Lately, I have been living in a constant state of fear. No, the mafia is not after me and there is little chance Brian Mulroney will ever seek political office again, but I am still a nervous wreck.
Each day after work I enter my home with caution because I don’t know when it will happen, but I have no doubt that it will happen. And I will know when it is happening the second I see my wife. That glazed over look in her eyes, the perspiration on her brow, the rag in her hand and a lemony fresh smell permeating every corner of my home can mean only one thing: spring cleaning has begun.
Oh, the humanity.
I have survived 24 spring seasons with my wife, all of which have brought an onslaught of cleaning akin to a shark feeding frenzy, only more frantic and much more prolonged. A shark will be done with its victim in a matter of seconds but the cleaning frenzy can last for days. I know I will walk into my humble little home one day and get sucked into the cleaning vortex like a doughnut to a cop.
There is no escaping the black hole of spring cleaning, it will pull you in no matter how hard you struggle, which is something I realized many years ago.
Once the spring cleaning juggernaut has been set in motion there is no stopping it, altering it or avoiding it. I just hope I am able to survive it. My wife is a wonderful person, amazing mom and my best friend, but when spring cleaning time arrives she can be a little, well, let’s just say militant. A Marine Corps drill instructor could take lessons from her when the cleaning fever grips. Her plan is simple: all we have to do is clean, scrub, vacuum, disinfect and sterilize every single square inch of the house. Just the smell of lemons causes me to twitch uncontrollably.
The most time consuming part is going through the downstairs carpet with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers, looking for any lint that may have survived the 135 vacuumings it was already given. I am kidding of course.
The carpet is only vacuumed 132 times. One year we even cleaned under the stairs. Why? I have no idea, but it was vital to the continued existence of the human race (and a happy wife) so I spent an afternoon digging out our Christmas decorations, hockey skates, odds and ends before cleaning, vacuuming and scrubbing the section of the house that no actual people use, but now the boxes have a nice, clean place to sit.
No section of the house is left untouched including, or should I say especially, the kid’s rooms.
The normal state of a teenager’s room is reminiscent of a Second World War aerial bombardment scene, so it is near the top of the cleaning hit list. Fortunately my kids are old enough to help their dear, sweet mother with the cleaning and hopefully it will be enough of a distraction for me to make good my escape. Finding a good hiding spot is hard work because she can track me down like a bloodhound on steroids. When things get too bad I retreat to the Man Cave – the last bastion of safety from the frenzy.
“Honey, where are you?”
“I’m in the garage, Sweetheart.”
“What are you doing out there?” “Um, er, cleaning, yea, that’s it. I’m spring cleaning the garage.”
“OK, but when you’re done I have a few things for you to do in the house.”
A few things? That’s kind of like saying Titanic had a slight mishap.
But I know that eventually I will run out of food and water in the Man Cave and I will have to venture into the house to resupply where I will more than likely be recruited (see forced) into tending to those ‘few things’ she has planned.
Oh well, it could be worse, she could also be gripped by summer, fall and winter cleaning.