By Gena Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Of the many things I have picked up from my mother, the most prominent in my mind is that when nothing else works use bleach, and that’s exactly what I did.
My mother came to visit me this past weekend and though I was excited to see her, I was terrified that she wouldn’t be happy with my living situation. When she helped me move in, it was apparent on her face how uncomfortable she was leaving her baby girl in a poorly-kept house built in 1935.
I promised her back in August that it would be okay. That everything would get cleaned and when she came back to visit it would be immaculate. I started off trying to keep that promise.
I cleaned years of grime off of most of my apartment, but I neglected the floors. I was worried about the dirty dishes the most, until I walked into my bathroom and looked down.
My house is an ode to shoddy workmanship. This is apparent in uneven wood flooring, internal doors that are about an inch and a half high off of the floor, the odd assortment of light fixtures and doorknobs, but mostly in the tile flooring of my bathroom.
There are random exposed grooves in the places where the tiles are crooked. This isn’t so bad until you take into account the fact that those grooves were black. I don’t know a lot about flooring, but I didn’t think they were supposed to be black.
I was right.
My friend Rommy and I spent the night in my bathroom on our hands and knees with a barrage of scary chemicals, a rag, and an old toothbrush. Second rule of cleaning my mother taught me: If you aren’t using a toothbrush, you are overlooking something.
So several hours later, light-headed and with red burning hands and knees, we gave up.
Yes, that is right. I gave up.
It was better. You could definitely tell a difference in the floor, but it wasn’t what I would consider Mom-quality clean. But I couldn’t handle it anymore.
Rommy and I spent the rest of that night laughing, and often the conversation of our mothers came up.
I personally believe girls are a lot more likely to try to impress their mothers because in some way we are little molds of them.
I’m so like my mom in fact that I can’t use blue ink pens. No real reason. She thinks they are gross and I just picked up on that. I didn’t even know I didn’t like blue ink pens most of my life, because they were never in our house. Once I started my first job I found myself going out of my way not to use them because I find them unpleasant.
Black ink all the way. In instances where black is not available, purple will suffice.
I spent an hour doing the dishes on the day of her arrival. An hour. When’s the last time dishes took anyone a hour?
I cleaned and even re-cleaned my dishes. And then I cleaned the sink. I swept up all of the floors in attempt to remove any lingering signs of my mother’s arch foe — dirt.
And what happened when she finally got to St. Augustine?
So I told her how much work I put in to making my house Mom-Safe. She laughed and hugged me. And I spent the rest of my weekend with the amazing woman who taught me about bleach.