Thursday, May 2, 2013

Home Ownership, Lucy Ricardo Style

While I am loving my new condo, I often feel my domestic life is like one long episode of the "I Love Lucy" show.  In fact, I'm considering getting a laugh track to play when I do my household chores.  It just does not come naturally to me to dust or vacuum or, heaven forbid, get on my hands and knees and scrub a floor.  In fact, I once was about to throw out a dust buster because it didn't work anymore.  Jay, my ex-husband, informed me that it needed to be emptied.  Oops!

Perhaps it's my ineptitude that makes every accomplishment seem like such a victory.   My new vacuum cleaner (a Shark, which I highly recommend) required a minor bit of assembly.  When I turned it on, I realized that I hadn't attached the hose and all of the stuff I was cleaning up blew out onto a different area of the floor.  Again, oops!  I did get it properly hooked up, though, and am now enjoying my almost daily usage quite immensely.    Then there are the corners in a number of tiled rooms that have been hidden under furniture for the last few years.  They were all discolored, and I was a bit disheartened when they didn't clean up with my dust buster.  I even resorted to scratching at a couple of spots with a fingernail, with no success.  I was going to go the easy route--I was already contemplating what furniture I could buy to cover the spots--when I talked to a guy on one of my many trips to Home Depot.  Turns out that with a bit of tile cleaner and some serious elbow grease, the corners now look as good as new!

Grandma, me, Suzanne and Mom
My aversion to cleaning goes back to my childhood. (What doesn't, you might ask?)  My mother prided herself on being known as "Mrs. Clean."  Our home was spotless and our clothing was always meticulously cared for and crisply ironed.   Doesn't every child rebel against their parents in some way?   Well, both my sister and I have become stereotypes in this regard.  (A few years back, an ironing board was put up in my sister's home and my 10+ year old niece asked Suzanne, in all seriousness, what that was for!)    There are just so many more interesting things to do with your time than clean and do laundry!

Now that I have my own home again, though, my perspective--and willingness to figure things out, with a lot of help from my friends and the folks at Home Depot--is changing a bit.  Did you know, for instance, that an outlet cover runs about $.49 and can be changed with a couple of deft turns of a screw?  Or that there is a "gun" that you insert the tube of caulking into before shooting it into those exposed areas between the floor and the baseboard that you want to fill?   Yes, I am indeed making progress. 

While I am enjoying this uptick in my skills, rest assured that I haven't gone overboard.  My housekeeper will be reporting for duty twice a month to pick up the inevitable slack.  

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