Sunday, October 17, 2010

Household Chore Horror Story

I haven’t written in awhile mostly because there hasn’t been anything to post, really. We are still plugging along: J with school and me with looking for work. I’ve still been cooking and other than successfully baking a pumpkin pie (I wanted to practice before Thanksgiving) and totally mucking up my grandma’s recipe for gravy, there haven’t been any kitchen adventures. The practice is helping. I’m learning to preheat the oven before starting with the food. I am also learning to streamline some tasks to make my culinary life easier. Lately I have been bored with Food Network or Cooking Channel. I’m more interested in “stories” as my grandpa called them. (He pretty much only watched PBS informational programs, including cooking shows.)

As I look for work, I realize that every day I DO work. Not only is looking for work a job, but keeping a home in a Becca-worthy condition is a job too. So, I guess I am a “home-maker” or “housewife” (gag me). I NEVER thought I’d be a housewife, but then again, I never thought I’d be unemployed for so long. Now, please don’t get me wrong… to be a home-maker is a ton of work and I completely support any woman or man who would like to take on that role. Its valid work and its worthy work, I just never thought it would be my role. This is our biggest apartment. It is also the first time that my “roommate” (or husband) is completely engrossed in school/work more than 75% of the time. We still split chores like we did in the “old days”, but I take on the majority of them considering that I do not have a place to be or projects to turn in… I also know that I am a smidge of a clean freak. Oh, okay, I’m a complete raging clean freak. There are things I’ve learned to let go: no longer do I hunt dust bunnies under the bed on a weekly basis and six out of ten times I will let our dishes air dry instead of drying them by hand and putting them away immediately. But I still dust and sweep every other day. The kitchen counter and stove gets Windex-ed twice a day. And towels are always folded and hung up nicely. (Among other things.)

Still, I do not consider myself to be “domestic.” While I may channel Martha or Rachel Ray from time to time, I don’t carve pumpkins or bother to decorate my food beyond sprinkling it with a bit of Kosher salt. On Sundays I tend to be my “homiest.” Perhaps that is because J is so engrossed in school or sports (gag me again) that I try to occupy my time with small tasks that I let build up during the week. And thus, I come to the real point of this post: I HATE LAUNDRY.
Now, I have always hated laundry. I hold off doing it until I run out of under-things. I have been trying to do it once a week so it doesn’t pile up to the point of becoming a stinky sock monster. But ever since we have moved to Miami, I hate laundry so much more. Now I’m exposed to the elements. I actually miss the creepy basement that resembled a psycho killer’s lair at my old apartment. And I really, really miss the two years that I had laundry capabilities IN my apartment. I haven’t done my laundry in the rain recently. But now I am contending with wildlife problems and fear that the people in the condo behind our apartment building can see all of my… well… dirty laundry.

I guess it is the wildlife that bugs me the most. That damn cat is still hanging around. I feel bad for it. But I’m pretty sure saw it go into our neighbor’s house once, so I don’t think it is a stray. Also, it is too too friendly to be a stray. It constantly wants to touch you, which, I do not like being touched by mangy things, so I have to shoo it away. It doesn’t respond to a firm “NO” or “GO AWAY” so I usually have to wave my laundry basket at it, or a dirty towel. J once had to fend it off with our recycling. I also suspect the cat is sick. Right outside of our “laundry closet” is a pile of cat puke. Now, being the owner of two cats, I know what cat puke looks like. Our fat cat inhales her food so fast she doesn’t chew and sometimes it just comes back up. And our old cat is senile and does nothing but clean herself, so we have hairballs galore. The puke has food in it, and it is so old it’s actually hairy. Not like cat-hairy, like mold-hairy. I shuddered when I saw that.

When I left the apartment to do the laundry I had a huge basket of clothes, my detergent, and I was opening our kitchen door to walk the flight of stairs down to the closet and that cat was sleeping right there. I could have stepped on it. Or worse, it could have bolted into the house to give our cats and us who knows what: ringworm, mites, worse… Here I am, in broad daylight, talking like a crazy person to this cat, “Go away!,” and trying to side step puke while loading my laundry. Then, it gets worse. How much worse could a three hour ordeal of two loads of laundry that makes me $8 poorer get? I saw… the bodies.

BLECH. So, remember when I told you about those lizards that dart all over the place. (I still jump when I see them move out of the corner of my eye!) Well, one darted under the door and somewhere in the laundry closet (probably under the washer) when I started my first load. “Ugh, whatever,” I thought. I had to contend with the cat who wanted to rub my leg. But, the next time I went down to switch loads, I saw this crusty little thing on the door frame. It was the outline of a lizard body. I bent closer to look at it and sure enough- some lizard had been smooshed between the door and the frame and there it was- crispy little fingers, eyeballs, and tail- all intact. Just below that body was a fresher one. Its skull had fallen out at some point and was lying in the corner. All of this, just above a pile of furry puke and just as I was about to stand up, something smacked me on my behind and I screamed.

It was just the other door (the laundry closet has French doors- it’s a “classy” laundry closet). I was foolish enough to think it was the cat that pushed the door on me, but it was the wind. That cat magically appeared on the other side of me and I had to shoo it back again. “Doing the laundry is going to give me a heart attack… or fleas,” I said to myself amid a stream of PG-13 rated curse words. I hoped I was putting on a good show for the guy sitting on his balcony at the condo. I stomped back up to the apartment, ranted at J about how inconsiderate it is to neighbors to have an outdoor cat that is too friendly (what if I was deathly allergic?) and by the end of my rant I had placed us in the hospital with nasty cat-borne illnesses and our cats at the vet with more illnesses with our bills piling to the ceiling, and then I sat down to blog about how much I hate laundry. The only problem is, I still have a load to dry and both to fold and it means two more trips out THERE. Sigh.

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