“It's Adessa 1/ Kitchen 0 as I just finished deep cleaning every square inch of it. I feel like singing "We are the Champions"! Tomorrow I'll finish the rest of the house---that is, if I can move! — feeling accomplished.”
This was my Facebook post after a 6+ hour marathon of cleaning, scrubbing, disinfecting and reorganizing every nook and cranny of my kitchen. It was a Cleaning Freak’s dream come true, and best of all it was finished.
For the most part, the post was true---I was feeling accomplished and very proud of myself for kicking my dirty kitchen’s derrière. However, as the night wore on I realized that my post was “incomplete”. If I was going to be 100% honest, (and let the world see past my Martha Stewart wanna-be-side) I think my post would have started with the words:
“I just ate a bug---feeling totally grossed out!”
Here’s what happened: I was about 3-4 hours into the super-cleaning marathon, when I came upon a canister that’s contents were unknown. Suspecting that it might be Confectioner’s Sugar, I put the tip of my finger into the powder then into my mouth, only to recognize the familiar taste of flour instead of sugar.
I thought, “What is flour doing in this container? I’ll just combine it with the regular flour to save some space.”
Only just before I actually poured the rogue flour into the regular flour canister, I thought I saw something move. On closer inspection, I noticed that there were teeny, tiny little brown worm/bug-like creatures moving around among the flour.
Ewww, Gross!!! I don’t want bugs in my flour!!!
Then almost momentarily it occurred to me, “You tasted that flour---you may have eaten one of those nasty things.”
Well, I was moving now! Quickly I ran to the counter and grabbed a paper towel and began spitting into it, then wiping my tongue ferociously trying to remove any bug remnants that may have made their way into my mouth. (Thinking back now, I’m questioning why I thought the paper towel was a safe, sanitary bug removal tool, but at the time I was in a frenzied panic thinking, “I’ve got to get any bugs out of my mouth!!!)
Five seconds later, I run to the living room to tell my brother what happened. Of course, I’m using my high-pitched, grossed-out teenage girl squeal to emphasize how dramatically awful it was to have potentially eaten a bug.
His reply was, “That’s disgusting---go rinse out your mouth with water.”
(See he’s the smart one---he thinks water instead of paper towel.)
Now, I’m in the bathroom, rinsing and rinsing my mouth out with water (hot water to disinfect of course) and praying, “Dear God, if I did happen to swallow a bug, please don’t let it hurt me.”
Unfortunately, I don’t think my prayer was answered because a few hours later---after I’d cleaned for a few more hours, finished dinner, and put my dirty stinky self in the shower, (like you look and smell nice after cleaning all day?) I began to experience very strange pains throughout my body. It was as if the hot shower caused the bug to explode inside of me and create muscle aches in every part of my body.
(It had to be the bug---it couldn’t have had anything to do with the hours I spent crawling, lifting, and contorting my body trying to fit into cabinet spaces that were not designed for entry by a human being.) Whether it was the bug or old age, one thing was for sure---I hurt! At this point my Facebook post should have said,
“Every muscle in my body is screaming, “Why did you try to crawl into the corner cabinet to clean it rather than use a vacuum cleaner attachment?----feeling like I have a million owwies.”
Particularly, I had a stabbing pain in my right rib cage that shot right through to the center of my right back. Because I once heard that if you dislocate a rib, you can puncture a lung and end up in the emergency room, I did my best to sit very still so that I wouldn’t accidentally give myself any internal injuries.
Eventually, my brother looked up from his work and asked me what was wrong. Allowing my hypochondriac tendencies to get out of control, I told him my great fear. Of course, he had a good laugh and assured me that I would be fine, it was okay for me to move. (Maybe I should have posted---feeling like a hypochondriac---as my status.)
Well, hoping that my brother was right and moving around wouldn’t send me to the hospital (I’m not dramatic, right?) I tried to move. That’s when I realized that a fringe benefit of sitting still was that the pain from all the climbing, crawling, and lifting wasn’t quite as strong if I wasn’t moving. Eventually, I gave up and went to bed, hoping to feel better in the morning.
Well, that was a ridiculous thought! What I didn’t realize was that before morning, I was going to have a long night of moaning and groaning as my body said over and over again, “What were you thinking trying to fit into that tiny cabinet” every time I moved or rolled over throughout the night.” If the computer were anywhere near my bed, around 2 o’clock in the morning I could have posted:
“A cautionary tale to all women---if you’re going to act like a crazy cleaning lady, put Tylenol on your nightstand---feeling like I wish I would have remembered.”
It was about this time, while I wasn’t sleeping but counting the hours until my chiropractor opened, that I remembered eating the bug. I think I blocked it out of my mind until then.
Another thing I kept replaying in my mind while I wasn’t sleeping was the memory of trying to clean the extra-deep corner cabinet I call a “lazy susan”. I remembered my Mom saying many years ago when we installed the kitchen, “That cabinet is going to be impossible to clean.” Then I remembered how I had to put my head in first, then twist to fit my shoulder and the rest of my body through the cabinet to wipe any remaining dust on the back wall of the cabinet. (Which by the way, when I finally got there, it wasn’t dusty.) Then I thought, “What were you thinking” before groaning in pain and rolling over again.
Well, morning finally did come and I didn’t finish cleaning the rest of the house. Instead, I went to the chiropractor and told him about the pain that I needed him to fix.
Having known me for years, he asked, “And when did all this pain start?”
I smiled and answered, “Oh, just about the time I crawled into the lazy susan to reach the dust in the back corner.”
He just laughed and said, “That darn dust.”
So that is the complete and total account of my latest cleaning freak adventure. As you have probably guessed, Martha Stewart I am not.
After all, Martha never would have had a mismarked canister filled with buggy flour and even if some evil person would have planted it on her she would have known better than to eat it!
Of course, Martha would have thought up some handy-dandy tool to reach the back of her cupboards without dislocating her rib cage, and she probably would have had a homemade, magic cream to sooth sore muscles at the end of the day.
So here they are: The confessions of a bug eating, paper towel licking, overzealous cleaning freak. Just to be fair to all the women who hated me when they read my victorious cleaning post yesterday, I made this post the “day after” Facebook:
“Confessions of a Cleaning Freak: Today's score: Adessa 1/ Kitchen 1 as I'm off to the chiropractor. Apparently you can't stick the top half of a grown woman into the small opening of a lazy susan cabinet without some repercussions. But it's still clean! — feeling achy.”
To which I got this reply from a friend which was equally humorous: “Wow; I would need more than my chiropractor if I tried to crawl into my cabinets to clean out my spice rack/lazy susan; My husband would have to call the fire department and they would have to first spray Pam all around me, then hoist me out, one limb at a time; you go girlfriend;”
If you’re going to be crazy, at least it’s good to have friends who understand and support you!