Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hey, Lady - We're Here to Clean the Carpet...Where is it?

Yesterday was one of those busy days when I had lunch plans with one friend and dinner plans with another friend. Who knew that chatting with old friends could be so exhausting? By the time we got home last night around 9:30, I was ready to hit the sack!

Well, in fairness, it wasn’t just the talking and laughing that did me in. I also worked a full day and then, after dinner, met up with Vince and we went grocery shopping. And it was trash night – so that little chore had to be completed lest we risk drowning in the piles of political advertisements we’ve been receiving in the mail lately.

Plus, there were the daily miscellaneous clean-ups and the odd load of laundry to do before we could relax. Hey, no wonder I was so tuckered out!

Tonight is going to be no different. We were invited to a happy hour, but I suspect we’ll need to take a pass on that invite so we can stay home and clear the floor.

Normally, we wouldn’t pass up a happy hour to clean, but we’ve been out of town a lot lately and we haven’t been spending much time on the ol’ homefront wielding the vacuum cleaner or the feather duster.

And we have carpet cleaners coming tomorrow who will only clean “open” spaces. Yeah, right. In our place, that’s basically a narrow path from the back door to the living room.

I suppose if I were to pick up the three dozen pairs of shoes littering the floor between the dining room and living room, they’d have a shot at cleaning a few more square feet. And, okay, so that’s perhaps a slight exaggeration, but there are probably anywhere from three to six pairs of shoes lying around. Hey, didn't I mention that we’ve been busy and out of town a lot lately?

But even on a good day, removing my shoes from my feet and immediately placing them in their proper shoe bins in the upstairs closet doesn’t happen. Instead, I kick them off wherever I happen to land. If it’s the dining room table to eat dinner, the shoes end up under the table. If it’s the couch, they accumulate near the coffee table. And if I plop down on the recliner for a few minutes, well, a third pile begins.

I used to come home and head immediately upstairs to wash my face and change out of my work clothes and into comfy PJs. I’d carefully place my clothes in the laundry hamper and my shoes in the closet. In recent months, however, I don’t seem to even make it upstairs until it’s time to go to bed.

So I’m not crazy about this slovenly habit I’ve gotten into lately, but on the upside, it does make choosing a pair of shoes to wear in the morning easier. I come downstairs in my stocking feet and browse the collection of various piles to make my decision.

I don’t think Vince is crazy about this newly-formed bad habit of mine either. Once in a while he’ll reference the growing numbers with astonishment that anyone could own that many pairs of shoes. Or he’ll make some thinly veiled comment like, “Are those new shoes? No, not those – the ones next to the new-ish boots…”

I assume he’s commenting on both my DSW-shoe-shopping fetish as well as my messiness and hoping that his comment will spur me on to a cleaning frenzy. Yeah, sure. But first, honey, can you get the backhoe from the garage?

On the other hand, he has shoes of his own lying around downstairs. Except that they’re always there. He staked out a spot near the breakfast bar where he keeps a pair of flip flops, a pair of slip-ons and a pair of tennis shoes. These three will pretty much get him through all four seasons, with the possible exception of the middle of winter when we have blizzard-like conditions or more formal occasions such as weddings. And, since his pile never changes, he evidently thinks that it’s only my shoes that need to be picked up and put away.


Tonight we’re both going to be picking up our shoes. I suppose that alone wouldn’t be enough to prevent us from joining our friends for happy hour, but we’re also going to be moving furniture out of the way to give us the maximum “open” space possible. Our carpeting needs some serious attention and I don’t want a measly end table to be the reason the carpet cleaners can’t get to it. Or an errant shoe.

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