Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dirty Little Secret

I have a problem and it's getting worse by the day. Some people have bad habits that get them into trouble. I’m sure that eventually, this one will kill me. I can blame it on my mother, she does it too. In fact, she learned it from watching my grandma.

I can’t stop cleaning. The madness starts when I wake up. I literally straighten the sheets as I roll out of bed. On my thirtieth birthday I suffered my first injury as a result of this bad habit. I was vacuuming the hall and as I bent over, I smashed my eyeball into the vacuum attachment. I felt like my eye was on fire. I stumbled into the kitchen to grab the phone book, and everything was a blur. That's probably why I called a Sunglass Hut instead of an eye doctor. To make a long story short, it turned out to be a lousy birthday. I had to get laser surgery done by an eye surgeon, because the teens working at Sunglass Hut claimed they could not help me. Here I was hoping to get a new pair of sunglasses out of the deal, but all I got for my trauma was a green apple lolly pop and eye drops.

One would think that I would have stopped cleaning at that point, but I still do it, constantly. I straighten pictures everywhere I go. I pause mid-argument with my husband to dust the ceiling fan. I go around my neighborhood shutting screen doors, (people like to leave them swinging open in my town). Last week I almost got arrested for trespassing. I’ve overheated four vacuums in eight years. I think it’s time to get help.

So I go see a psychologist and he says: “The bigger questions here are does cleaning really matter, and why can’t you stop? What does this habit reflect about you?” I think for a moment, then get annoyed. There’s a blanket of dust on his desk, and his rug really needs to be vacuumed.

Feeling indignant, I reply, “Well, I think the even BIGGER question here is why is this office so dirty? What does it reflect about your professionalism? Maybe I’m just trying to make the world a better place, one paper towel at a time. Think about it, Doc. Is heaven dirty? Why do you think they named that hand held vacuum a Dirt Devil? It's because dirt is evil, that’s why! Dirt leads to anger and resentment. Anger and resentment lead to violence. One vacuum can usher in an era of world peace. Imagine that! In the words of a great man, who was also a really greasy hippie, John Lennon, “Maybe someday you’ll join me, and the world will be [CLEANER].”

Needless to say, that was my last visit with the psychologist, but I hear he has now hired a cleaning service for his office. See, God sent me to help him.


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I used to be a clean freak. Having a fourth child cured me of that. I was always tired so I started taking off my glasses so I couldn't see the dirt.

Milk Man said...

You missed a spot.

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