Today hasn’t been terribly productive. I didn’t do much aside from run to Wal-Mart for a grocery pickup and grab a pizza at Papa Murphy’s for dinner. Once I got home, I started cleaning all the glass and windows throughout the house. I did a bunch of research over the internet a few days ago on the best products to use to get sparkling clean, no-streak windows and mirrors and the items I ordered arrived yesterday. And I must say, I’m impressed. When I was little, I was taught to use an ammonia/water solution along with old newspaper to clean glass and/or windows and I’ve continued to use these products throughout my adult life. However, I’m not sure what happened along the way because in recent years, I’ve noticed that ‘sparkling clean’ is no longer the end result. It doesn’t matter how much elbow grease I use or how many times I spray and wipe down the surface, it always looks bad.
No matter what I do, and no matter how good it looks to the naked eye, as soon as the sun rises, all I see are ugly ‘streaks’. It’s very disheartening after devoting so much time. I don’t ever get windows like in the Windex commercials. Did you ever see the one with the ‘prankster crows’? It’s been a while so you may not remember it. One of the crows flies around to the front of the house in order to ring the doorbell and then after the homeowner (who had been lounging in the backyard and reading a paper) goes to check who is at the door, the other crow closes the slider. When the homeowner attempts to access the back patio, he walks right into the glass because it is so clean that it appears transparent. Even when I use Windex, my windows don’t ever get that clean. All of these years, I’ve been using what I thought was ‘the best’ and ‘most effective’ at cleaning glass with less-than-pleasing results. Had I known what a difference using microfiber cloths would have made, I would have ditched the newspaper years ago!
Why am I talking about this? Throughout the day, I travelled to the far recesses of my mind, trying to come up with a topic. “Why don’t you talk about Microfiber Cleaning Cloths?” my husband suggested. “People don’t want to hear me talk about cleaning products,” I replied. But you know what? He did have a point. I cannot think of anything else to talk about at the moment, so why not talk about Microfiber Cleaning Cloths? I know, it’s nothing like what I usually talk about which is either emotions or feelings or things that I find humorous or peculiar, but it may have to suffice. I also thought that it might work great as a means to segue into exploring my opposition or refusal to using maids or a cleaning service, whether at a hotel or in my own home. According to my husband, that’s the whole point and one of the perks when you stay at a hotel. But whenever we stay at a hotel, the first thing I do is put up the ‘do not disturb sign’ and it remains there for the duration of our stay.
The other thing I do when we stay at a hotel? I always leave a tip on one of the nightstands. “Why are you leaving a tip?” my husband always asks, as we prepare to exit the room at the end of our stay. “For the folks that clean the room,” is my usual response. “Why?” he’ll then inquire, “Why are you leaving a tip when they didn’t even clean our room?” “Well,” I reply after a long pause, “Because they don’t make much and I want them to know that I appreciate what they do.” Are you scratching your head like my husband often does when I say things like that? I told you, some things I do defy logic. I know it seems weird to tip someone for doing nothing, but I also know that plenty of people don’t leave any tip at all so maybe it all evens out in the end. Who knows? It’s just what I do. And why don’t I let them into the room in order to clean it? I don’t even know if I have an answer that will satisfy you. I don’t know if it’s a privacy thing or a status thing. I just know that it makes me uncomfortable.
Do you know anyone that has ‘maid service’? I know several people. But I cannot fathom hiring someone to clean my house. How can I rationalize paying someone to clean my dishes and mop my floors and launder my clothes when there isn’t any valid reason why I cannot do it myself? I’ve never had a maid and when I grew up, I basically was ‘the maid’. And to justify hiring someone, especially now, seems utterly ridiculous. I’m not even working. How odd would that be to hire someone and then watch them working up a sweat as they proceed from one room to another while I sit on my tookus? I just couldn’t do it! My brain would malfunction. And the folks that I know that have maids? Well, let me put it this way, did you ever watch Sesame Street as a kid? There was a segment when they would sing a song and I felt like it was about me. I really related to the lyrics. The song was called ‘One of These Things’.
It goes a little like this, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?” That’s how I felt when I moved to a new town after my youngest was born and joined a ‘Mothers of Preschoolers’ group (MOPS). I was so incredibly lonely and desperate to connect with other moms but the group of moms in this particular MOPS group was from a whole different ‘class of society’ than I was accustomed to. I was used to living paycheck to paycheck and barely able to make ends meet. These ladies were all ‘well to do’. All of their husbands were either doctors or lawyers or engineers and they all lived in beautiful subdivisions. And what did they all have in common? They all had maids. When they would start comparing maids and how much they paid for the service, I felt so out of my element. Needless to say, I didn’t stay with the group long. They were all nice ladies but I just didn’t fit in.
Why don’t I hire a maid to clean my house? Well, there’s the money of course. We aren’t swimming in it and there’s no money tree growing in the backyard, so that poses a slight problem. There is also the fact that I am currently unemployed. Since I’m not working, I should be contributing something. And even though I am not the least excited about cleaning, that’s the one thing I can contribute right now. If I could afford a maid? I still probably wouldn’t hire one to clean my house. My home is my ‘safe space’. It’s where I can ‘let my hair down’ and do what I want with my time with no judgment. If I had a person walking around and cleaning up after me, I would feel so guilty that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. Even when we stay in a hotel, I clean up the room before we leave. I strip the sheets off the bed, wipe down the bathroom sink, clean out the drain in the bathtub and place all of the towels in a pile on the bathroom floor.
There was a gal at my last place of employment that worked in the thrift store part-time and then cleaned ‘on the side’ in the evenings and on weekends. She was a single mom, in her late-50s, with two disabled sons. A couple of the other employees hired her to help out in their own homes and highly recommended her. As much as I wanted to help her out financially because surviving off minimum wage is no easy feat, it was a line I just wasn’t willing to cross. I know it seems strange, but I think part of it had to do with separating work life from home life. When I leave work at the end of the day, it’s the last thing I want to think about. And it would really be tough to do that with one of my coworkers walking around and dusting my furniture, scrubbing out my toilets, and vacuuming the stairs. And not to mention the ‘guilt factor’! How could I live with myself when I have the evenings and weekends to do whatever I please when I know she doesn’t have that privilege? I just can’t do it.
What more is there to say? I think I’ve said all there is to say about microfiber cloths and maid service. If you decide you want to take a walk on the wild side and invest in some (the cloths, not the maids), I do have a recommendation. When you wash them, use the ‘hand wash’ cycle on your washer and purchase the special detergent so they will last. And whatever you do, don’t use fabric softener. Oh! One last thing. Do you have a dog, a dog that likes to look out the window and leave snot on the glass? Those microfiber cloths work like a dream! Add a tiny bit of cleaner to some water, saturate the cloth in the solution, wring out the cloth and then wipe it across the glass. It takes so little effort. In mere seconds, the dog snot and all ‘telltale evidence that you have a dog’ (aside from the dog hair and the dog poop which is a whole different matter altogether) will be gone. No smears or streaks. It’s just like magic! I cannot guarantee you won’t have to do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next, but for what it’s worth, it works better than all of the other stuff I’ve ever tried.
Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.