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I Admit It, When It Comes To Cleaning I Know Nothing Other Than How To Call A Professional

Updated on April 28, 2010

I’ve written before of when I get into one of my moods to clean my house I practically asphyxiate myself the cats and my spouse. I’m a believer in if one spray is good for the cleaning than four different ones combined is even better. I create my own Chernobyl when I clean, I admit it. I can’t help that I was raised in a home where Yolanda came every couple of weeks and that cleaning was never on my chore list. It wasn’t that we were rich we just had a Jewish mother who knew that no matter what else we didn’t have in our lives, having Yolanda was a priority. So while many therapists would like me to “explore” my relationship with my mother and feelings of inadequacies created by not knowing how to clean, I choose to do what I always do which is to just write a blog about it! I admit it, when it comes to cleaning I know nothing other than how to call a professional – Don’t Get Me Started!

After high school the first set of real roommates I had were two guys I knew from my high school. We were an unlikely threesome. One had been the high school football star, the second was the former Student Council President and I had been the Theatre Department’s star and punching bag for the rest of the school. I remember the night that we moved into the house we rented together in Pasadena. The ex-football star was watching Monday Night Football (sitting on one of those plastic milk crates that could be used for everything from carrying your shit to ending up as an end table), the ex-President of the Student Council was hanging photos of himself in his room and I was lining the kitchen drawers and cabinets with liner paper. I think we kept the place pretty clean on the whole as I don’t remember anything too disgusting or smelly like you assume can happen when three guys live together (and no, the other two were not gay so you can’t use that cliché). We had our own cork boards in the kitchen that the former President would leave us messages about everything from our portion of the electric bill to our cleaning duties (if I remember correctly). Still, I don’t remember mopping any floors or doing any serious hardcore cleaning. Various roommates I would have after left more memories about the person than the cleaning. In college (I went to like three colleges but only stayed long enough to get the ID for local discounts) the college I stayed longest and lived in the dorm for a semester was in Philadelphia. It was the University of the Arts and my roommates were a fellow actor from Georgia and a guitar player from I don’t remember, Allentown or something. I don’t remember the place being eat off the floor clean, I just remember my fellow actor pal and I rolling our eyes as our third wheel was constantly playing his electric guitar (not plugged into anything) so you could just hear the “twing” and “twang” of fingers plucking metal strings while we tried to rehearse our number from Pippin for the weekly Cabaret.

But here I am in present day trying to keep the cats fed and my spouse as happy as if we were living in a 1950’s sitcom. The problem with this is many – you see first of all, I sort of imagine myself more the Laura Petrie type from The Dick Van Dyke Show – you know, ex-dancer who is making a lovely home. The problem with this image is that I work all day, don’t look good in tight Capri pants and have no idea how to cook (though I suspect that Laura wasn’t all that good of a cook either, just a thought). Not to mention the fact that I recently cut off all my hair so the possibility of me having a good Laura bouffant do is not even a possibility. But the biggest problem is keeping up with that dusting and cleaning. On TV the houses looked clean because they were sets and I think also because it was in black and white which makes dust show less or something but in my house it’s a constant battle and while I try to equip myself with the proper artillery I have to admit that I often find myself with a cleaning product in my hand and no idea how to use it or where I should use it.

One of the biggest sore spots for me is the kitchen floor. It’s one of those old no-wax floors that was white at one point with the black diamond shapes every once in awhile in the pattern. (Very 1950’s sitcom flooring) So I’ve done everything I’ve known to clean this floor which usually is me on my hands and knees scrubbing away cursing the floor Gods all the while inhaling the Pine Sol that I probably didn’t dilute enough. As I sweat and swear (while humming Hard Knock Life from Annie in my head) the floor always wins. It never gets clean (well, as clean as I think it should get) and I end up just being thoroughly disgusted. After years of this I finally went online recently only to discover that you’re never supposed to scrub these floors the way that I’ve been scrubbing them and most sites recommended a simple combination of water and white vinegar to do the trick as opposed to the cleaners I had purchased. So I filled the second sink with warm water and then added the vinegar and then I mopped and mopped and mopped. While the floor still doesn’t look white to me, it looks about as clean as it ever did from my scrubbing and cursing. The only problem is that my house now smells like I tossed a salad on the floor. Where is Yolanda when I need her? I admit it, when it comes to cleaning I know nothing other than how to call a professional – Don’t Get Me Started!

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