Thursday, August 28, 2008
A first time for everything
This evening, I used a mop for the first time in my life. You may ask how I've lived nearly 27 years and never had the honor (chore) assigned to me. Well, odd as it sounds, in the house where I grew up we have carpet in our kitchen. Yes, carpet. After spilling a whole pitcher of grape juice on the floor, as well as bowls of Teriyaki chicken and ice cream, I've often asked myself why mom chose - and kept - carpet all these years. If you know my mom, the answer is simple: tile and linoleum are too cold. So we had carpet instead. I never mopped. I vacuumed.
Going off to college, it was my admittedly strange love of cleaning the bathroom that protected me further from the mop. I was often known to clean 1 bathroom in exchange for the entire living room and kitchen. Just my luck, I always had roommates who loathed cleaning the bathroom, so I skimmed through another 4 years without honing my mopping skills.
On my mission, there was only mopping since there was certainly no vacuuming to be done. Carpet is a rarity in Chile. Again, somehow, I never mopped. I did clean a lot of bathrooms though. I even have pictures of my companions mopping, oddly enough. Since most of my companions were Latin, they grew up mopping a lot, so they would often come home and start mopping their hearts out.
Then I married Paul. He loves having clean kitchen floors. He always cleans his mom's floor when we go home. So, since at age 24 when we got married I had still never held a mop, he took over. He'll often walk in the house at night and say, "Gosh, these floors are nasty," and whip out the mop, saving me yet again from having to tackle a new skill.
But this week Paul has been studying like a madman for his first exam. And the floors had certainly gotten out of control, particularly underneath Hattie's highchair (confession: we haven't mopped since we moved in a month ago). After dinner, I was determined to conquer my fear of mopping. I couldn't wait for him any longer to do it on his own (I'd gotten used to him getting around to it eventually). So while he was off memorizing nerves and arteries on his cadaver, I mopped. It was actually kind of fun. It took me a while to figure out how it worked, the whole twisty/wringy thing. But I got the hang of it. I'm just glad no one was watching.