Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Squinchy Face

Before leaving for work this morning I cleaned kitty litter for the five millionth time. Which is sort of amazing since we’ve only had these kittens for 48 days (and 10 hours and 34 minutes). Those little buggers use the litter box a LOT.

Nevertheless, it occurred to me that there are a great many chores I do at home that cannot be completed without squinching up my face in a grimace that could easily frighten small children or timid adults.

As if making that face will help the chore become more palatable.

Still, time after time I find myself making that face. Sometimes I even catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror after I have scrubbed the toilet or pulled long strands of my own hair out of the hair catcher in the tub drain and I have to laugh. Remember when your mom told you your face would freeze that way? I’m thinkin’ that maybe mom was right.

Perhaps I’m a little squeamish about things. Yeah, okay, so there is no “perhaps” about it. I AM squeamish about things. Most things.

Like squishing a bug. If ever I am home alone and am forced to handle a bug all by myself, I will pull a wad of paper towels off the roll big enough to squash an armadillo without feeling the thing underneath the paper. Because if I can even remotely feel the bug squish, I screech and jump away as if the now-dead bug has somehow developed magical powers and can fling its gory bug guts at me.

Then I do a full-body shudder and flap my hands around for a minute and make that really bad face. And then, glutton for punishment sort of person that I am, I walk back to the wad of paper towels and scoop the whole mess up and run to the big garbage can in the garage to throw it away. And then I slam the garbage lid down for extra emphasis: Take THAT, you nasty ol’ bug!

Don’t tell Vince, but I think that’s the primary reason I married him. I was tired of squishing bugs on my own. No, I kid. I really married Vince because he’s good at opening jars and is also willing to check the fluid levels in my car.

No, really. I’m just being silly. I married for love – and only love. Besides, I long ago figured out how to open jars, which is basically by never purchasing anything in jars that has to be opened.

Anyway, I’ve decided that it’s a good thing I have a normal job in a normal office where the only reason I have to make a grimacing squinchy face is when the UPS guy takes a potty break and doesn’t use courtesy spray afterwards. Mostly I stay in my office when the UPS guy is around, but sometimes I forget and walk by the bathroom and then not only make the squinchy face, but sometimes am forced to hold my nose while inadvertent tears stream down my face.

Hey, what can I tell you? It’s bad.

Can you imagine if I had one of those weird jobs where I had to be a sniffer tester? Like at a factory that manufactures men's deodorant, for example? No, I don’t think I could handle that job. They’d have to pay me big bucks – and we’re talking well beyond minimum wage for that sort of job!

I’d take a whiff and then I’d do a full body shudder, flap my hands around and grab a wad of paper towels and jam it up in the guy’s armpit. And then I’d quit.

So, no, it’s a good thing I’m not a sniffer tester.

Nor do I think I could be a taste tester. I used to work at a company that manufactures nutritional-type products, and I once volunteered to be a taste tester. For baby formula. Let’s just say that I could not be objective. Yuck. Frankly, I don’t remember being a baby and drinking out of a bottle, but I’m guessing that I probably made that squinchy face back then, too.

Maybe I should practice making a serene face so that the squinchy face lines, which are already threatening to become permanent, do not have a chance to set any further. I have a whole list of chores I could perform to test myself. Like cleaning the vent at the bottom of the fridge that collects all sorts of nasty furry-type debris. Or scrubbing the grout in the bathtub. Or even cleaning kitty litter for the five million and first time.

But I simply can’t make any promises when it comes to the UPS guy. Some things are just squinchy-face-worthy. And, believe me, that’d be one of ‘em.

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