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.


Noelle said...

How interesting! You escaped 25 full years of mopping. Wow--nicely done! I have to say, I've never mopped with one of those twisty-wringy kind of mops, only the kind with the rectangular pad. And we rotated through this chore quite frequently in our house because "mopping the kitchen" was actually like mopping the entire main floor since half of it was hardwood. Good luck with your inspection/mortgage/closing and all that good stuff! You'll be so happy when you finally get into your new place!

LadyCarma said...

You made me laugh. "Never" is an interesting word! It reminded me of a friend here in Plano who has never pumped gas in her car. She just turned 41 this year, and still has not pumped gas. Her husband does it for her, but in the days before she was married, it was either her father, brothers, or the service station.

For your information, I don't "mop" either. It is hard to make a mop head sterile. I have always preferred mopping with a cloth, bucket or sink, and throwing the cloth in the laundry afterward. A mop does not get in the corners, but on your knees does.

And for your mom, who doesn't like cold tile floors, I have the perfect answer for her: radiant heating coils, like we put in under my new tile in the kitchen. I will let you know come winter, how wonderfully warm my tile is!

Karli said...

I love you for posting this! So funny. I too am a rare mopper. I hate it. I would much rather clean a bathroom. My hubby is a lot like yours in that he will just do it when it gets bad...with Grayson now though, I'm sure I'll have to attack the floors more often on my own. I have a thing about keeping mops clean too though. I like the swiffer types where you get rid of the head after using it...but they're kinda spendy. Let me know how it continues for you!

Steven and Erika said...

HAHA! I love this post! I used to hate it when Steven would get home and comment on how nasty the floor was but I have come to not mind it because he will do the mopping! After he spent a few hours with the kids himself, he realizes why the floor is such a mess and why I am worn out by 9:30! I love that he vacuums the stairs...that is my hated job! What a funny post! Have fun this weekend with Dad and Mom!

Melissa said...

I think I may have made some of those trades with you to let you clean bathroom and I would clean other rooms. Remember that lovely cleaning chart and how we so faithfully did our assignments each week! :) I'm glad you got the experience (I never really learned until my Sonic years and that was really gross!) Looking forward to our reunion!

Jared and Miranda said...

Love it Mel. Oddly enough, I've never "mopped" a floor either. My mom was super old school, so while we had a massive linoleum kitchen floor, we always scrubbed on our hands and knees with scrub brushes and a bucket full of ammonia, vinegar and water. To this day I have never officially owned a mop or mopped a floor. Beatcha! ;-) haha