CLEANLINESS: WORTH IT? (NO.)
I find it very difficult to keep a living space clean. I don’t know how people do it. I’m no Mr. Clean, but after awhile seeing underpants hanging off every obliquely hooklike apparatus in the house and a sink full of dishes piled in the most fetid and potentially expensive game of Jenga ever gets to be a little depressing to me. It dawns on me that if you want a clean house, you pretty much have to do at least a little cleaning on a daily basis. This saddens me.
Adding to the hardness of cleaning in our case is a kitchen sink that still isn’t working right and a lack of convenient laundry machines. We are not at all far away from the laundromat, but putting all of our smelly clothing into a car isn’t something I like to do for fun. Plus, while I am assuredly every bit as poverty-stricken, if not moreso, than the majority of the townsfolk patronizing our laundromat, I am also, I feel, far more attractive, and in selecting my attire for this particular errand I typically don’t elect to don stained yellow sweatpants that accentuate my crevices.
I say this not to belittle my fellow duds-sudsers. Would it be belitting to a banana to inform it that it is rich in potassium? No; it would simply be a mutually understood truth, much like the fact that everyone who goes to our laundromat besides myself is gross and upsetting to spend time with. I’m not saying that I expect to encounter “Brangelina” every time I go to the laundromat, nor am I suggesting that we all get gussied up in our Sunday’s best, tame our curlicues and cowlicks with a dite of pomatum, and promenade to the clothes cleaners with a hey nonny nonny and a hot-cha-cha. I also don’t want to imply that I routinely talk to bananas. What I’m mostly saying, in essence, is that I am a judgmental asswipe. Pay my hurtful jibes no mind.
These unkind comments stem at least partially from a form of jealousy. I wish I could be cavalier enough to appear in public in whatever frumpy thing I happened to be lounging around in before I left the house. I have no problem going to the store unshowered (although I’ll probably put on a hat if I haven’t had a haircut in awhile), but the young folks galumphing around the video or grocery store in their pjs alternately blow my mind and disgust me. At first, there was an admittedly scandalous pleasure to be had in the opportunity to witness unfamiliar young women trawling for romantic new releases or yogurt in their nightclothes, but over time it somehow became akin in my mind to toddling around in a lumpy, soiled diaper. Decidedly less titillating. Where I once begrudgingly admired the youthful lack of decorum, I now think it looks kinda dumb, yet still sort of wish I too had the cajones to pull it off. Pajamas are comfy, no question.
Furthermore, at the risk of channeling noted observational comic Jerry Seinfeld, why is it that washing machines which do not belong to you can only be activated through the use of quarters? Now I’m not one of those sniffy coin-disdainers who feels that metal commerce should be eradicated. I find coins to be both folksy and historically significant. They actually feel like currency, unlike our increasingly gawky-looking paper monies and especially unlike the act of zipping a plastic card through an electronic numberpad thing that is probably gleaning data that can be covertly used against me by desperate and insidious financial institutions, or perhaps even to invisibly emboss the mark of the beast upon my debit card in order to better serve the angel of the bottomless pit. I’m sure 75% of people who like to look at coins are off-putting nerds who fantasize about rolling lewdly in piles of ha’pennies and farthings with the supporting cast of “Sailor Moon”, and the other 25% inherited their coins from a elder coin-dandling relative and are just keeping them because they feel bad or because it’s inconvenient for them to make a special trip to the nearest collectibles establishment, but all the same I think coins are kind of cool. However, they also weigh down your pants, make your hand smell bad, and lengthen the payment process considerably on account of being worth basically nothing. I don’t like having to go to a machine or person to get a green piece of paper, then put that green piece of paper into another machine that turns the paper into forty metal circles, then clunk those forty metal circles into another machine that actually washes my clothes. If I must continue to rely on a communally accessed, unflatteringly lit waystation to freshen my apparel, can’t I be granted access to a washing machine that will simply accept my debit card, thereby eliminating several annoying steps in the laundry process and providing useful information to the antichrist concerning my spending habits? Such machines no doubt exist in more upscale markets. (Ed.: I later Googled “credit card laundromat washing machine” in an attempt to find out if such machines do in fact exist, and for my efforts I was rewarded with, you guessed it, a picture of Eric Clapton) But bitch bitch bitch. I suppose I should be happy to have clothes to wear at all. But I’m not. Buy me a washing machine, a dryer, and a house to put them both in, please and thank you.
Other drawbacks to washing your clothes, in no particular order: detergent is sticky, dryer sheets are stupid, wet clothes are heavy, and folding is boring. Good things about laundry: the inexplicable mild fun of cleaning the lint trap, putting on warm pajamas right out of the dryer, watching your favorite tee-shirt tumble by in the dryer window, and the comforting knowledge that you won’t have to walk around smelling like an armpit with a turd squashed into it for the next week or so.
Adding to my laundry woes today is an extremely muddy driveway that was yucky to walk through! I took it upon myself to take several photographs of it. Look at them!
Yes, mud! Look at it! Look!
That’s some wet, brown mud!
I’m absolutely, positively wild about mud! Actually, I’m not all that fond of it. But I’m happy to see it. It’s been very nice outside lately, and the snow and ice are probably about done for the year, for the most part. I’ll gladly accept mud as a harbinger of better weather to come. But our yard is like walking through freshly baked Duncan Hines right now. Carrying a cumbersome basket of pointedly unfolded garments across such a terrain is no easy feat.
Not to mention our stairs.
Dear God, the stairs. The few of you who have had the pleasure of visiting our humble apartment can attest to the terror that accompanies the uneasy ascension of these stairs. Creaky, splintery, and sure to collapse beneath our unwary feet any day now. If you listen carefully, each stair actually whispers the word “rickety” as you impress your weight upon it. How would you like to move a sofa, an entertainment center, and an antique bureau up these bad boys? Yeah, thought so. My family and I lived to tell that suspenseful tale. We’re not much to look at, but when in a bind we get the job done. Anyway, yes, one day we will fall down these stairs and we will die.
At least when you get to the top, there’s a nice little quasi-deck to set the laundry basket down upon while unlocking the door. On that deck are a couple of lawn chairs and the remnants of two plants. Let’s look at that, as I like posting unprofessional pictures of less-than-dynamic subjects.
Plants are hard. The hell with ’em. Maintenance and nurturing are for the birds. With any luck, someday I’ll be able to post a similar picture of a emaciated child sprawled on the front deck. “But officer, I did not want to feed him, and he liked being outside.”
Here’s the other plant we had that for some reason failed to thrive despite our never watering it and leaving it outside all winter. I poured the dregs of a Coors Lite into it this afternoon; maybe that’ll help? That butter knife has been there for nigh on a year now, and I’ve never had the slightest idea as to why.
Well, after all that, I did get a goodly portion of our wardrobe cleansed today, and for my efforts I rewarded myself with a tasty carton of birds.
KFC is the place for me! Plus a taco, mmm-mmmm! My intestines are currently making a poop out of that stuff, but boy it was good, right down to the gluey coleslaw and flaccid, see-thru tortilla.
Eatin’ food and playing Animal Crossing. Just give yourself a nice treat at the end of a tough job, and the entire experience becomes worthwhile. You gotta work, and you gotta play, and that’s all there is to it.
Later we had to go drop one of our cars off at the mechanic’s because it’s making loud noises that sound like a dinosaur on a motorcycle caught in a jet engine. I was going to take a picture of our mechanic’s workplace and general premises, to share its ramshackle charms with my readers, but in my haste I failed to do so. So I took a picture of the hot dogs I bought for my wife at the gas station on the ride home instead:
Take ‘er easy!