In my continuing quest to purge the hovel, I discovered that I own an awful lot of cleaning supplies, which might not be so strange if I was some kind of a clean freak, but I’m not. Let’s just say that I’m not exactly known far and wide for my commitment to cleaning.
I’m thinking that Comet must have been on sale at one time or another AND I must have decided that I needed it. What else could explain the fact that I have six cans of it? The only plausible explanation is that they were 3/$1 — and, ya know, who can resist that kind of a bargain? Apparently, not me. One of them is open, so I must have used it somewhere. I don’t remember using it, but I must have. I know this much, no one else in this house used Comet for anything. I can guarantee you that. I’ll tell you something else — if my life hinged upon the ability of either Fang or Fangette to define even a single use for Comet, I’d be a dead duck.
I have enough Windex to clean every single window in The Seagram’s building — twice. Not that I’m the least bit interested in such an endeavor, but if I’m called into action, at least I know I have the supplies. If the next Mayor of New York City isn’t as vigilant as Mr. Bloomberg regarding those pesky “squeegie guys” — the ones who used to, prior to Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure, station themselves outside of the Lincoln Tunnel — and other Hudson River crossings — and annoy people into giving them $1 in exchange for semi-clean windows — I could help to support their crack habits by donating my excess Windex. My surplus window cleaner would, I fear, buy a great deal of crack.
Given the many bottles of toilet bowl cleanser that I had stashed away, one would think that I spent all of my free time keeping that area Roto virus free. I do not. Don’t get me wrong, I halfheartedly give it a scrub a couple of times a week, but I’m sure it wouldn’t pass muster with the health inspector. For the record, I don’t even use a commercial product when I do the bowl. I pour in some bleach, let it soak, swish the toilet brush around, flush, and I’m done. So, why I have seven bottles of toilet bowl cleanser is anybody’s guess.
I have a thing for pine-scented cleaning products. The funny thing is that I have plenty of lemon-, orange-, and lavender-scented stuff laying around, but only a half-full bottle of some off-brand pine-y product. There really is no explanation for why I would ever purchase products that are not pine-scented. I don’t use them. To me, if I invest my time cleaning, it had better smell like Christmas when I’m finished.
I also stumbled upon a stockpile of starch — both in spray and liquid form. I must have been sleep shopping when I purchased these items. I cannot remember the last time I had occasion to starch anything. And, if there was a time when or a garment that needed starching, the odds that I would have used liquid starch are about the same as the odds of me winning the Mega ball lottery jackpot — because I don’t even know how to use liquid starch (nor do I play the Mega ball lottery). Other than steam, the only thing I use when I absolutely HAVE to iron something is a product called Magic Sizing. The last time I recall seeing a can of spray starch it was in my grandmother’s hand — she used to use it on her nursing caps. As my grandmother passed away in 1981 (and most nurses stopped wearing caps before then), I would estimate that this memory dates back to the late 1970’s. Perhaps I purchased the spray starch because it reminded me of her?
Possibly the most puzzling thing I uncovered was a basket of clothespins. Clothespins! I don’t have a clothesline — and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t use it. I know one person who still uses a clothesline. She lives on a pretty busy street. Once in a while I’ll pass by, take note of what’s hanging on the line, and text her something like this: “I see you stripped the beds today!” She and I have had an ongoing dialogue about her “airing her clean laundry” for many years. She claims that she likes the scent imparted by sheets that have been dried in the sun. I contend that she’s too cheap to use the dryer. In her neighborhood the only scent those sheets are absorbing are the ones produced by bus fumes and Burger King.
She can say whatever she wants. She may be kidding herself, but she’s not fooling me. Just the other day I drove by and saw towels hanging on the line. Towels! Have you ever used a line-dried towel? You may as well just cut up some cardboard and put it in the linen closet — that’s how abrasive and absorbent a line-dried towel is. Sun-dried scent, my ass.
It isn’t lost on me that I have hoarding tendencies. What I don’t understand is why I don’t hoard the things I need. Like, for example, Q-tips and hand sanitizer — we’re currently out of both and, for the life of me, I just cannot seem to remember to replenish these supplies. Maybe I could fashion a cotton swab out of a clothespin and some cotton balls (the current cotton ball inventory is hovering around 2,000). As for the hand sanitizer? Well, why not just use the Windex? Hey, it worked for the guy in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, didn’t it?
photo credit: clothespins