Monday, January 7, 2008

Cleaning Angel

So the other day, the day that I was supposed to be cleaning, (oh don't worry, I'll get to that someday) I was actually sitting on my couch with the boy, trying to get him to watch just five minutes of The Lion King so that I could finish vacuuming without a wild-eyed leech clinging to my leg in sheer hysteria. We've got to work on his irrational fears. Being afraid of the winter Olympics or square hamburgers is one thing, being afraid of the vacuum is just downright absurd. In any case, there was a knock at my door.

First of all, if you aren't privy to the kind of house I run, you should know that when there is a knock at the door or, heaven help us, the bell actually rings, all pandemonium breaks loose. My golden retriever springs into action as though he hasn't been fed in twelve hundred days or walked in two thousand and the person standing on the porch has a leash and a rack of lamb meant exclusively for him. (As it would be because if someone on the porch was bringing me a rack of lamb, she could just go right back from whence she came.) He starts bouncing off the walls and running toward the door so fast that his legs go sliding in every direction and, near as I can tell, he is on the brink of cardiac arrest. Garrett, gleefully leaps from wherever he has been and runs, pointing and grunting, toward the noise. The two siblings almost inevitably collide in their attempt to reach the visitor first, despite the fact that neither has adequately discovered how to, actually, turn the knob. They bounce off one another, the two-legged one laughs, and they continue on their psychotic scramble to the door.

So, after the crazy frolic occurred, I scooped up the son, shooed the canine away and turned the knob. There stood a woman and a little girl. A huge smile spread across her face, "Hi! We're here for the cleaning party." I have to admit that my first thought went a little something like this...
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I don't know who you are but you must be an angel sent by the Almighty Father. Here is a broom and a dust pan. The cleaning supplies are under the sink and, if you don't mind, I'm going to sit on the couch with my son and watch The Lion King.

This was followed quickly by the realization that I was very confused about who this woman was and why she was joining my one woman cleaning party...
Are you from the church? Do I know you and just not realize I know you? Did my husband send you? Because while that would be nice, I would have appreciated a little heads up from him so I didn't look like such a lunatic as I stood here and smiled awkwardly at you.

This was then followed with...
Oh my gosh, someone read my blog, knew I was cleaning, knew where I lived because I posted a freaking picture of the house and basically told everyone in the cyberworld how to get to it and since she has a little girl she is probably not going to kill me but what if she does and do I just invite her in and this is really, really weird.

As I thought these things, all I managed to do was smile an enormous grin, squint my eyes shut just a tad and stumble over, "Um. Oooookkkkkkaaaayyyyy." She just stood there smiling. There was a good few seconds of extremely awkward silence and finally, mercifully, she questioned, "Is this the Smith's* house?

Me: Oh! No! It's not! I'm sorry. We moved in at the end of November.
Her: Oh! That's why you look so confused!
Me: Well, I am cleaning but I wasn't sure how word got out that I was having a full blown party.
Her: I left the ward about a year ago and I got a call that there was a cleaning party at the Smiths* today. But, I guess they don't live here anymore.

If they do, let me tell you, they are very quiet, indeed. And they are more stealth, even, than the snow. And they owe me some serious rent. And I'm NOT IN THE WARD! (This is a common thought I have as it is assumed, always, that we are a little ward-going family.)

It was funny. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then it led, of course, to me having to take the canine and the small homosapien to the park because they both caught a glimpse, through the open door, of the great frontier and they had to discover it--and pee on it (the dog and, thankfully, not the boy, although I am sure, in time, that too will come). So, realistically, the angel woman who appeared to help me clean actually caused me to get less done. Maybe I should have handed her a broom while I took my boys to the park.

And then, I wonder, how long, if I'd actually invited her in and handed her a feather duster, would it have taken for her to say, "Hey, where is everyone else? And who, exactly, are you?"

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and myself, in case someone read this blog and thought, "Oh, I know where the Smiths* used to live and now I can hide in the house and murder the unsuspecting Nelsons*.


  1. I know that *you* don't think you're in the ward, but they think of it as a geographical area, so you are, indeed, "in" the ward. Lucky you! :-)

  2. OH MY GOSH, YOU CRACK ME UP!!!! We had a little cleaning party over here today, and my little charges actually helped! Though I had to tackle the toilet! :o) Enjoy the park and just learn to see the joy in dirt. There will come a day, where the boy can actually use the vacuum himself!

  3. Hi Lori,
    I love your blogs. You are so hilarious! You HAVE to write a book. If you don't, you've missed your calling! When I'm missing you guys (which is often) I go into your blogs and I feel like I'm there with you. Keep it up! Love you and miss you!
    Aunt Vicki
    P.S. Please send that cleaning angel to MY house. I'll even pretend to be "in the ward" for free cleaning!

  4. I don't know what a ward is, but I'm assuming it's an LDS-type thing. You summoned a person to clean. That is amazing. You've still got it.

    I miss you. I'm flying back to New York on Monday. I got a new puffy coat in anticipation of the snow, so at least there are some days when I'll be able to commiserate with you about the silent white scariness?

    (It's scary because it might nearly make people named Kristin fall down the stairs in the subway station, kind of a lot.)

  5. Okay, this one is classic. I agree with our aunt: where is the book? I'm glad I got to go to your house, because as I was reading this, I could picture where Beck & Garrett were bounding from/to. Before, I used to just imagine the events in some random house in my head. Its much better now.

  6. I concur, write a book.

  7. ooh, way to be anonymous, lori! ;) btw, what is a ward?

    p.s. my word verification is stewy, which i'm finding rather friendly.