke zootje! I'm glad the sweetness of the visit allowed you to let the physical evidence linger while you savored the memories created.

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  2. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 23 July, 2011, 16:26

    Kyra I've been in your house. It's spotless! Or did you just clean it por moi?? Do you love me that much?

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  3. Jenna Noelke
    Jenna Noelke 23 July, 2011, 21:15

    This reminds me of the letter you wrote me (contract you made me sign) before I could move in with you. I seem to remember writing you back an equally appalling letter telling you I would comply but only to a point, with your cleanliness policies. We were such silly girls then. Actually, if you could just come visit me and clean out all my cupboards that would be great! I could stand a visit from the clutter police. Love ya.

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  4. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 23 July, 2011, 23:38

    Yes dear Roomie — I think my letter was two long assinine deal breakers which you should send to Lucille so she can see how I've evolved. Now do I recall your letter was 4 pages?? I got what I deserved and miss the Mists Of Avalon in our bathroom. xo

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  5. Kyra
    Kyra 24 July, 2011, 09:08

    I was cleaner back in the day before kids, dogs, and cats made cleaning seem like the task of Sisyphus. Now I am standing next to a sink of dishes that I can't even see if I focus my gaze correctly.

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