Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sweaty Rebellion

First of all, I would like to send my apologies to you all out there for neglecting Friday's "Food For Thought. The past two Fridays have been unconventional because I've had things to do and places to go after work. This Friday, there will be one. Promise.

Today though, let's chat about cleaning. Cleaning is now on the same level as spinning. Granted, the reason why my cleaning was in spinning class fashion was because I let my messiness get out of hand.

There's no mystery food hiding under my bed. No science experiment with bologna and cheese. I have socks I never knew I had and socks I know Alex have forgotten existed (living with a man is a whole new animal for me). Alex is not extreme with his messiness in any way, but like myself, we are easy about the standard of cleanliness. I declared that when the time came and we owned a house, I would hire a maid.

For that, I am not my mother's daughter. My mother is a dictator when it comes to the her country (her house) and her citizens (me, dad, and sisters). I grew up waking up every Saturday to dusting. Every other Saturday to dusting AND changing my bed sheets. A random Saturday my mom and I would turn over my mattress.

There was a cabinet for the fresh, clean bed sheets. A cabinet for the dusters (my father's old shirts) and there was a space, corner, edge that needed to be tended to in my room. As a loyal citizen I executed my duties with sufficiency and precision. However sufficiency was seen not as time saved but as time not used. This was not good.

"I'm done Mommy." (Yes I call my mother mommy. I call her mom and she believes I don't love her enough)

"Hm, ALready?...."
"Yeah, look..."
I start dusting again. She smiles, nods, and goes back to her duties. Whew.

Now by the dictator, I don't want you thinking that my mother beats me every time I miss a "spot" or don't smooth out a crinkle in my newly laid bed sheet, I say dictator because my mother possesses a power to the clean house like no other. Dictators for all there bad reputation and obvious abuse of power, are still in power and somehow-somewhere-got enough people under their persuasion to say yes: you are always right. My mother is always right. And my dad and sisters get that too.

The house will be clean. Your room will be clean.

I would later move to college and I would rebel.

There is a part of me that saw my childhood as a cleaning oppression and all I wanted was my liberation in the form of scattered clothes and un-dusted counters and desks. I proudly waved my idiocracy.

I'm 23 now, and have been out of my mother's cleaning regime for 5 years. And I get it. Yes, my mother's talent takes cleaning to a higher level, but the basic necessity I get, because my mother doesn't sweat profusely when she cleans. She's tired from working all the time, and her body aches, but she does not sweat. I've watched. When I visit nowadays, my mother is still cleaning while catching up. No sweat. I try not to stare. Trying not to squint to see but a glimmer of hope. Nothing. My mother is dry.

I'm still a bit of a sweaty, wet, mess. But I clean up well-I swear.


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